Intimate atmosphere should help Kolding
Having defeated London Great Danes 88:32 on aggregate in the first qualification round for the EHF Cup group phase, KIF Kolding expect tougher resistance, when Montenegrin champions HC Lovćen Cetinje are their opponents in the second round.
Both matches will be played in Denmark upcoming weekend, in two small halls – in Copenhagen suburb Glostrup on Friday 12 October (19:30 hrs local time) and in Vordingborg in south of the Danish capital on Saturday (15:00 hrs local time).
Being undefeated in the domestic league so far, it was an optimistic head coach of Kolding, Peter Bredsdorff-Larsen, eurohandball.com talked to about the upcoming European challenges.
eurohandball.com: What do you know about your Montenegrin opponents in advance?
Peter Bredsdorff-Larsen: It is not a lot so far, but at least we have watched their qualification matches for the Champions League, against Partizan and Porto Vitalis, and we have seen a typical ´Balkan team´ – with a fast and technically skilled attacking play and an aggressive defence. It is an opponent whom we have a certain respect for.
eurohandball.com: Kolding met Lovćen more than ten years ago– in the EHF Champions League Group Phase in the 2001/02 season and Kolding won 20:18 at home and 28:23 away. Do you expect even more impressive wins this time?
Peter Bredsdorff-Larsen: As a matter of fact I do. I believe that the difference in strength has changed a bit in our favour since then, and having the home advantage in both matches, I definitely think that this as a task we should be able to solve.
eurohandball.com: You are going to play both matches at home, but on new home grounds – in Glostrup and Vordingborg. What will that mean to your chances?
Peter Bredsdorff-Larsen: It means that we are going to play for full halls in both matches, and the intimate atmosphere will undoubtedly help us! By playing in those places we get a chance to pay back at our friendship clubs in that area, as we get a lot of help from them in connection with our home games in Brøndby. All the volunteers from those clubs made a fantastic effort recently, as we played for almost 5,000 spectators against Aalborg in Brøndby. We were in no doubt that we could fill the hall in Kolding, but could we also fill the one in Brøndby?. With a lot of help from our friends we succeeded.
eurohandball.com: What do you feel the start has been like for your rather unusual project – playing and training in two cities more than 200 kilometers from each other?
Peter Bredsdorff-Larsen: I think we have got a fine start. Recently we evaluated the first month of this project, and we were quite content. After all we only have to drive a couple of hours for our weekly common training sessions, and that is not a lot on the big scale. And I think that 12 points in six matches in the Danish league show that we are on the right track.
eurohandball.com: Looking at the competition in the EHF Cup – and providing you overcome Lovćen – how far do you think your team can get in the tournament?
Peter Bredsdorff-Larsen: If we get past Lovćen, a lot obviously depends on the draw for the third round. There will of course be several teams we ought to be able to defeat, but there will be also some quite frightening teams left. However, we would really love to qualify for that new group phase.
eurohandball.com: This summer you stepped down as assistant national coach for Denmark. What has meant to you to be able to focus entirely on the job as head coach in Kolding?
Peter Bredsdorff-Larsen: I have always seen it as a privilege to work with a top team in the Danish league as well as with the Danish national team. However, having left the national team means that I also have some more time with my family now, and I really enjoy that.
At the same time it is great to be able to focus on the new project in Kolding København, and I hope and believe that we can mingle with the top teams of Europe in the years to come.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / br