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19.09.2012, 19:40
Buxtehude hit hard by injuries
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Coach Leun still hopes for a breakthrough to the Group Matches of the Women´s EHF Champions League
 

Buxtehude hit hard by injuries

German runners-up have to replace two of their stars, but coach Dirk Leun does not give up his hopes before the Qualification Tournament 2 of the Women´s EHF Champions League.

Maybe Norway is a good omen for Buxtehuder SV next weekend. 18 years ago the current German runners-up won their first international title, the trophy in the former City Cup, on Norwegian territory against Oslo. This weekend the team of coach Dirk Leun again compete in Norway again, and hope to book their ticket for the Group Matches of the Women’s EHF Champions League in Trondheim.

On Saturday Buxtehude face Dutch champions Dalfsen in the semi-final, on Sunday they hope to be part of the final against the winner of the encounter between host Byasen and WHC Metalurg Skopje.

But the Germans, who missed the national title for the second straight time by being down by only one goal in the final, are hit hard by injuries. Isabell Klein, team captain of BSV and the German national team, has just returned to the team training after a rupture of the crucial ligament in the EHF EURO qualifier in Hungary in March, and Dutch international Diane Lamein is out for approximately three months with another severe knee injury.

But despite this situation Dirk Leun, who led the German women’s junior team to gold at the 2008 world championship, is confident that Buxtehude is able to 'survive' the qualification tournament like in 2011.

ehfCL.com: Are Buxtehude the favourite in their semi-final against Dalfsen?
Dirk Leun: We will take this role, but we are aware and should not underestimate our opponent. From the technical point of view, Dalfsen are a good team, and my players know that they only have to focus on them and not on a potential opponent in the final. We have prepared intensively on Dalfsen and we know that the Dutch team have nothing to lose in Trondheim.

ehfCL.com: Even as your players are currently not allowed to think about the final – what opponent will be the winner of the second semi-final?

Dirk Leun: Byasen Trondheim are the favourite in my opinion, not only because of the home court advantage. Even in case we reach the final, we cannot prepare on our opponent before, we just have to take the information what we see on the court on Saturday and draw our conclusions.

ehfCL.com: What would another qualification for the Group Matches mean for your team and your club?

Dirk Leun: A lot! By reaching this stage of the Champions League we would be able to develop extremely. Even as we did not win any point in the Group Matches in the past season as we had an extremely tough group, we learnt so much. And in case we book the ticket to the Group Matches again I believe that we will take some points this season, as this group is not that tough despite playing against Vâlcea. By qualifying we could continue in our development and we would again belong to the establishment of the European top handball. We all know that it is a big burden to carry playing national league and Champions League parallel, but we would like to take this burden.

ehfCL.com: What are your general objectives for the upcoming season after missing the first ever German championship by one goal each in 2011 and 2012?

Dirk Leun: Everybody only focus on those one-goal-margins, nobody praises the team for coming so far. In those four years since I am coach at Buxtehude the team made their way step by step. This season we did not change our squad that much and maybe another experience in the Champions League could help us to qualify directly for the next season as German champions. What we achieved until now was a top performance, and so we hope for two more top performances in Trondheim.


TEXT: Björn Pazen
 
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