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19.11.2012, 17:24
Casper U. Mortensen: Simply a cool time right now
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Bjerringbo-Silkeborg's talented left winger speaks about his meteoric rise in the last two years
 

Casper U. Mortensen: Simply a cool time right now

Things have moved quickly for 22 year-old Casper Ulrich Mortensen over the past couple of years.

From being relegated from the Danish league with Fredericia in the spring 2011 to playing in the VELUX EHF Champions League for Bjerringbro-Silkeborg this autumn, when he also had his debut in the Danish national team.

Here, the speedy left winger is seen as the successor to legendary Lars Christiansen.

With 7 goals on Sunday in Chekhov, Russia, Mortensen reached a total of 22 in the Champions League this season and made his contribution to the

Danes’ surprisingly large 35:23 win over against St. Petersburg, Bjerringbo-Silkeborg´s first away win ever in the Champions League, and as the icing on the cake, was named in the Best 7 for last weekend's Round 5.

ehfCL.com had a talk with the rising Danish star.

ehfCL.com: How do you explain the fact that your team was able to win so well in Russia?

Casper U. Mortensen: We simply continued our fine defensive play from our win against Kolding (28-18 on November 14. ed.) and we made use of the fast break opportunities we got, and St. Petersburg definitely did not like that.

We stayed focused all the way through and never slowed down. Of course, the win against Kolding also gave us a lot of self-confidence which came in useful to us against St. Petersburg.

ehfCL.com: Last Wednesday you won by ten against Kolding whom most people saw as favorites to win the Danish championship, and Sunday you won by 12 away against St. Petersburg. What has happened to this Bjerringbro-Silkeborg team who have been characterized as pretty unstable before?

Casper U. Mortensen: I think that our win against Kolding showed us what we can really do, and I think that it gave us that self-confidence which means that now play as well as we really can, and that feeling is just cool.

ehfCL.com: Now you and your team-mates are in a situation you have never experienced before the Champions League: You are huge favorites when St. Petersburg comes to Silkeborg on Sunday. How are you going to cope with that role?

Casper U. Mortensen: It is obvious that we will have to accept the role as favorites in that match, and I am sure we can handle that. We will simply have to give all we got in that match, as it is extremely crucial for us in our efforts to profress from the group phase.

ehfCL.com: Do you believe you can qualify for the knock-out rounds now?

Casper U. Mortensen: Our win against St. Petersburg has increased our confidence that we can do it, of course. However, even if it may sound like a standard reply, we still take one match at a time.

ehfCL.com: For you personally, things have gone fast lately. Less than two years ago you were relegated with Fredericia. Last season you played in Viborg in the middle of the Danish league, and now play for a top team. What has that change been like for you?

Casper U. Mortensen: First of all I enjoy playing with some better players now, and in Bjerringbro-Silkeborg the players are particularly good at defending, and that gives us a lot of fast breaks which I can benefit from, as that is one of my greatest weapons. I also think I have become more mature over those two years, even though I am still only 22, and that has been good for my game too.

ehfCL.com: Joining Bjerringbro-Silkeborg has also meant the debut in the VELUX EHF Champions League for you. What does playing in the Champions League mean to you?

Casper U. Mortensen: It has matured me as a player to be tested against the best players in the world and to be facing the best goalkeepers in the world. There is no doubt that this is developing me a lot as a player, and it is simply a cool time right now.


TEXT: Peter Bruun / cor
 
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