Happy ending at Eulen Ludwigshafen – SWR Sport

Handball team Eulen Ludwigshafen celebrated their early relegation to the second division with humba rituals and tears of joy. Due to the 32:26 victory over Rostock, they could no longer immerse themselves in the competition in the relegation battle.

Hugs after the clear victory over Empor Rostock did not want to stop. “It was pure goosebumps,” said left winger Yannick Hoffmann. “The tremendous pressures have subsided,” added Michael Abt, Technical Director Michael Abt. “I wouldn’t get it forgiven if we didn’t make it!” admitted managing director Lisa Hessler, who continued to fight back tears during the emotional address in front of more than 1,800 owl fans. Because on this memorable Friday evening, it wasn’t just about staying up late. It was also about jobs that would have been at risk if they were relegated.

The team resists pressure

But with a strong first half, the Booms relatively quickly made it clear that everyone was pulling together for this last home game of the season. The goal is quite clear: to play in the Second Division of Handball again next season – and then if possible without fear of relegation. The ambition was colossal, and the spirit in the team was just right. The red-clad fans in the stands made Ebert Hall the dreaded Ebert of Hell for an hour and a half. Efficiency was also correct: eight Ludwigshafeners made 32 songs between them.

New coach – new success

Ziga Orbik shined in the goal this time. The 25-year-old Slovenian is back to his renewed strength under coach Michel Abt. “I told him we needed him,” explained Abt, who took charge of the unknown owls just ten days ago and who were threatened with relegation — “without a contract,” the high school teacher reveals in an interview with SWR Sport. “I don’t even know what that means for me financially,” he adds with a laugh.

One thing is for sure: Through intense discussions, changed tactics, and a new team spirit, Abt has avoided the full sporting disaster of further relegation. and now? Does it continue? “I don’t know,” he said as his players celebrated. genuinely? “Really! Honestly: I don’t know. Now it depends on many constellations.” But this takes time. The night after the win over Rostock was a celebration anyway.

Painful analysis pending

But just the fact that Abt is the third coach during one season shows just how wrong the owls are. From candidates for promotion to those who are almost relegated – clear answers to uncomfortable questions must be found internally. Managing Director Hessler does not hide this either: “Believe me: we think very much about ourselves, and we’re at the top.”

The “head of” committed owls leaves no doubt that the painful analysis of the last season hangs – on all levels: “I’ll start with myself first. But I think there is a lot in total. There were reasons that led to a season in which we did not live up to our expectations.”

The captain becomes a legend

Reorganization of team members is pending anyway. In an emotional farewell party, the club honored half a dozen “pedestrians” after the acclaimed win, from assistant coach Frank Muller, the album’s playmaker, to Yannick Hoffmann, returning to Huttenberg TV.

It was especially sad for Friedrich Ebert-Hall when Captain Gunnar Dietrich said goodbye. “A role model,” says Hessler, not without wiping another tear from the corner of her eye after hugging Gunness goodbye. Dietrich’s No. 8 shirt was carried into the hall by his close companions in a touching ceremony. From now on, it will have a permanent place on the hall wall under the title “Legends”.

The 36-year-old, who has played for the Booms for twelve years and was involved in promotions to the Bundesliga in 2010, 2014 and 2017, wants to make things a little easier from now on, thus switching to third-tier club TuS Dansenberg. But he will never forget his time at Ulnst, he admitted immediately after his last match at Ebert-Hall: “It’s not only about the touch of the hand, but also that I found my home here, my children were born here. It’s just fun now.”

Keep partying in Heysel

The people of Ludwigshafen will surely live this joy for much longer. In any case, everyone will gather again on Pentecost – for a barbecue together at “Behler-Haisl”, Alex Hasert’s restaurant for owl lovers in Böhl-Iggelheim (Rhein-Palatinate region). Then there is still enough time to draw the right conclusions from the emotional swings of the past few months. Then he could dare to make a new attempt to return to the first Bundesliga.

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