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27.03.2007, 09:43
Aalborg Left the Disappointment Behind
«Go back »Print Version


Jan Leslie had some time to think Aalborg's surprise CL exit over. The Danish coach speaks in an optimistic tone again.

» »2006-07 Women's CL
»1/4 Final
»Aalborg DH
»
 

Aalborg Left the Disappointment Behind 

The disappointment was enormous among players, coaches and officials of Aalborg DH after the 31-19 away defeat to Hypo Niederösterreich. The result meant that Aalborg is out of the Women’s Champions League in spite of a 34-24 first leg victory. They had time to digest the defeat and Eurohandball.com talked to coach Jan Leslie.

Eurohandball.com: Did you leave the disappointment behind?

Jan Leslie: We all feel somewhat better now, but we are still very disappointed for being out of the Champions League this way. However, I’m sure that we will be able to rise psychologically and be ready for the play-offs of the Danish championship that starts the coming weekend. Anyway, that is all we have to concentrate on now.

Eurohandball.com: How do you see your Champions League participation this season after all?

Jan Leslie: I think we can be satisfied with what we have done. In the autumn we started by knocking Astroc Sagunto – one of last year’s Champions League semi-finalists – out of the qualifiers. Then in spite of our seeding in pot three for the group stage, we managed to qualify for the quarterfinals from a very tough group. We had strong opponents such as Krim Ljubljana, Dinamo Volgograd and Cem. La Union Rarroja. Of course, it would have been fantastic to get to the semi-finals too, but we also have to remember that we had injuries in the quarterfinals.

Eurohandball.com: So you think you reached the best possible results with your squad?

Jan Leslie: Yes, I think everyone has done her best, and I hope that Aalborg will qualify for next year’s Champions League as well. A third place in the Danish championship play-offs should be enough if Slagelse win the Champions League this year. In fact, I’m quite convinced that they will.

Eurohandball.com: Did the drama around the quarterfinals against Hypo in any way influence your relations to Hypo coach Ryan Zinglersen? You are going to work with him next season in Skjern.

Jan Leslie: No, it has not. Of course Ryan was not happy after the first match, and I was definitely not happy after the second match, but I spoke to him on the phone afterwards and we both agreed that the drama was caused by external factors.

Eurohandball.com: You said goodbye to Champions League for at least some time as your future men’s team, Skjern, will not be there next season. How do you feel about that?

Jan Leslie: Any coach probably wishes to work on the highest possible level, and of course the Champions League is something special. However, I am also looking very much forward to my future work in Skjern.

Eurohandball.com: Your successor in Aalborg will be Leif Gautestad from Norway. There are going to be several changes in the squad as well. Do you expect Aalborg DH to stay on top of European handball in the years to come?

Jan Leslie: I think that Aalborg need more players and I hope that the management will work on extending the squad already from next season. If that happens, I am convinced that Aalborg can stay in the European top. I also think that Danish women’s handball needs a team that attracts up to 5,000 spectators to every home game – not only in the Champions League, but also in the domestic league.


TEXT: Peter Bruun
 
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