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02.03.2007, 14:30
Ryde Ready to Build New Team in Viborg
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The Swedish coach signed for three more years and he is ready to cause more joy for the home fans. He talks about his plans for next season as well.

» »2006-07 Women's CL
»1/4 Final
»Viborg HK A/S
»
 

Ryde Ready to Build New Team in Viborg 

Recently, Swedish coach Tomas Ryde extended his contract with Champions League title holder Viborg HK for another three years. The new agreement is valid until the summer of 2010.

It also means that Ryde will be responsible for integrating new players such as Bojana Popovic, Katrine and Kristine Lunde as well as Anja Althaus in the team; while players such as Isabel Ortuño, Heidi Astrup, Chao Zhai, Kristina Bille and goalkeeper Valerie Nicolas will leave the club. Tomas Ryde’s first challenge, however, will be the upcoming Champions League quarterfinal against Russian champion Lada Togliatti. Eurohandball.com talked with the successful Swede.

Eurohandball.com: How do you see your team’s performance in the Champions League group stage?

Tomas Ryde: Well, I think we did okay at the end after a disappointing start. We lost by one goal away against Podravka, which we should not have done and we suffered a 12-goal away defeat to Larvik, but I think we improved at the end.

Eurohandball.com: Does this also mean that we are going to see improving results from your team in the future?

Tomas Ryde: That is difficult to say as we and the other Danish teams involved in the Champions League are handicapped by our difficult schedule. We have to play tough domestic league games during the week and the matches in the group stage in the weekend. That is definitely a disadvantage for us respect to teams such as Krim Ljubljana and Hypo Niederösterreich that never meet any resistance in their national leagues. They can concentrate entirely on the Champions League.

However, now we have time to prepare for the quarterfinals – and hopefully for the semi-finals as well – and I think you will see that all three Danish teams are improving.

Eurohandball.com: You have just extended your own contract with Viborg for three more years. Why?

Tomas Ryde: When I signed my first contract with Viborg, we agreed that this was going to be a long-term project, which should end by winning the Champions League in 2010. As everybody knows, we won it already last year, but I still find Viborg so interesting to remain a part of it.

Eurohandball.com: This will also mean that you will have to build a partly new team next year. How do you see that task?

Tomas Ryde: I see it as a very exciting one. We decided to have a somewhat smaller squad next season, but to involve some of our young talents and some of the players in our reserve team in the training in order to mature them for the league team sooner. That is going to be an interesting process, I think.

Eurohandball.com: Many people said already that with the many stars who join Viborg next season, the team will be absolutely dominant in Denmark and in Europe as well. Do you agree with that?

Tomas Ryde: No, I do not think that this will be the case. I see several other Danish clubs strengthening their squads for the next season. Ikast, for example, will be a terrifying opponent next season, with Valerie Nicolas in goal, among others. FCK Håndbold are reinforcing their team with German and Swedish national players, and Slagelse also seem to become a really strong team again next season, so I definitely do not expect us to dominate alone.


TEXT: Peter Bruun
 
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