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25.01.2013, 10:47
Contrasting dress rehearsals for Larvik and Randers
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The last tests before the Scandinavian encounter in the Women's EHF Champions League Main Round turned out differently for Larvik and Randers.
 

Contrasting dress rehearsals for Larvik and Randers

A song contest in the Larvik Arena next week has forced Larvik HK and Randers HK to move their Women's EHF Champions League Main Round Group 1 encounter forward to this Saturday, 26 January.

However, starting the Main Round a week sooner than the other six teams does not bother Larvik head coach Ole Gustav Gjekstad one bit.

“It will be good to get these Champions League matches started again. We have been playing against Norwegian teams for so long, that it will be good for us to play against some international opponents again,” Ole Gjekstad told ehfCL.com.

And he feels confident before taking on the Danish champions, who are currently fourth in the Danish league.

“Of course Champions League matches are always somewhat different to matches in our domestic league, but we have trained and played very well in January, and even though some of our players are bothered by injuries, we still have a fit and strong squad, and what I have seen so far this month can only make me confident. We are well prepared,” he added.

The two teams had very different results in their domestic league games in the last week. On Wednesday, Larvik drove home from Drammen with a 33:24 win against Glasverket, which means that Larvik are still leading the Norwegian league with a maximum 26 points after 13 games.

Randers, on the other hand, dropped from third place in the Danish league, as EHF Cup participants Team Tvis Holstebro defeated them 32:29 at home on Tuesday.

The last week has not been entirely bad for Randers, though. On Saturday, the team was awarded Sports Name of the Year in the city of Randers, due to winning their first Danish championship, and having qualified for the Main Round of the Women’s EHF Champions League, also for the first time in the club’s history.

Head coach Jan Leslie is looking forward representing the city and Danish handball in general in the Main Round.

“It is just great that Denmark has got a team among the eight best in Europe again, and we are going to do our utmost to defend the Danish colours in the best possible way in the Main Round,” Jan Leslie told ehfCL.com.

“We are really looking forward to getting started, and we really have nothing to lose. We are absolutely not under any pressure of being favourites, not in this game, or in any of the other games.

“We are opening against the team who won the Champions League the year before last, and the other teams are last year´s winners Budućnost and a Györ team who may expect to win the Champions League this year, so we can really play freely,” Leslie added.

In a recent interview with ehfCL.com, line player Ulrika Ågren expressed the hope that the two playmakers Macarean Aguilar and Berit Kristensen would be fit from their injuries for the match against Larvik, but the Swedish international´s wish may not come true.

“There is still doubt about Macarena and Berit, and we are not going to take any chances with any of them. If they are not fit for the Larvik game, they may be fit for the next game, or for the next one after that,” Jan Leslie concluded.

Larvik HK vs Randers HK and every other Women’s EHF Champions League Main Round game will be streamed live on ehfTV.com, on Saturday 26 January at 17:15 CET.


TEXT: Peter Bruun / cor
 
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