Early years of Sparkassen-CUP

1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996
1987: First experiences
August 21st 1987 was the date of the first handball tournament of this kind. Four teams were fighting for the new SCHLECKER CUP on one day. Back then, we were proud to host St. Otmar St. Gallen, as a Swiss first league club, besides two teams from the second German league. Although the tournament has not been echoed much by the public, it has been a success sportswise and on a peer’s perspective. Especially the experiences in organising such a tournament and the contacts that have been made encouraged us to take this idea further.
1988: Champion in Ehingen
Due to a significant increase in financial support the second edition of the SCHLECKER CUP was playing in another league. For the first time the national champion of Germany, VfL Gummersbach, and from the Netherlands Sittardia Sittard were participating this time. The other teams were TV Grosswallstadt, Pfullingen, Nuremberg and St. Gallen. Not being able to refuse such a number of great teams, the Laengenfeldhalle has been sold out and none of the spectators has regretted it to be there. Fascinating sport has found its climax at the dramatic final between Gummersbach and Grosswallstadt. After a tie at the regular and over time, the German champion VfL Gummersbach has won the tournament in the penalty shoot out.
1989: Europe's best
Motivated by the success of the second edition of the SCHLECKER CUP, the organising committee has decided to enhance the tournament for both – teams and fans. The new playing modus – preliminary group rounds on Saturday and placement matches and the final on Sunday – made the SCHLECKER CUP a weekend event. Famous names were standing for Handball at its best. VfL Gummersbach was the previous cup winner and as such of course present this year. As the current German cup winner TV Grosswallstadt represented the German handball. The international top teams Bramac Veszprém from Hungary, Granitas Kaunas from the former UdSSR, the Swedish champion Redbergslids IK Goteborg as well as the national team of Switzerland made the tournament an extraordinary one. Surprisingly so, RIK Goteborg won the final with 27:20 against the national team of Switzerland. Until then unknown players like Markus Wislander were starting to change handball of the coming decade.
1990: World class Handball
The SCHLECKER CUP has finally become the world-leading handball tournament for club teams. This year, the current European cup winner and national champion SKA Minsk wanted to defeat the sowjets. This was challenged by the national champion of Germany TV Grosswallstadt, the French champion USAM Nimes as well as the last champion of the former DDR 1. SC Berlin. European cup semi-finalist VfL Gummersbach as well as current cup SCHLECKER CUP winner Redbergslids IK Goteborg completed this exclusive tournament. For the last time the spectators could watch two current German champions and were part of an historic moment. The 1989 cup winner RIK Goteborg had to resign and ended on a disappointing 6th place. However, also the favorite Minsk has not been able to reach more than the third place after having lost its preliminiary match against Nimes. The winner was VfL Gummersbach, which suprisingly won the SCHLECKER CUP for the second time after 1988.
1991: Suspense and top performances
For the second time after 1989 the national team of Switzerland has been at the final, but once again they did not win the cup. Looking at the top teams attending, it was not a big surprise. The EHF cup winner Borac Banja Luka from former Jugoslavia and Bramac Veszprém were opponents to the German top clubs VfL Gummersbach and SG Wallau/Massenheim. Unexpectedly Wallau/Massenheim was in the final after having beaten Krasnodar and Veszprém in the preliminaries. More exciting was the match between Arno Ehret’s Swiss national team and VfL Gummersbach. An extremely thrilling match that made the national team of Switzerland go to the finals for the third time in the history of the cup. Yet, they were once again not able to take the cup home, because Wallau won.
1992: Three current European Cup Winners
The most predicted teams for the final has become the first placement match on Sunday. SG Wallau/Massenheim, current EHF cup winner and Badel 1862 Zagreb, European cup winner of the national champions were defeated by the less regarded ones. Only Bramac Veszprém has lived up to their role as the favorite. The German first league team SG Leutershausen was not impressed by the reputation of his opponent and won the SCHLECKER CUP, being the absolute underdog in a match that could not have been more suspenseful.
1993: Handball celebration of the superlative
About 2,000 spectators attended both days and saw 362 goals in the Laengenfeldhalle and were rewarded by unforgettable matches between the six best handball teams. Over and over again the ‚La Ola’ was going round at the hall. No script could have been more thrilling as any single match on Saturday. The regarded favorite supposedly were Badel 1862 Zagreb, TEKA Santander and Fotex Veszprém. Titleholder SG Leutershausen was once more the underdog, just as TuSEM Essen and the Romanian champion Universitatea Craiova. Up to then the best match of all SCHLECKER CUP matches, was then played by the two finalists Veszprém and Zagreb. With applause, confetti fountains and standing ovations the spectators were changing the sold-out Laengenfeldhalle into a handball temple.
1994: German elite teams leave no questions unanswered
The claim of the tournament in 1994: Comparison of the two most successful German teams of the 93/94 season, the German champion THW Kiel and the vice-champion SG VfL/BHW Hameln with the national champions from Romania, Croatia, Portugal and France. On Saturday Kiel beat Zagreb as well as OM Vitrolles, which has played with its superstars Frederic Volle and Jackson Richardson. Rather surprisingly SG VfL/BHW Hameln was the second team at the final. By beating ABC Braga Hameln has beaten the finalist of the national champion’s cup and after that it has been enough to tie against Steaua Bukarest. On Sunday they were less fortunate, being defeated by THW Kiel.
1995: Tryst of world cup winners
The ninth edition of the SCHLECKER CUP offered international top handball to its guests. With Badel 1862 Zagreb, OM Vitrolles, DUKLA Prag, the national team of Egypt, SG Wallau/Massenheim and titleholder THW Kiel the starts of the world championship in Iceland were present at this tournament. With OM Vitrolles alone, which has lost the final against SG Wallau/Massenheim, seven current world champions came to the Laengenfeldhalle. Just like the year before, Frededric Volle and the elected world handballer Jackson Richardson were part of the French team. The national team of Egypt was not able to live up to the expectations and has not had the tactical discipline to matter much.
1996: Wallau for the third time
For the first time in the SCHLECKER CUP decade, the engagement of the teams has not worked out as planned. The national champion of former Jugoslavia Red Star Belgrad has withdrawn shortly before the event took place. OM Vitrolles also has completely withdrawn its team from all obligations due to financial constraints. Yet, the excellent reputation of the SCHLECKER CUP has been proven by the fact that with Badel 1862 Zagreb one of the best teams of Europe has immediately confirmed to participate with all eight players that have been Olympic gold winners in Atlanta shortly before the SCHLECKER CUP. As a substitute for the French team, the current French cup winner US Ivry with five players that have played in Atlanta signed within few days. On the field once more SG Wallau/Massenheim dominated. They won the title for the third time by defeating the Spanish favorite Cantabria Santander after over time with 34:33. THW Kiel won the placement match against US Ivry and was placed on three with 32:26. The signs of the strenouus Olympic games were evident but still Badel 1862 Zagreb won the fifth place by beatind Fotex Veszprém with a 27:25 score.
The second decade: Most renown handball preparation tournament in Europe
2006 THW Kiel already on their way to the triple