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18.07.2016, 12:06◄ last page     

FEATURE: The last party of the Master of Ceremony cheered by more than 10,000 fans

Klein says farewell to Kiel

Even the toughest and smartest guys are close to tears sometimes. When the shirt with number 33 was hung up under the roof of the Sparkassen-Arena in Kiel, Dominik Klein became emotional.

Right next to club legends such as Magnus Wislander, Thierry Omeyer, Christian Zeitz or Stefan Lövgren, now it is Klein’s jersey – and number 33 will not be given to any player in Kiel anymore.

German EURO hero and THW new arrival Andreas Wolff, who always wears or wore the no. 33, now got the 77 at THW.

Three teams, three matches

On Saturday evening, the former “Master of Ceremony” of the famous THW trophy celebrations on the balcony of the City Hall in Kiel had his final party. Three teams, three matches, music, show, more than 10,000 fans in the sold-out arena – and after more than five hours the “after-show-party” could start.

Before, the fans did not only see the new THW team including the debuts of the new arrivals Wolff and Austrian Nikola Bilyk, but also “THW All Stars” including the former team captains Filip Jicha and Marcus Ahlm or club legends such as Zeitz, Tobias Reichmann, Daniel Narcisse or Börge Lund, coached by Noka Serdarusic, the most successful coach in the club history.

Third team were “Mini’s friends”, players, who had been part of his handball career, before he arrived at Kiel or colleagues from the national team such as the 2007 World Champions Christian Schwarzer, Johannes Bitter, Toto Jansen. This team was coached by former German national team coach Martin Heuberger, Michael Roth (Melsungen) and Martin Schwalb (Hamburg), who had been coaching Klein in his younger days.

After more than 500 matches for THW, Klein will depart to HBC Nantes now. His wife Isabell, German national team player, will join him to play at the team Atlantique Nantes.

In ten years – from 2006 to 2016 – Klein won 23 trophies with THW Kiel: Eight times he became German champion, six times German cup winner, five times German Supercup winner, three times EHF Champions League winner and once IHF Super Globe winner.

In 2007, he became World Champion on home ground, at the end, he had 187 matches for the German national team on his tally to be one of the most successful German handball players ever.

Klein was the last of those, who were part of the 2007, 2010 and 2012 Champions League winners to be in Kiel. “I am so proud that I was part of this extra-ordinary family of THW Kiel for ten years,” the 32-year old left wing said at his farewell party.

“Mini had always been of specialist for organizing ceremonies and had always been in a perfect good mood,” 2016 EURO champion and 2016 VELUX EHF FINAL4 winner Reichmann praised his former teammate.

“Another special job of Dominik was to show all new players the city of Kiel. If he learns French quick enough he can take over this role at Nantes too,” 20007 World Champion Henning Fritz added.

Klein gave a promise for his new club HBC Nantes: “I will play with the same power and passion like I did in Kiel. I am looking forward to this new challenge, and I guess my three-year old son Colin will learn French much quicker than I will do.”

A farewell goal against three goalkeepers

At his new club, Klein will play his eleventh straight Champions League season, while his new club will play its premiere season in the European top flight.

In his farewell matches, Klein scored an overall of ten goals for the different teams, including his last one at Sparkassen-Arena – a seven-metre throw against three goalkeepers.

Before, the Bavaria-born Klein had to play his final five minutes, wearing original Bavarian leather trousers. And his last act of saying Servus to his fans was a traditional Bavarian sausage and beer breakfast in a beer garden on Sunday morning.

TEXT: Björn Pazen / br

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