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28.09.2012, 11:30
Bjerringbro-Silkeborg veteran wants improvement
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A heavy responsibility is resting on the shoulders of Kasper Nielsen, the 37-year-old backcourt player and defensive expert at Bjerringbro-Silkeborg.
 

Bjerringbro-Silkeborg veteran wants improvement

A heavy responsibility is resting on the shoulders of Kasper Nielsen, the 37-year-old backcourt player and defensive expert at Bjerringbro-Silkeborg – both for the Danish national team and ahead of the second VELUX EHF Champions League adventure for the Danish runners-up.

On Sunday the team from Central Jutland - who are replacing the bankrupt AG København in Group C - are starting their VELUX EHF Champions League campaign in Poland against KS Vive Targi Kielce, a side which defeated the Danes twice in the Group Phase last year. The remaining four teams are Chambéry from France, Gorenje Velenje from Slovenia, St Petersburg from Russia and Metalurg from FYR Macedonia.

This year Bjerringbro-Silkeborg have received AG København´s seeding in the tournament, but they will be entering the VELUX EHF Champions League with a team which has undergone many changes over the summer.

Players who have left the club include goalkeeper Niklas Landin, left winger Fredrik Petersen, back court players Audraey Tuzolana and Espen Lie Hansen plus line players Miha Žvižej and Robert Arrhenius. But coming in are veteran goalkeeper Dane Sijan, left winger Casper U. Mortensen, playmaker Chris Jørgensen and line players Henrik Toft Hansen and Benjamin Jacobsen.

ehfCL.com talks to Kasper Nielsen about the challenges they face in the VELUX EHF Champions League.

ehfCL.com: Last year your team had the dubious honour of being the first Danish team ever to finish a Champions League group with no points. What can you do improve that result this year?
Kasper Nielsen: Obviously we were taught a serious lesson last year, when we were debutants. We are still relatively new in this competition, and we are in a very difficult group once again, but we are determined to do our best to get some points and hopefully go on from the group – and we definitely want to represent Danish handball in a positive way!

ehfCL.com: Having taken over AG København´s seeding you should have an advantage, when it comes to the opposition in the group, should you not?
Kasper Nielsen: You could say that, but this is still a very tough group. Once again we are playing Kielce, and Chambery who have been reinforced by the Gilles brothers, are in our group, where we also find Metalurg who did extremely well in the VELUX EHF Champions League last year, and have a frightening home ground – but as I said, our object is to proceed from the group.

ehfCL.com: Your team has undergone quite a lot of changes since last year, but it still contains numerous players with a lot of international experience, not least yourself. What are your thoughts about this season's team?
Kasper Nielsen: Well, I think we had just as many – if not more – internationally experienced players last season. However, this year our team consists almost entirely of Danish players, and such a team may work better together than a team consisting of players from all over Europe.

ehfCL.com: We have often seen Danish teams go on from VELUX EHF Champions League groups, but only from fourth position - meaning that they were beaten by a group winner in the Last 16. Can your team do better than that?
Kasper Nielsen: You won't make me say that we go on from this or that position! Our first objective is to get some points and some wins, then to go on from the group – and then to get as good a position as possible in order to hopefully proceed further in the competition.

Further information

Find more information about Bjerringbro-Silkeborg HERE
Join the growing community of handball fans of Facebook!
www.facebook.com/ehf.champions.league


TEXT: Peter Bruun
 
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