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02.03.2016, 11:08
Denmark hit by injuries ahead of Russia qualifiers
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FEATURE: “We face some challenges,” admits Denmark's coach Klavs Bruun Jørgensen one week before his team meets Russia in the EHF EURO 2016 Qualification
 

Denmark hit by injuries ahead of Russia qualifiers

It will be a Danish team with many new faces that meets Russia in an EHF EURO 2016 double-header on 9 and 13 March.

This is not because national coach Klavs Bruun Jørgensen has the sudden wish to use competitive matches for experiments, but mainly due to a longer list of injuries.

Compared to the Danish team that finished sixth at the World Championship at home back in December, both right backs, Line Jørgensen and Louise Burgaard, are missing.

Left wing Maria Fisker is nursing a foot injury and has been left out of the squad, just like line player Mette Gravholt, whom Klavs Bruun Jørgensen did not nominate due to a difference in views.

Finally, goalkeeper Sandra Toft, who recently returned from a brain concussion, will only be available for the return match just like veteran Rikke Skov.

“Maria Fisker has had trouble with one of her feet for a while and has only recently returned to the court. Rikke Skov has been a bit worn out lately, so we have agreed that she does not go with us to Russia, but joins the national team as soon as we are back in Denmark,” explains Jørgensen.

Only one left-handed back court player

The absence of Line Jørgensen and Louise Burgaard means that the head coach only takes one left-handed back court player, Mette Tranborg from SK Aarhus, to the away match in Astrakhan on 9 March, while a further left-handed right back, Camilla Dalby, only joins the squad for the return match in Næstved as well as for the following Olympic qualifiers against Romania, Montenegro and Uruguay in Aarhus.

“Camilla has not been part of the national team for a long time now, and there would probably not be sufficient time to get her integrated during our trip to Russia. Therefore, it makes more sense to let her join us when we are back.

“I can easily play with a right handed player on the right back position for parts of the away match,” Jørgensen tells ehf-euro.com.

Despite the absence of Mette Gravholt, he sees no big problems on the line either. “Louise Spellerberg has done very well lately, and so has Kathrine Heindahl, while I have no worries regarding Stine Bodholt either,” says the Danish coach.

The chance to see new players

Still, he admits that his team is handicapped ahead of the two top matches against Russia in Qualification Group 6.

“Of course, we face some challenges, as we are missing some players, at least compared to the World Championship.

“However, this gives us the chance to test some new players and see what they can contribute against an opponent of Russia’s strength. I’m in no doubt that we are in for two tough tasks.

“Russia are very strong, which they proved for most of the World Championship,” says Jørgensen.

Russia and Denmark have both won their respective qualifiers against Turkey and Portugal back in October and top Group 6 with four points each.

Two wins for the one of them would see the respective team already qualifying for the Women’s EHF EURO 2016 in Sweden.

The Danish squad for the match in Astrakhan on 9 March

Goalkeepers: Rikke Poulsen (Viborg HK) Cecilie Greve (Randers HK)

Left wings: Anne Grete Nørgaard (Viborg HK) Fie Wollers (FC Midtjylland)

Right wing: Trine Østergaard (FC Midtjylland) Anne Mette Pedersen (København Håndbold)

Line players: Louise Svalastog Spellerberg (København Håndbold) Kathrine Heindahl (Randers HK) Stine Bodholt (Team Esbjerg)

Back court players: Stine Jørgensen (FC Midtjylland) Anne Mette Hansen (København Håndbold) Kristina Kristiansen (Nykøbing Falster) Anna Sophie Okkels (SK Aarhus) Mia Rej (København Håndbold) Mette Tranborg (SK Aarhus) Pernille Holmsgaard (København Håndbold)

The following players will be joining the national team when it returns from Russia on 10 March:

Sandra Toft (goalkeeper, Larvik)

Camilla Dalby (right back, Randers HK)

Rikke Skov (left back, but mainly defender, Viborg HK)

Mia Biltoft (line player, Ringkøbing Håndbold)

At that time Klavs Bruun Jørgensen will decide about the squad for the home match in Næstved.


TEXT: Peter Bruun / ts
 
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