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20.03.2008, 15:14
Schefvert: GOG will return
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GOG showed an impressive performance in the CL. Their Swedish coach, Ulf Schefvert, talks about the season.
 

Schefvert: GOG will return

Denmark were impressed by GOG Svendborg TGI. The Danish champions finished second in the Group Phase and went on to play in the Main Round. Here they have collected 7 points from 6 matches and even defeated FC Barcelona at home.

GOG discovered a great talent, Mikkel HansenGOG want more, however, and in spite of the being only fourth in the Danish league at the moment, their head coach, Ulf Schefvert, firmly believes that they will be in the Champions League next season. Eurohandball.com talks to the successful Swede.

Eurohandball.com: Finishing second in the Main Round with 7 points was more expected from your team by most people. Was it also above your expectations?

Ulf Schefveert: No, we were hoping to finish first and play the semi-finals. And I actually think that we were very close to achieving that goal – although Barcelona would probably not have lost their last match at home against Pick Szeged had they not qualified already.

Eurohandball.com: What do you think led to this fine CL performance this season?

Ulf Schefvert: The simple fact that we have a lot of great players with a strong determination and will to win. We have approached all our matches with the aim to win, not just getting away with an acceptable defeat of three or four goals. Many teams might do so when they are the underdogs.

The greatest moments of the season: beating BarcelonaWe wanted to win every time – also away – and I think that our performance has been very consistent. In the two group phases we got 11 out of 12 possible points at home and we made a draw in Pamplona and Celje. We were also close to win in Szeged and we were also leading for great parts of our away game against ‘Barca’. Actually, we only played one poor halftime during the entire competition: the second half in Austria against Bregenz.

Eurohandball.com: The number four in the Danish league did so well in the Champions League, which was a surprise to many. Is it a proof that the Danish league is improving?

Ulf Schefvert: Yes, I think so, but I don’t think it was only our performance to prove it. For instance, FCK Håndbold are in the semi-finals of the EHF Cup and Aarhus GF were close to knock Lemgo out. Kolding got far in the Cup Winners’ Cup too.

Eurohandball.com: What have you learnt form playing in the Champions League?

GOG will only have to worry about qualifying againUlf Schefvert: We learnt to use our physical strength more. It is permitted more in the CL than in the Danish league. We also learnt to work under pressure and to communicate in noisy halls where normal verbal communication is impossible.

Eurohandball.com: You may even fail to qualify for the Danish play-offs. It would mean that you would not play in the CL again. What do you think?

Ulf Schefvert: I believe that we will. Of course it was tough to concentrate on the CL and the Danish league at the same time. That obviously cost us some points on the way. Now we only have the CL, but right now we have several players away in their various national teams. However, that is the same for all top teams, and after Easter we have all players back at training. I’m sure that we will qualify for the play-offs and also for the Champions League!


TEXT: Peter Bruun
 
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