For THW Kiel in the derby in goal: At almost 43, Andersson plays big

For THW Kiel in the derby in goal
At almost 43, Andersson is playing big

Mattias Andersson is a former world class handball player. Today the almost 43-year-old works as a goalkeeping coach at THW Kiel. Ironically, in the north derby against his former club SG Flensburg-Handewitt, the regular goalkeepers are out. Andersson steps in – and shines.

Actually, Mattias Andersson has long since retired from handballing. But two days before his 43rd birthday, the THW Kiel goalkeeping coach moved into the spotlight again for 40 minutes – and that in the 104th north derby against his ex-club, SG Flensburg-Handewitt. “That wasn’t the plan,” admitted the Swede after the 28:31 (15:17) defeat.

Because world handball player Niklas Landin was not in the Kiel squad due to a quarantine, Dario Quenstedt did not get into the game and was slightly injured, THW trainer Filip Jicha put his trust in the oldie – and he did his job really well. With his first action, Andersson parried a ball, in the end he had ten saves. Statistically, he was the best goalkeeper on Saturday evening in Flensburg.

“It’s still fun”

“We didn’t win, that’s all that counts. In the end, I’m happy that I survived 40 minutes in goal,” said Andersson on the Sky microphone about his performance. Before starting the attack, he had stated that he was naturally lacking in “speed, explosiveness and timing”. But according to my age, “I’m still fit”.

On June 3, 2018, Andersson ended his career in the Flensburg jersey as German champion, but in the recent past the veteran has moved between the Kiel posts several times for short assignments – as a temporary worker, less as a returnee. “It’s still fun,” Andersson recently revealed to NDR.

The defeat in Kiel, a setback in the championship race, could not prevent the former Flensburg player either. The SG, now again the front runner, expanded their impressive Bundesliga series from now 47 home games without defeat. Curious: In the last bankruptcy so far, Andersson was still in the Flensburg Gate. Opponent back then at 27:35 in December 2017: his current club Kiel.