NEWS FEATURE: Assistant coach Maik Machulla will succeed the Swede as coach of the 2014 VELUX EHF Champions League winners when Vranjes takes the helm at Veszprém next season.
Current assistant takes over Vranjes’ job in Flensburg
Two days before Ljubomir Vranjes faces his upcoming employer, Telekom Veszprém, in the final group match of the VELUX EHF Champions League, his current club SG Flensburg-Handewitt announced his successor: Maik Machulla signed a three-year contract as head coach of the 2014 VELUX EHF Champions League winners after assisting Vranjes since 2012.
Vranjes announced in February that he would leave Flensburg after 11 years as a player, sports director and coach to take over Veszprém and the Hungarian national team from July.
“I feel proud and honoured that SG give me this highly responsible task. I will take it with passion, respect and confidence,” 40-year-old Machulla said in a press conference on Thursday night. “Flensburg is an international top club with a long and successful tradition, professional structures and extraordinary fans. I am looking forward to this new part of my career.”
The former back court player and 12-time German international started his professional career at SC Magdeburg. There, he was German champion in 2001, EHF Champions League winner in 2002, and claimed the EHF Cup title twice. From Magdeburg, Machulla transferred to Nordhorn and Hamm, before he joined Flensburg in 2012.
Parallel to his playing career Machulla started working as a coach, and now holds all German coaching’ qualifications and the EHF Master Coach diploma. His highlights as assistant coach in Flensburg were the trophy at the VELUX EHF FINAL4 2014 and winning the German cup one year later.
“Once it was clear that Ljubomir Vranjes would leave Flensburg, we immediately started intense talks with Maik. He knows our philosophy, he lives handball, he has huge experience and he is well accepted among the players,” said SG manager Dierk Schmäschke.
TEXT: Bjorn Pazen / cg