Melsungen signs Danish right back
Written by: Rasmus Boysen
The German Bundesliga club MT Melsungen replaces Dener Jaanimaa with the Danish right back Simon Birkefeldt from next season.
Press release from MT Melsungen:
With Simon Birkefeldt of the Danish League club TTH Holstebro the first new entry for the season 2018/19 is published. He will compete in the right back position, replacing Dener Jaanimaa, whose contract expires.
When it came to the conclusion Michael Müller was the first pick in the right back position, the managers had to decide on the future of this position - especially since the contract of Dener Jaanimaa expires after this season. The Estonian player, as is well known, had been obligated last year after it had been discovered that Gabor Langhans, who was actually the "number two" behind Müller, would not be available due to an injury. While Jaanimaa were only short on last season, the left-hander has developed into a goal-winner in the last few weeks. The 28-year-old was benefiting from the injury of Müller, who is working on an ankle fracture. Jaanima's successor, Simon Birkefeldt, will join from next season. The 26-year-old Dane is currently still in his home with the Danish League club TTH Holstebro under contract.
"Sure, some will ask why we are just letting Denan Jaanimaa go now. The answer to this is relatively simple: of course, such personnel decisions are never short-term. For example, we have been thinking a lot about the type of player we want to change this position with Michael Müller and who best fits into our structure. We are convinced that we have found this player with Simon Birkefeldt," says Axel Geerken.
Coach Michael Roth explains this: "We have been watching Simon Birkefeldt for some time. He is a player who has both his strengths in attack and defense. In addition, he has a high understanding of the game and brings valuable international experience through his assignments in the EHF Cup and in the Champions League. Due to the fact that with Lasse Mikkelsen a countryman from him plays in the back-center position, we also promise a quick integration".
Simon Birkefeldt not only showed his throwing qualities not in the Danish league, but also in the last season in the Champions League where, after the group stage, he was one of the best shooters of his team with 27 goals.
In 2011, Simon Birkefeldt was one of the outstanding players on the Danish team at the U21 World Championship. In the final, however, he and his team had to leave the strong German national team to the front. At that time it was only a dream for the left-hander to play in the German Bundesliga. Seven years later this dream will be fulfilled. From 2018, the almost two meter high player again meet many of his opponents. As a new addition to the MT Melsungen, he will once again deal with Pekeler, Dissinger, Zieker, Hornke and Sellin.
"I am very pleased to come to MT Melsungen this summer. My friends and handball colleagues have always told me positive things about the club. Already after the first discussions with board member Axel Geerken and coach Michael Roth it was clear to me that the MT is the club to which I would absolutely like to change. It has always been my great wish to play in the Bundesliga and to prove myself in this strong competition. I hope that with my energy and passion I can contribute to fulfilling the goals of the club, and that the team and the fans will see my skills on the field in both attack and defense as useful ".
Date of birth: 22.01.1991 / Aarhus
Family status: single, no children
Height / Weight: 197 cm / 105 kg
Position / throw hand: Right back / left
Previous clubs: Stavtrup IF (1999-2008), Odder Håndbold (2008-2011), Århus Håndbold (20111-2013), TTH Holstebro (2013-2018), all Denmark
Sporting success: U20 European Championship (DEN); 37 junior-LS, 4 A-country matches (DEN); Danish Cup winner (Aarhus); Champions League participation 2016/17 with TTH Holstebro