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24.10.2013, 10:00
Lasse Andersson: “I really do not care who I play against”
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INTERVIEW: Kolding Kobenhavn's 19-year-old rising star talks to ehfCL.com about his recent success and his ambitions.
 

Lasse Andersson: “I really do not care who I play against”

Most handball fans who hear about Andersson from KIF Kolding Kobenhavn would probably think Kim Andersson. However, while the Swedish star is still recovering from a shoulder injury, another Andersson has taken over by the Danish team. As the injury list in the club has been growing, the 19-year-old left Danish back Lasse Andersson has got the chance in the attack and has taken it.

Andersson, who was awarded Talent of the Year last season, joined Kolding Kobenhavn from league colleagues TMS Ringsted this summer, and the many injuries in the KIF squad have made him a key player much sooner than he expected. So far, he has filled out that role brilliantly, not least in the VELUX EHF Champions League, where he has been crucial to the team lately.

In the away game against Dunkerque in the Round 3 of the Group Phase he scored seven goals, including the deciding goal for KIF's 30:28 win, and when Orlen Wisla Plock were defeated 23:22 in Kolding Sunday, five goals came from Andersson's right hand.

One reason for his success may be the fact that he is completely unimpressed by the opposition, as he reveals in this interview.

ehfCL.com: When you joined KIF from Ringsted this summer, did you imagine that you would get so much time on the court, as you have actually got?

Lasse Andersson: Absolutely not. I came to KIF with the aim to learn as much as possible from the experienced top players in the team and then take as much time on the court as I could – and simply develop as much as possible as a handball player. However, it is cool that I have got the chance to play much more than I expected.

ehfCL.com: What do you see as the reason for your success in your new team?

Lasse Andersson: I think the main reason is that I do not care all that much who I am playing against. For instance, when we played against Plock, I did not really think a lot about the fact that they had several international stars in their team. It was just an opponent like anyone else.

Furthermore, I like the responsibility I get, and it also means a lot to me that I get a lot of confidence from my teammates. If I miss a shot, they always encourage me to try again, and getting this kind of support from those experienced top players really means a lot to me.

ehfCL.com: You seem to be hard to impress. Is that also the reason, why you do not only score many goals, but also often score the deciding goal, like in Dunkerque?

Lasse Andersson: Yes, I guess you could say that. No matter, if the score is 20:20, or your team is leading by eight goals, it is still the same shot you have to perform. Of course, I am excited and focused in those situations, but I do not get as nervous, as many others do in deciding moments.

ehfCL.com: Have you always been like that?

Lasse Andersson: I think it has developed over time, to a certain degree. I have played in FIF in Copenhagen all my handball years, apart from last year, when I played in Ringsted, and in FIF I had to perform in every game. However, I think that I was also born with some of that unimpressed attitude.

ehfCL.com:  The huge number of injuries in your team has meant that you and Bo Spellerberg have been the only two backcourt players for major parts of your latest matches. What has that been like for you?

Lasse Andersson: Obviously, that is a peculiar situation, and of course it puts a lot of responsibility on me, when we are only two backcourt players. However, I think we have been good at finding alternative solutions.

For instance, Torsten Laen, usually a line player, has been good at starting in the backcourt line in some of our attacks, and Lars Jorgensen, who is usually only playing in the defence, has also been a good at helping out in the attack on several occasions.

ehfCL.com: In Denmark, people are beginning to compare you with Mikkel Hansen already. How do you feel about that?

Lasse Andersson: It feels great to be compared to such a fantastic player, and a player who has been awarded the world's greatest handball player, and that is a level I hope to reach myself one day. However, I keep my feet on the ground and focus on developing as much as I can and becoming as good as possible. Then I will have to see how far that can take me.

ehfCL.com: What are your ambitions?

Lasse Andersson: I hope to play for one of the absolute top clubs in Europe some day. Of course, the national team is also an objective for me, and I definitely hope to play there some time in the future. Apart from that, I concentrate on developing and becoming a better handball player all the time.

ehfCL.com: How far do you think you and your teammates can make it in the VELUX EHF Champions League this season?

Lasse Andersson: For a great part that depends on the injury situation – if we get more players injured, and how many players we get back from injury. Right now, we are in a very fine position in our group, though, and we should definitely go on from the group. After that, it is a question what position we go on from.

It is really hard to predict what will be a good position, when you look at the results in the other groups so far. You risk to run into a really tough opponent, almost no matter where you finish in your group. Even if you finish first or second, you may run into a team like Paris in the Last 16. You simply have to realize that it is the really big teams who are left, when you reach the knockout rounds. Therefore, our focus is to get on from our group at first.


TEXT: Peter Bruun / br
 
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