Khaleej Coach: Dimitris Dimitroulias
With a two-point advantage over rivals Al-Noor, Khaleej Club secured an exceptional performance last season in the Prince Faisal bin Fahad Saudi Handball League, being crowned champions and subsequently earning a ticket to the 2023 IHF Men’s Super Globe, the second consecutive edition where the club from Dammam will be playing in front of their own fans, who created an outstanding atmosphere in the last edition.
Khaleej finished on the sixth place in the 2022 IHF Men’s Super Globe, as they had some exquisite performances, including the first-ever win by a Saudi club against an European side in the competition, 35:32, against SL Benfica, as well as a superb outing against champions SC Magdeburg, where they lost by only six goals, 29:35.
However, the main core of the squad from last year’s edition, the three Egyptians loaned from Zamalek SC, backs Hassan Kaddah and Ahmed Elahmar and goalkeeper Karim Hendawy are gone, with Kaddah’s output being outstanding, as Kaddah scored 45 goals in the competition, including three games in double digits, with 16 goals against Esperance de Tunis in the Placement Match 5/6.
But Khaleej did move on the transfer market this summer and registered some incredible coups. Hussain Alsayyad, the Bahraini national captain, is back in the squad after a stint with Al-Najma, but the biggest move, one which created shockwaves throughout world handball, was the signing of centre back Petar Nenadic.
The Serbian stalwart featured for Barcelona, Pick Szeged, Füchse Berlin, Telekom Veszprém and PSG in his career and still has something left in the tank at 37 years old, after scoring 539 goals in the Machineseeker EHF Champions League.
Another excellent move was the signing of Egyptian line player Mohamed Mamdouh Shebib, the first ever Egyptian to win the European premium competition with Montpellier in 2018, who has also been plying his trade in Europe for Romanian club Dinamo before signing for Khaleej.
The Saudi champions will feature in Group C, where they are facing SC Magdeburg once again, but will be heavily favoured against the University of Queensland, as they are aiming to secure another placement between the top 6 sides in the competition, with a stronger and more experienced squad.
Key players: Petar Nenadic (centre back), Mohamed Mamdouh Shebib (line player), Hussain Alsayyad (centre back)
Qualification for 2023 IHF Men’s Super Globe: Hosts
History in tournament: 2022: 6th
Group at 2023 IHF Men’s Super Globe: Group C (SC Magdeburg, Khaleej Club, University of Queensland)