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30.11.2007, 15:25
Viborg want to return to CL
«Go back »Print Version


Søren Hildebrand talks to Eurohandball.com about the first CL season of the Vibrog's men. The coach says that it was a great experience for the team.

» »2007-08 Men's CL
»Group Matches
»Viborg HK A/S
»
 

Viborg want to return to CL

Though Viborg HK finished last in Group E and suffered some big defeats, the Danish debutants of the Men’s Champions League want more.

Matches against the top squads were a great experience for ViborgViborg were awarded a wild card for the Champions League qualification matches after finishing second in the Danish championship finals against GOG Svendborg TGI. The Danes clinched and easy aggregate win over Besiktas Istanbul, but in a group with HSV Hamburg, Chehovskie Medvedi and ZTR Zaposozhye, the competition was too tough for them. At the end they finished last in their group with 2 points from 6 matches.

Viborg also had many injury problems during their first Champions League campaign, but their head coach, Søren Hildebrand – he also had his first Champions League season – also admitted that they did not have enough time to prepare for this great challenge. Eurohandball.com talks to Hildebrand now that the CL adventure is over for his team.

Eurohandball.com: What did your team learn from playing in the Champions League?

Søren Hildebrand: I think we learnt a lot that can also be useful in the Danish league where we need to stabilise our position and get away from the bottom of the league table. But I’m a bit annoyed that the injuries caused so much trouble for us. We had 10 new players this season and we may not have enough players for this tough schedule.

Eurohandball.com: You had to rely on young, inexperienced players in the group phase. Do you feel that they developed?

Søren Hildebrand: I noticed that several of them have made a huge improvement. For instance, Jesper Meinby, who started as a substitute on the right wing, improved a lot on the wing and even in the right back position.

Eurohandball.com: Do you think your team could have achieved more in the group with all the players healthy?

Søren Hildebrand: We wanted to be the jolly jokers of the group. We knew in advance that HSV and Medvedi were huge favourites to qualify, but we were hoping in the Cup Winners’ Cup position. And we also wanted to cause difficulties for the top teams. The many injuries prevented this, however, and we also suffered from a lack of time to prepare. We did not know until June that we were going to play the Champions League this season.

Eurohandball.com: Viborg has been playing in the Women’s CL many times and they also won. This was the first time for the men’s team and also for you personally. Did this season give appetite for more?

Søren Hildebrand: It has, definitely. We hope to return in the future.

Eurohandball.com: Is it realistic?

Søren Hildebrand: I think it will be, within a few years. We tried this year with 10 new players and maybe with a too small squad. In the future we will try to build a team step by step with a few further reinforcements. Then we will have to see if we can make it back into the Champions League or maybe to another European Cup.


TEXT: Peter Bruun
 
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