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28.08.2018, 12:30
Champions League debutants duel for Danish title
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SEASON PREVIEW: Kobenhavn Handball and HC Odense are the main title candidates again when then the domestic league in Denmark gets underway on Tuesday
 

Champions League debutants duel for Danish title

Last year’s Danish championship finalists and this season’s Women's EHF Champions League debutants, Kobenhavn Handball and HC Odense, are regarded the main favourites for the title in the Danish national league once again.

The 2018/19 season starts Tuesday with Viborg HK hosting NFH Nykøbing, the 2016/17 champions.

Kobenhavn won their first national championship last season after beating first-time finalists Odense. Both teams will give their debut in the Women’s EHF Champions League but should have sufficient resources to have their say about in their domestic league once again.

At least, they look to be the top favourites based on their squads for the coming season.

Kobenhavn reinforced their already strong and deep squad with Norwegian international Thea Mørk, who has joined from Larvik for the left wing, and Swedish international Linn Blohm from FC Midtjylland for the line. Also, Norwegian international Emily Stang Sando has joined from rivals Odense to team up with Swedish international Johanna Bundsen in goal.

Can Pytlick make Odense's many stars click?

Former Denmark national coach Jan Pytlick has had a year to make the many stars at Odense click. After finishing runners-up last season, the team from Hans Christian Andersen’s hometown might be able to take the final step and make the fairy-tale of taking the title come true.

With seven Danish internationals, one from Brazil and one from the Netherlands, Odense certainly have the potential, especially as Dutch international Tess Wester has joined from German side Bietigheim as an obvious reinforcement on the goalkeeper position.

If Kobenhavn or Odense should fail, 2015/16 champions Team Esbjerg will be ready to strike. Having brought Danish international Line Jørgensen home from CSM Bucuresti for the right back, the team from Western Jutland appears stronger than ever, and head coach Jesper Jensen is well aware of his many options.

“We have five really strong backcourt players this season, and this means that we can maintain the pressure in our attacking play for longer periods than before,” he said.

Herning Ikast Håndbold face huge challenge

Another team to watch in the Danish league will be Herning Ikast Håndbold, formerly known as FC Midtjylland. They need to compensate the loss of Norwegian playmaker Veronica Kristiansen, who has left the club in the offseason to join defending Champions League winners Györi Audi ETO KC.

The remaining combination of experience and talent at the former Champions League semi-finalists might probably not be enough to play a significant role in the battle for the Danish league title.


TEXT: Peter Bruun / ew
 
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