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16.03.2010, 12:12
"Always cool to be where the fun is!"
«Go back »Print Version


Viborg’s surprise pivot Karen Smidt is happy with the new role.
 

"It’s always cool to be where the fun is!"

A large responsibility has been put upon the shoulders of Karen Smidt lately. A month ago, the 30 year old pivot was playing in Viborg HK’s reserve team in the third best Danish league, and was not really dreaming of anything higher.

However, when Viborg’s league team lost both its pivots within a short time, as Anja Althaus was injured and Lene Lund Høy Karlsen got pregnant, Smidt was persuaded to step in.

So was former Dutch international Olga Assink, but due to extremely weak knees, Assink cannot train with the rest of the team at all and can only play very little in the matches.

When Viborg secured the access to the semi-finals of the EHF Champions League on Saturday with a 35-28 home victory against HC Dinamo Volgograd, Assink was not on the court at all. So Smidt had to play almost all 60 minutes, apart from a couple of short breaks, where backcourt player Rikke Skov replaced her on the line.

And Karen Smidt seems to be starting to get used to the higher level – against Dinamo did she score a goal and got a seven meter shot.
eurohandball.com has talked to Viborg’s new temp on the circle.

eurohandball.com: A month ago you were playing in the third Danish league, and now you are going to play a semi-final in the Champions League. How does that feel?

Karen Smidt: I feel great! It is always cool to be where the fun is. Of course the feeling is a bit special, as I only expected to play in the third league and to have a good time down there. But being in the right place at the right time has turned out to be an advantage for me, as I am now really part of the action.

eurohandball.com: You have been put in the middle of all this quite of a sudden, due to the immediate lack of pivots in the club. What has this been like for you?

Karen Smidt: Of course it is a peculiar situation, but I have played in Viborg for many years. I like the club very much, so I see it as a fine opportunity to help the club. Of course, it has taken a certain effort to get used to the pace and the timing in the team, but I feel those things are beginning to work now. And I feel much more integrated in the team than I felt three matches ago.

eurohandball.com: You are now playing with team-mates of quite different level compared to what you did until a month ago. Have you got used to that?

Karen Smidt: Well, Viborg’s reserve team consists mainly of former league players, meaning girls who can play handball, of course. However, it is obvious that it is different to be playing together with players such as Rikke Skov and Bojana Popovic as they are stronger and shoot harder, and they generally master some more details in the game, than the players I am used to playing with. This is making me better, too.

eurohandball.com: The defenders you meet in the Champions League and the Danish league probably tackle a bit harder than those in the third league in Denmark. What has that change been like for you?

Karen Smidt: That it the life of a pivot – that you get to fight with the defenders at the circle. I would not be a pivot, if I did not like the fights in there. I just find it cool.

eurohandball.com: You seem to be going to play in the first team for the rest of the season. How far do you think the team can go this year?

Karen Smidt: I really hope we can go all the way. So far it is unknown which team we are going to meet in the semi-finals. If it is going to be Györ, they will be without Anita Görbitz, so I think we would have a good chance of defeating them. If Larvik become our opponents – well, we will just have to beat them as well. I definitely think that we have the potential to go all the way. Of course we have a lot of pregnant and injured players, but I think that the rest of us have proved that we can stand together, also in times of trouble.

eurohandball.com: What about your own future, have you got the taste for top handball on a more permanent basis?

Karen Smidt: I will not deny that I might be tempted, if I got the right offer, but I have to admit that I have reached an age, at that other things are important in my life, too, like family and such things. That is probably natural, when you have turned 30.


TEXT: Peter Bruun
 
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