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30.11.2016, 15:41
Denmark come to Sweden with modest expectations
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TEAM CHECK DENMARK: The Danish team cross the narrow Oresund with a goal to be among the 12 best teams at the EHF EURO 2016 as their objective
 

Denmark come to Sweden with modest expectations

Denmark’s national coach Klavs Bruun Jörgensen claims to still be building a team for the future, and he sees the EHF EURO 2016 in Sweden as a stepping stone in this process.

“We have now started a long-term development process, which should make sure that we are not only a team who pop up once in a while and take a medal, but a team who continuously play for the medal at all championships,” said Klavs Bruun Jørgensen when announcing the squad he is taking with him across the Oresund in December.

The roster

Denmark have to make do without Viborg HK goalkeeper Rikke Poulsen who was seen as an important back up to Sandra Toft.

Rikke Poulsen is suffering from a groin injury, which keeps her out of the championship.

This obviously puts extra responsibility on Larvik keeper Sandra Toft, while young Althea Reinhardt from HC Odense has been nominated as replacement for Poulsen.

Right back Louise Burgaard, who has been successful in the latest Women’s EHF Champions League matches for FC Midtjylland, has only recovered from an injury so Klavs Bruun Jörgensen has not taken the chance to nominate her.

Instead, the right back position is in the hands of Mette Tranborg from SK Aarhus and Anne Cecilie de la Cour from Kobenhavn Handbold.

It is a bit of a surprise that Trine Ostergaard from FC Midtjylland has been nominated as the only right wing in the squad.

The attack

Stine Jörgensen is obviously Denmark’s strongest asset at this end of the court.

The versatile back court player from FC Midtjylland has made a very strong appearance for a long time in her club team as well as in the national team, and she is actually equally valuable on the centre back as on the left back.

When Jörgensen plays in the middle, Denmark’s attacking play depends on Anne Mette Hansen or Line Hausted play at their best on the left back.

A formation with Lotte Grigel as playmaker and Jörgensen on the left back has also proved to work well.

In right back, Tranborg as well as la Cour will have to be at their best to make up for Burgaard’s absence.

The defence

When he started in the job as national coach in the summer of 2015, Klavs Bruun Jörgensen introduced a more aggressive defence than the players had been used to before.

This brought no success, mainly due to the fact that the players were unsure of their roles in the system, and Bruun Jörgensen had to move back to a more traditional 6-0 defence, although he still likes to move his defence a bit forward at times.

Stine Bodholt from Viborg and Louise Svalastog from København are particularly crucial to the central defence.

The coach

The first 18 months in the job have been no walk in the park for Klavs Bruun Jörgensen, to say the least.

Finishing sixth at the World Championship on home court a year ago and failing to qualify for the Olympics despite playing the qualifiers at home were not exactly satisfactory results.

Furthermore, Jörgensen has had to face criticism from his players for not involving them enough among other issues.

There is no doubt that the change from coaching men to coaching women for the first time in his career has been bigger for Jörgensen than he expected.

However, the disagreements seem to have subsided, and a united squad seems to be working towards success in Sweden.

The outlook

The Danish mood ahead making the short journey to Sweden is modest.

A position among the 12 best teams in the final ranking is the official objective, which means that proceeding from their preliminary group would be satisfactory.

At first sight, the Danish aim seems very modest indeed, but if you look at the opponents, the Danes are facing in the group phase as well as in the main round, their expectations become more realistic.

In Group C in Malmö, Denmark will face Montenegro, Hungary and the Czech Republic, while their possible main round opponents in Helsingborg will be the three best from Group D consisting of Norway, Russia, Romania and Croatia.

Under these circumstances, a top-12 finish seems quite realistic.

Klavs Bruun Jörgensen has nominated the following 16 players for the EHF EURO 2016:

Goalkeepers: Sandra Toft (Larvik), Althea Reinhardt (HC Odense)

Left wing: Maria Fisker (Randers HK), Fie Woller (FC Midtjylland)

Right wing: Trine Ostergaard (FC Midtjylland)

Left back: Anne Mette Hansen (Kobenhavn Handbold), Line Hausted (Viborg HK), Anna Sophie Okkels (SK Aarhus)

Centre back: Kristina Kristiansen (Nykobing Falster Handbold), Lotte Grigel (Rostov-Don)

Centre back/left back: Stine Jörgensen (FC Midtjylland)

Right back: Mette Tranborg (SK Aarhus), Anne Cecilie de la Cour (Kobenhavn Handbold)

Line players: Stine Bodholt (Viborg HK), Louise Svalastog Spellerberg (Kobenhavn Handbold), Kathrine Heindahl (Randers HK)


TEXT: Peter Bruun / bc / ts
 
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