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18.08.2018, 12:00
BSV are returning in a new role
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VELUX EHF Champions League Countdown: Bjerringbro-Silkeborg (DEN). Returning to the competition after a one-year absence, the Danish side are targeting a play-off spot
 

BSV are returning in a new role

Bjerringbro-Silkeborg will find themselves in a somewhat new situation when the VELUX EHF Champions League 2018/19 gets underway. It is their fourth group phase campaign, but the first in the Group C/D section.

Upon their return form a one-year absence - they played in the EHF Cup last season - the Danish side from the central part of the Jutland peninsula will be eying a spot in the group phase knockout.

Three questions ahead of the start to the season:

- Can the repeat Skjern’s achievement from last year and advance from Group C?


In a group entirely consisting of national champions, BSV will definitely be facing some challenges. But taking one of the two top positions seems realistic, and head coach Peter Bredsdorff-Larsen makes no secret of the club’s goals.

“Our objective is a top position and qualification for the play-off games,” says the coach, adding that Group C is “a very competitive and challenging group.”

Bredsdorff-Larsen expects all teams to have a fair chance of reaching the play-off: “Our opponents are tough professional teams with a lot of experience in playing European Cup games, and we look forward to meeting many different handball cultures, traditions and concepts.”

- Will their rather narrow squad be a handicap?

BSV waved farewell to considerably more players than they said hello to, and several of the players who left, were key players. This could be a disadvantage. The club unsuccessfully tried to sign former Norwegian international Andre Lindboe, who has left Norwegian champions Elverum.

But Bredsdorff-Larsen is still looking forward to another season in the VELUX EHF Champions League.

“This season will be the fourth in a row where we can invite our supporters and sponsors to group phase European games on home court,” the coach says. “It is very important for our club to be part of the VELUX EHF Champions League because it will develop our players, the team and the club.”

- How will they compensate the loss of their strong goalkeeper duo Søren Rasmussen and Sebastian Frandsen?

The position between the posts might indeed become the most vulnerable spot for BSV this season. Aljosa Rezar of Slovenia, who has already been with the club last season, and Kasper Larsen, who is returning from league rivals Mors Thy Håndbold, face a huge challenge to make up for the departure of Rasmussen and Frandsen.

Self-esteem

Captain Michael V. Knudsen played nine years for SG Flensburg-Handewitt and helped the German side win the Champions League in 2014. So he knows better than most at BSV what it takes to prevail in Europe’s top-flight competition.

And the experienced line player is optimistic.

“Our goal is first of all to deliver great performances,” he says. “We should try to go through and grab our chance to reach the quarter-finals. We face some strong opponents but I think that we are a strong team, too, and that we have the chance to go through.”

Under the spotlight: Sebastian Skube

Like so many times before, the 31-year-old Slovenian playmaker will be crucial to Bjerringbro-Silkeborg’s attacking play. At 1.89 he might not be the tallest back court player, but he is just as efficient as spectacular.

Skube is going into his fifth season with BSV, and his experience from the highest international stage will be useful to his team once more.

Fun fact

With Michael V. Knudsen and Jesper Nøddesbo, Bjerringbro-Silkeborg have the oldest line player duo in the Danish league. The duo combines for 76 years, with Knudsen being 39 and Nøddesbo 37 years old.

What the numbers say

Two players have lifted the Champions League trophy three times in total before joining Bjerringbro-Silkeborg. Jesper Nøddesbo won it twice with FC Barcelona, in 2011 and 2015. And Michael V. Knudsen was with SG Flensburg-Handewitt when they became the last German team to clinch it in 2014.

Bjerringbro-Silkeborg (DEN)

Qualification for the VELUX EHF Champions League 2018/19 season: upgrade from EHF Cup

Newcomers: Kasper Larsen (Mors Thy Håndbold)

Left the club: Drasko Nenadic (Celje), Martin Risom (Ajax København), Søren Rasmussen (Ribe-Esbjerg HH), Sebastian Frandsen (TTH Holstebro), Frederik Skov (HC Midtjylland), Lars Skaarup (Skanderborg Håndbold)

Coach: Peter Bredsdorff-Larsen (since 2014)

Team captain: Michael V. Knudsen

VELUX EHF Champions League records:

Participations (including 2018/19 season): 5
Last 16 (2): 2012/13, 2016/17
Group Phase (1): 2011/12
Qualification (1): 2010/11

Other EC records:

EHF Cup:
Quarter-final: 2002/03, 2008/09, 2015/16; Last 16: 2010/11

Cup Winners’ Cup:
Quarter-final: 2006/07

Danish league:
1 title (2016)

Danish cup:
-


TEXT: Peter Bruun / ew
 
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