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29.01.2014, 10:50
Sävehof looking forward to inspiring challenge
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FEATURE: After their surprising performances in the group matches Swedish champions are eager to return to action in the European top flight.
 

Sävehof looking forward to inspiring challenge

After an impressive performance in the group matches, the Swedish champions are eager to prove themselves in the main round.

IK Sävehof impressed quite a lot of people all over Europe with their performance in the first phase of the Women's EHF Champions League this season.

Already before the last match day were the Swedish champions sure to qualify for the main round. A 25:25 draw at home against RK Krim Mercator in their second last match was enough to secure access to the main round from second position in Group C, and the 30:20 away defeat to Metz Handball in the last game was therefore without importance.

In the Swedish league, Sävehof are also successful and seem to be heading for another championship. Even though the Swedish championship is decided in a play-off, Sävehof look to be the favourites, being number one with maximum points.

Even though Group 1 of the main round does not contain any former or reigning Champions League winners – unlike Group 2 which consists exclusively of such teams – the opposition seems to be tough enough for Sävehof who are still without knee injured Linn Blohm.

The strong line player will be leaving the club after this season, by the way, as she will be joining Danish league club Team Tvis Holstebro next season.

Tough, funny and inspiring

In Sävehof they take them as they come, though, and right back Ida Oden probably sums the attitude in the team up rather precisely.

“There are really good teams left in the Champions League, and that goes for our group too, of course.

“However, I think we have proved already that we can defeat any team.

“It is going to be tough, funny and inspiring. Anything may happen,” the 26-year-old Sweden international told ehfCL.com.

Just like all eight teams in the main round are probably doing, Sävehof are also dreaming of making it to the Women's EHF FINALl4 in Budapest in May.

In order to achieve that goal, they will have to finish either first or second in their main round group.

“Obviously the dream about the FINAL4 is alive among us. However, we realise that there is a long road leading there.

“We have trained hard and much, though, and we feel that we are as well prepared as we can possibly be,” Ida Oden added.

Cool to get started again

Sävehof s first assignment in the main round will be Saturday in the early hours of the afternoon, when the Swedes are visiting Danish champions FC Midtjylland for an all-Scandinavian derby.

“It is extremely cool that the Champions League is finally starting again, and we are already thinking about it every day.

“FC Midtjylland is a very well playing team. They have many players who played at the World championship, and of course we took a close look at them on that occasion.

“FCM are favourites, but as I said before, anything may happen,” Ida Oden said.

Her coach has pretty much the same view on the matter.

“We have three extremely good teams in our group, and we are in for some tough matches, but we are going to do all we can to make it difficult for the others,” head coach Henrik Signell told ehfCL.com.

“I see Midtjylland as clear favourites against us. They have many really good players, but first and foremost they are collectively strong,” he added.


TEXT: Peter Bruun / br
 
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