Pytlick completes superb journey to inaugural MVP title

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EHF / Adrian Costeiu

In July 2022, Simon Pytlick was still a rising star in Danish handball, delivering an excellent season in the EHF European League Men for GOG, with 91 goals scored, and was part of the Denmark men’s senior national development team, the last step before the senior team.

Since then, Pytlick has become one of the superstars of world handball, delivering some otherworldly performances in the last months, both at club level and for the national team, becoming one of the most recognised stars of the sport, which also helped him seal a move to German powerhouse SG Flensburg-Handewitt this summer.

Now, his talent has been recognised at the inaugural EHF Excellence Awards Gala, where Pytlick was named the first-ever MVP of the season, after some superb performances took him to the top of handball in just a few months.

“I did not expect it, so it is pretty amazing to stay up here in front of these amazing people, I was looking so much up to them when I was just a kid, it is just amazing to be here,” said Pytlick.

The 22-year-old left back was one of the key players for Danish champions GOG in the Machineseeker EHF Champions League, where they made the quarter-finals, scoring 92 goals in the process. He was also the second-best assist provider in the European top competition this season, with 65 of his passes being converted into goals.

And Pytlick, whose father, Jan, was the former Denmark women’s national team coach, did not stop there; for the Denmark men’s national team, the left back was worth his weight in gold at his debut in a major international tournament, being slotted in the starting position in crucial matches.

“I think my dad is very proud, sitting in Denmark, looking forward to see me home. I have not been in Denmark for some time, we did not see each other, but now I can hardly wait to be there,” added Pytlick.

“When I was a kid, my dad asked me if I want to be a player, because they did not want to push me. They never pushed me to go into this, I just chose it, because it looked like the perfect sport for me.”

With strong displays at the 2023 IHF Men’s World Championship, the left back made the All-Star team of the competition and was an integral part of Nikolaj Jacobsen’s team which secured a third world title in a row in Poland and Sweden in January 2023.

Pytlick was also excellent in the Danish league, helping GOG seal another title before his departure to pastures new, at Flensburg, with his antics on the court this season helping him seal another individual award now, at the EHF Excellence Awards Gala in Vienna.

After his nomination on the shortlist for the best left back of the season, Pytlick was immensely popular in all the four voting categories – fellow players, coaches, fans and journalists – with the votes cast helping the left back seal the award for his position on the court.

However, Pytlick’s excellent season rubbed off on everybody, as the 22-year-old left back sealed the first-ever MVP prize at the EHF Excellence Awards, a testament to his impressive performances throughout the last season and his development as a player.

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