Thursday, May 31, 2007

Alfred Balen: The legend of "Spandau 04"

Alfred Balen was born in Crikvenica at the Adriatic coast on 1930. He started Water Polo at the age of 15 in the club of his hometown “C.P.K Crikvenica”. From 1950 to 1955 he played for the club of "P.K."Medvescak". On 1960 he started his coaching carrier as coach of "P.K."Medvescak". On 1965 he moved to Mexico and on 1968 he led the Mexican National team to the 1968 Olympic Games.
Following his experience in Mexico he came back to Europe becoming the coach of “Wasserfreunden Spandau 04”, of Berlin. Alfred Balen, doted with a charismatic personality and deep knowledge for the Sport, managed to build the hegemony of Spandau within the German and European Water Polo. He won all the German Championships and Cups from 1979 until 1986 and also the 1983 and 1986 European Cup for National Champions. Among his players have been the well known Champions of the 80’s Rohle, Loebb, Bukowski, Hohenstein, Fernandez, Ehrl, Kison, Stamm, Freund, Grundt, Schneider. He passed away unexpectedly in Zurich on December 1986, during the European Super Cup final between his team and Mornar, Split.
Source: various

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