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17.07.2015, 13:24
New chapter starts for Katrine Lunde
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INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK: Norwegian veteran goalkeeper admits that the appetite for new adventures – and a Danish coach - took her to Rostov-Don.
 

New chapter starts for Katrine Lunde

This summer marks a new beginning Katrine Lunde, in more than one way. The 35-year-old goalkeeper with 241 internationals for Norway back from maternity leave.

Lunde, who has won the Women's EHF Champions League no less than four times, is also opening a new chapter in her handball career by joining new Russian champions Rostov-Don.

Having left Hungarian Györi Audi ETO KC, with whom she won the Women's EHF Champions League in 2013 and 2014, she has signed a two-year contract with the Russian debutants in the European top flight.

She makes no secret of the fact that she is looking forward to her new handball life as well as to her comeback in the national team.

ehfcl.com: What made you choose Rostov-Don as your new club?

Katrine Lunde: I had heard some good things about the club, and they have Jan Leslie as their head coach. Furthermore, I found that the time had come to try something new, and seemed like the obvious chance for some new adventure.

ehfcl.com: What are your expectations ahead of your new career in Rostov-Don?

Katrine Lunde: I am looking forward to playing in the Champions League again, and to meet some new teammates as well as some new opponents in the Russian league.

ehfcl.com: What is your impression of your new club so far?

Katrine Lunde: It is very positive. Already before I joined, I talked to several of the players there as well as to players who have played there before, and I only heard positive things about the club.

So far, this information has been confirmed. It is a very ambitious club, but also a very professional club, where everything seems to be very well organised.

ehfcl.com: You mentioned head coach Jan Leslie as one of the reason why you have chosen Rostov-Don. How much has the fact that they have a Scandinavian coach actually influenced on your decision?

Katrine Lunde: The fact that they have a Scandinavian coach had not meant so much. It is more that it is Jan Leslie. I know him as a coach, I know his ideas and philosophy about handball, and I like those very much, so I really wanted to train and play under him.

ehfcl.com: What can you contribute to the team?

Katrine Lunde: I hope my experience will mean something. Maybe I can give some calmness to my new teammates, and also contribute by saving some shots, obviously!

ehfcl.com: In the group matches of the Women's EHF Champions League, you are going to face Larvik among others. Does that mean something special to you as a Norwegian?

Katrine Lunde: Absolutely. Of course, Larvik is going to be a tough opponent, but to me it will also be fun to play against them – not least the away match. It will be great to play in Norway again, and hopefully I can get some Norwegian food with me back home to Russia!

ehfcl.com: The other teams in your group are RK Krim Mercator and a team from the qualifiers. How do you see your group in general?

Katrine Lunde: In the Champions League, there should only be strong teams, and this is also the case in our group. Larvik are the top favourites of the group the way I see it.

The team from the qualifiers might very well be Baia Mare, and if they qualify, we will have another very tough opponent there. I am bit uncertain about Krim at the moment, though, as I have no real idea of their actual strength this season.

However, we should at least be able to make it to the next round.

ehfcl.com: How far do you see Rostov-Don being able to go in the Champions League? Can you become a new Györ?

Katrine Lunde: I am not really sure what it will mean to become a new Györ. In terms of winning the Champions League, this will probably be difficult this first season, but I hope and believe that we can make it far.

ehfcl.com: Your maternity leave and the birth of your daughter meant that you missed the EHF EURO 2014, where Norway won the gold. Are you looking forward to your comeback into the national team now?

Katrine Lunde: Yes, very much. We have a get-together with the national team this coming week, and I am really looking forward to that. Playing for my country still means a lot to me, and it will be really cool to be back.

ehfcl.com: This December, it will be the World Championship in Denmark. Having played in Denmark for several years, does it mean something special to you that the tournament is taking place there?

Katrine Lunde: Yes, it does. It is always great to play in Denmark. There is always a lot of spectators and a great atmosphere in the arenas. Furthermore, it is a great advantage to us as Norwegians, because it is not far from home, and this also means that it will be easy for our fans to travel and support us.

ehfcl.com: What may we expect from Norway? Are you going to go all the way like you did at the EHF EURO 2014?

Katrine Lunde: I would love to just say yes, but it will be difficult, of course, as there are many good teams there, and also teams we are not used to meeting. We have a lot of young players in our team, but they are talented and ambitious, so I hope and believe that we can at least get far.


TEXT: Peter Bruun / br
 
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