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15.10.2014, 09:00
Norway put faith in young players for EHF EURO 2016 Qualification
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FEATURE: Norwegian national coach Christian Berge is facing new challenges ahead of the EHF EURO 2016 Qualification after two experienced players have said goodbye to the national team.
 

Norway put faith in young players for EHF EURO 2016 Qualification

Christian Berge, head coach of Norway’s men’s national team, will have to put his faith in young and talented players for his first competitive task after having been employed as head on a permanent basis.

When Norway are starting their qualification campaign for the EHF EURO 2016 with matches against Turkey on 29 October and against Netherlands on 2 November, Berge will be missing some of Norway’s most experienced handball players.

Left back Kristian Kjelling is still on his way back from injury while centre back Borge Lund as well as left wing Havard Tvedten have both said the national team goodbye within the last few days.

"I have had a great journey. I have played with many fantastic players. I have travelled the world and had many exciting experiences. In six months I will turn 36. It is time to let others take over," said Lund, while Tvedten explained his national career stop with these words:

"I was hoping that taking a break from the national team would get me the motivation back, but instead it feels more right than ever to stop now."

Young and hungry players taking over

"Of course, it means a lot to be without so experienced players, but instead we will have to put our faith in young and hungry players, and I see many of those in our current squad," Christian Berge tells ehf-euro.com.

Norway finished last in their preliminary round group at the EHF EURO 2014 in Denmark and did not qualify for the World championship 2015 in Qatar either.

This makes it even more important for Christian Berge to qualify his team for the EHF EURO 2016 in Poland.

"It will be extremely important for these young players to get the experience of a big championship real soon, but I think that we have a good chance to qualify this time," says Berge, referring to Qualification Group 1 in which Norway will be competing with Croatia, Turkey and the Netherlands for the two tickets to Poland.

Norway’s first qualification matches will be at home against Turkey on 29 October and away against the Netherlands on 2 November.

"Obviously, those are not the worst two matches to start with, and they are matches we should win.

"However, the away game against the Netherlands may not be all that easy, as the Dutch team has been doing very well in their recent home matches, so that game may be some kind of a key match for us," predicts Christian Berge.

The Norwegian squad for the first two qualification matches:

Espen Christensen (Lugi HF) Ole Erevik (Aalborg Handball) Henrik Ruud Tovas (SC DHfK Leipzig) Bjarte Myrhol (Rhein-Neckar Löwen) Magnus Gullerud (SønderjyskE) Joakim Hykkerud (TSC Hannover Burgdorf) Magnus Jondal (Øyestad IF HB Elite) Andre Lindbo (Elverum HH) Stian Brevik (TV Emsdetten) Espen Lie Hansen (SC Magdeburg) Johannes Hippe Baekkelaget HB Elite) Sander Sagosen (Aalborg Handball) Goran Sorheim (SønderjyskE) Christoffer Rambo (GWD Minden) Kenth Robin Tonnesen (HSG Wetzlar) Harald Reinkind (Rhein-Neckar Löwen) Steffen Berg Lokkebo (TV Emsdetten) Kristian Bjornsen (IFK Kristianstad) Goran Sogard Johannesen (Viking Stavanger HK)


TEXT: Peter Bruun / ts
 
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