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12.02.2013, 09:17
The rising handball stars of 2013, part 3: Casper Ulrich Mortensen
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"Playing a European championship at home would be the greatest," says the Danish talent
 

The rising handball stars of 2013, part 3: Casper Ulrich Mortensen*

Casper Ulrich Mortensen makes no secret of his highest hope in handball. Playing for Denmark at  EHF EURO 2014 in Denmark is the ultimate dream for the 23-year-old left wing from Bjerringbro-Silkeborg.

In spite of his young age he has been around a fair bit in his career so far.

"I started in the Copenhagen club FIF at the age of 6. When I was 16 I was promoted into FCK Håndbold's senior league team, even though I was still a youngster, but in order to get more time on the court I went on to Ajax København," he explains.

Soon, however, ambitions drove him away from the capital and to Fredericia which were in the league back then.

"That was a rather turbulent time," he remembers.

"Not only did I move away from home at a pretty young age. My time in Fredericia ended in relegation and then with the club going bankrupt.

"It was a really strange feeling, as we actually finished ninth in the ground series, and we even defeated Kolding in the last match. In the play-offs, though, we ended by being relegated, and then came the bankruptcy.

"I then came to Viborg, where I played a year. That was fine, and now I am in Bjerringbro-Silkeborg which is just great,” Mortensen tells eurohandball.com.

When asked about his greatest achievements so far, he names several.

"The World Championship in Spain last month was probably the biggest, but the youth world championships (in 2007) I have also been part of and won stand out for me, and of course it is really big to be playing in the Champions League for the first time," he says.

However, Mortensen realises that on the left wing in the national team he is still only national coach Ulrik Wilbek's second choice on the left wing behind Anders Eggert.

He also realises that even though Eggert is seven years older than him, it requires a good deal of patience to put up with that role.

"However, I feel a lot of confidence from Ulrik, and that means a lot to me. I also feel that I can still learn a lot from Anders Eggert, and we work together well.

"There are never any hard feelings from the one of us who sits on the bench, while the other one is playing," Mortensen said.

"I feel I am learning all the time," says Mortensen

When it comes to his strengths and weaknesses, he does not hesitate to talk about the first, while he is more reluctant, when it comes to the latter.

"My probably strongest side is the fast break phase, where I can benefit from my speed.

"One should never reveal one´s weaknesses, but of course do I still have a lot to learn, and I feel that I learn all the time," he says.

"For instance, I learned a lot from shooting on all those world class goalkeepers at the World Championship, and I also learn from shooting on the top keepers I meet in the Champions League,” adds Mortensen who dreams of representing his country at EHF EURO 2014 in Denmark in a year's time.

"That is the ultimate dream for me right now. Of course, it is still a long time to go, but if I should be so lucky as to be nominated for the Danish team for the European Championship in Denmark, it would simply be the greatest thing that could happen to me."


*This is the third part of a new series powered by eurohandball.com. In the weeks to come we will throw the spotlight on the many young handball talents all around Europe that are likely to make an impact on the international stage in the months and years to come.

Photos: Courtesy of Uros Hocevar and Stephane Pillaud


TEXT: Peter Bruun / ts
 
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