There have been numerous setbacks for the 2007 world champions over the past years: First they failed to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games, then for the EHF EURO 2014 in Denmark, and finally they lost to Poland in the World Championship 2015 Play-offs.
Courtesy of an IHF wild card, they nevertheless made it to Qatar through the 'back door'. Following a seventh-place finish at the World Championship things have been moving in a more positive direction under new head coach Dagur Sigurdsson. During his first season in the job he was simultaneously in charge of Füchse Berlin, leading them to victory in the EHF Cup, but the Icelander will focus solely
on the German national team from now on.
It is the expressed goal of Germany to be back on top by 2019 at the latest, when they co-host the World
Championship together with Denmark.
The way Steffen Weinhold’s career panned out is anything but normal. In 2008 the left-handed right back made his senior team debut after he had become Men’s 20 EHF EURO champion in 2006 and silver medallist at the Junior World Championship 2007. But then he disappeared internationally – apart from the season when he won EHF Cup with Nordhorn in 2008.
It was only after the EHF EURO 2012 that Weinhold was nominated again, but this time he stayed and he has since become one of the team’s key players. "Since I’m at the helm, he is one of our major key players," says head coach Dagur Sigurdsson. "He made so many huge steps ahead in a short time, gaining experience at Flensburg, Kiel and the national team. Nowadays he is an integral part of our puzzle."
At the EHF EURO in Poland, Weinhold will carry even more responsibility on his shoulders because experienced stars such as Patrick Wiencek and Uwe Gensheimer will miss the event due to injuries.
At the age of 35, Carsten Lichtlein is the oldest and most experienced player in the German squad for the EHF EURO 2016 in Poland. The goalkeeper is the last remaining 2007 world champion in the current German team. In his long international career in the national team (200+ caps), Lichtlein very often stood in the shadows of big names such as Henning Fritz or Johannes Bitter. But he always played his role - and was there when he was needed. At the very latest he entered the spotlight at the World Championship 2015 in Qatar, when he was the German no.1 between the posts together with Silvio Heinevetter.
In contrast to the very emotional Heinevetter, Lichtlein is a calm, but fast goalkeeper. The EHF EURO 2016 will mark his fourth appearance at an EHF EURO event.
In 2000, Lichtlein made his first appearance in the Bundesliga when he joined TV Großwallstadt. After five seasons he moved to TBV Lemgo with whom he won the EHF Cup in 2006 and 2010. In 2013, the two-metre tall goalkeeper joined VfL Gummersbach.
Just as fellow EHF EURO participants Iceland (Aron Kristjansson) and Denmark (Gudmundur Gudmundsson), Germany count on the knowledge of an Icelandic coach. Since September 2014, Dagur Sigurdsson is at the helm of the German men’s national team.
Sigurdsson, a former Icelandic international with 215 caps for his country, had already been a national team coach before. In 2010 he led Austria to their best ever EHF EURO result when they reached the main round. Already back then he was working in a double position, coaching German club Füchse Berlin at the same time.
When the 42-year-old Sigurdsson took over the German team, he was still the Füchse coach, leading them to the German Cup title in 2014 and the EHF Cup trophy in 2015. Since June 2015, he fully focusses on the national team though, with which he had started a huge transition, integrating talents and young players.
Past Performance at EHF EURO Events