After the successful premiere on the lawn in the summer, the Harting Azubi Cup on January 20th, 2023 was the long-awaited return to the indoor floor. In the very well-attended Espelkamp round gymnasium, trainees from 12 regional companies took part in the sporting competition - including, of course, our trainees.
The team of our Kesseböhmer apprentices, which spans all occupations and apprenticeship years, started in a group with IMA Schelling, Wortmann AG and Sparkasse Minden-Lübbecke. David Kurowski, Lars Streib, Tim Obenhaus, Gianna Di Meo, Thejs Krieger, Christopher Gahl, Max Huge and Mathis Kraus competed for the Kesseböhmer talent factory. As in the previous year, Lukas Klußmann and Nils Sieksmeyer were in charge of the team.
After an excellent start of the tournament, in which the two finalists of the summer tournament, Gauselmann and Kolbus, faced each other, our team opened Group C with the match against IMA Schelling. Without much start-up time, the Kesseböhmer team convinced from the beginning with a combination game worth seeing. After initially missing a number of good chances, the knot finally burst in the final phase, so that in the end a deserved 3:0 victory, in which Max Huge (2) and Christopher Gahl contributed the goals, stood.
Inspired by the good start, the team was highly motivated for the second match against the young bankers from the Sparkasse. Our team was able to build directly on the strong opening performance and drove through goals from Lars Streib (2) and Thejs Krieger (2) a sovereign and at all times unchallenged 4:0 victory.
In the last group match, the trainees of Wortmann AG, who also had no goals against them and were undefeated so far, had an outstanding goal difference of 13:0 from their previous two matches. A win was needed to secure first place in the group, but this was not to be. Although our trainees, in the person of Thejs Krieger, managed to concede their first goal to the Wortmanns, they ultimately had to concede defeat to their strong opponents.
Nevertheless, as a group runner-up, they deservedly made it to the quarterfinals, where the runners-up of group A, the trainees of ABB from Minden, were waiting. The newcomer to the Azubi Cup had quite surprisingly beaten the Kolbus trainees in a strong group in the last match and thus secured its quarter-final ticket. The two teams played an intense, tactical game without any major scoring opportunities. Almost consequently, the not entirely undeserved opening goal for ABB resulted from a concealed shot from the second row. Leading the almsot immediate counterattack was Max Huge centrally, creating the great equalizing opportunity for Kesseböhmer, which, however, was defused by the rushing out ABB keeper. Subsequently, our team tried everything again, but could not create a clear opportunity, so that the semi-final was missed by a narrow margin.
After the two teams from Gauselmann and IMA Schelling prevailed in the subsequent semifinals, the final match traditionally took place the next day at the Freeway Cup in Lübbecke. Here, as in the summer edition, the trainees from Gauselmann came out on top - we congratulate them on successfully defending their title!
Finally, we would like to thank the organizing company Harting, which as always provided excellent conditions for the tournament, as well as our trainees for their great commitment - we are proud of your outstanding performance!