Back to the good feeling
An average of more than 2,500 spectators and peaks with more than 4,000 fans in their Arena are unusually high numbers in German women’s handball. But HC Leipzig is used to rely on those big crowds, especially when they play in the EHF Women’s Champions League.
For the first time in club history, and as the second German club ever, HCL managed to go through to the Main Round last season.
"It was absolutely great to be among the eight best teams of the world. This year we have the hunger, the ambition and the will to reach the next stage again," goalkeeper Katja Schülke said before the start of the new European season.
All players mentioned the great memories they had of the great atmosphere at their last season’s EHF Champions League matches. That is enough as a motivation again do everything possible in order to remain as long as possible in the European top tournament. The fact that HCL in the end lost all of their Main Round matches could not decrease their hunger.
Danish born coach Heine Jensen can count on a well-rehearsed team and only has got to cope with minor changes in the squad.
Currently he has to deal with the pregnancy of Norwegian defence specialist Renate Urne and the injury of another Norwegian player, Mette Ommundsen.
As usual for Leipzig they were looking for newcomers in the north – and they found two in Denmark: Norwegian Rannveig Haugen, who played in Esbjerg and Louise Lyksborg coming from FCK.
Additionally HCL signed the German international pivot Anne Müller and promoted talented German Loraine Hellriegel from their farm team Halle/Neustadt.
As one Müller came another Müller left to Denmark: Left handed national team member Susann Müller signed a contract in Aarhus, due to family reasons.
"It was the decision of her heart, and we didn’t want to put any obstacles in her way," manager Kay-Sven Hähner said about the fact that Müller had a valid contract in Leipzig.
The Swedish duo Lisa Wiren and Sara Holmgren finished their careers.
In Germany Leipzig is the number one and is aiming for another double of league and cup. In the EHF Women’s Champions League they have to play against Hypo Niederösterreich (AUT), Itxako Reyno de Navarra (ESP) and DVSC-Korvex (HUN).
"The Spaniards are the favoured team in our group, but I believe that we have good chances to go on to the Main Round, as each team is capable of taking points from the others. It will be close, but we’re ambitious to reach our aim," coach Heine Jensen said.
Newcomers: Rannveig Haugen (from Esbjerg), Louise Lyksborg (from FC Kopenhagen), Anne Müller (from Bayer Leverkusen), Loraine Hellriegel (from SV Union Halle/Neustadt)
Left the club: Sara Holmgren, Lisa Wiren, Henrike Schuderer (all end of career), Susann Müller (to SK Aarhus)
Coach: Heine Jensen (DEN, since 2008)
Find more information here.
TEXT: Björn Pazen