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21.02.2019, 12:00
Bjerringbro-Silkeborg put faith in their experienced line player duo
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FEATURE: With a combined age of 78, Bjerringbro-Silkeborg line players Michael V. Knudsen and Jesper Nøddesbo possess a wealth of experience, which may prove vital for the Danish club in the upcoming VELUX EHF Champions Leauge Group Phase Knockout
 

Bjerringbro-Silkeborg put faith in their experienced line player duo

Very few clubs in the world can come up with a line player duo with a total age of 78 years and none are at the level of Bjerringbro-Silkeborg.

Michael V. Knudsen, 40, and Jesper Nøddesbo, 38, share time on the line for their club, who finished as runners-up in the Danish championship last season.

They have both won the VELUX EHF Champions League in the past – Knudsen with SG Flensburg-Handewitt and Nøddesbo with Barcelona.

They have both played together in plenty of internationals for Denmark, and in the summer of 2017, they were reunited at Bjerringbro-Silkeborg, as Nøddesbo joined the club where Knudsen was already playing.

Considering the enormous experience those two possess in common, it is no wonder that the club puts a lot of faith in them for the upcoming group phase knockout against Orlen Wisla Plock.

Forming a great duo

“Michael Knudsen was the first player I contacted six years ago, as I was starting to build the current BSV team, and I was really happy to be able to persuade him to come home from Flensburg,” explains head coach Peter Bredsdorff-Larsen.

“With his huge experience and his qualities on and off the court, Michael has been essential in creating the elite environment we want in this club.

“Then, Nøddesbo joined nearly two years ago, and together with Michael, he forms a fantastic line player duo.

“Particularly in important international matches like the playoffs, which we are going to play soon, it is crucial to have players like these two who have tried everything – in the Champions League as well as in the national team,” adds Peter Bredsdorff-Larsen.

“Of course, it was great to be reunited with Jesper, not least as it is crucial to any team to have two good players in each position, including the line player position,” says Michael Knudsen.

“It is very reassuring to know that a competent player can come on each time you need a break on the bench.

“Unlike me, Jesper has only started to really play in the defence in his older days, as he has been used to have his major skills in the attack, while I have been playing more at both ends of the court.

“However, as he has learned to become a better defender than before, I feel that we complement each other very well,” Knudsen adds.

Orlen Wisla Plock, who Bjerringbro-Silkeborg face this weekend, will not exactly be a new experience to the Danish side as the two teams met in the group phase in the 2016/17 season.

On that occasion, Bjerringbro-Silkeborg won 33:24 at home, before Plock won 28:25 on their home ground.

“I am in no doubt that home advantage will play a huge part again. However, I see this tie as a 50-50 affair over two matches.

“Plock are still at a high level and they have many good players, while we have not exactly had the best start to the Danish league season after the winter break, so I really see these games as quite open,” says Knudsen, who is not thinking of ending his career yet, despite turning 41 later this year.

“My current contract is expiring after this season, but I am negotiating with the club about an extension for another year,” he explains.

Playing with a great warrior

Jesper Nøddesbo, who formed the line player duo with Knudsen in many an international match for Denmark over the years, and who was reunited with him in Bjerringbro-Silkeborg at the start of last season, is just as happy with the reunion as Michael Knudsen is.

“I know what a pain in the backside Knudsen can be to play against, and that circumstance alone makes it a pleasure to be in the same team as him,” says 38-year-old Nøddesbo with a laugh.

“Seriously, he is a great warrior to play with.

“He gives everything in every match and he is a fantastic teammate on as well as off the court and a great person.

“You can easily feel that he still enjoys playing handball, even though he has been in the game for so long and players like him are crucial when it comes to the upcoming Champions League matches.

“Personally, I am really looking forward to those matches as the particular pressure in such do-or-die matches is always something special and I know Knudsen feels the same way,” says Jesper Nøddesbo.


TEXT: Peter Bruun / cor
 
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