New players, new strength
She started her successful career in Leipzig where she was born. Since 2004 Grit Jurack plays for Viborg HK – and last Saturday her current and her former club met in the Champions League. Jurack (32) was the “one to blame” for this match as she drew the lots at the EHF draw event in June on the right of the last season’s top scorer.
However, the German record national team player and top scorer (1532 goals in 287 international matches) was not on the field for VHK as she’s pregnant. But the left handed player from Germany attended the one sided game that was won by Viborg 33:23. In an interview with Eurohandball.com Jurack talks about Viborg, Leipzig, the Champions League and the financial crisis.
Eurohandball.com: 10 goals difference are a lot. What were the key factors of this clear victory of your current club against your former team?
Jurack: We played very well, building upon a strong defence. As our offence improved from the start of the season, we played on a higher speed and led many counter attacks. We didn’t need individual class, the team works well now.
Eurohandball.com: Did you support your former team a bit at least?
Jurack: No, never. I play for Viborg, and I’m 100 percent there for Viborg. I support Leipzig at all the other matches they play but not against my team.
Eurohandball.com: Will HCL be able to reach the main round?
Jurack: I hope so. The need an away victory either in Byasen or in Koprivnica and I think Leipzig is better than those teams. They have to show what they’re able to do.
Eurohandball.com: Has their been any player on HCL side you played together in Leipzig before?
Jurack: Only Anne Ulbricht, but she was very young, when I transferred to Viborg. But I have quite good contacts to Leipzig. When I visit my hometown, I meet a lot of former players.
Eurohandball.com: Back to your current club. Viborg started weak in the Danish league, but now won both starting matches in Champions League. What has changed in the Viborg team?
Jurack: In the very beginning of the season we only had to back court players. Now alot of things have changed. Bojana Popovic returned after her long term injury, and our new players Johanna Ahlm and Gorica Acimovic cope much more better with the rest of the team. It takes time to replace important players, and we have to be patient – but our team is fitting better day by day. We’re on the right track now.
Eurohandball.com: You’re the only German player, who has won the Champions League twice - in 206 and 2009 with Viborg. Is your team again the favourite for this title in the current season?
Jurack: We’re getting better, but this no significance for winning the CL title again. Last season we were lucky in all that had happened. We didn’t have to travel very far, we were lucky in the semifinals, we didn’t have too many injured players. We’ll have to wait and see, if we’re lucky again. But I’m always optimistic. But there are other different factors like the influence of the financial crisis on the clubs.
Eurohandball.com: Even in Denmark this crisis influences the clubs. Do you see these problems in your daily life?
Jurack: Of course, as I’m not only a player but also work for the marketing department of Viborg HK. Every day we’re trying to find new strategies to attract sponsors and spectators. It’s hard time and the clubs are at the end of the line when companies cut their budgets and spectators get unemployed. For the players this crisis isn’t too obvious, mostly they see less spectators on the tribune. But I hope that better times will come again very soon.
TEXT: Björn Pazen