Denmark face Argentina in two test matches and say goodbye to legendary player Lars Christiansen
Denmark begin World Championship preparation
Without any qualification matches for the EHF EURO 2014, Denmark´s men’s national team can focus on preparing for January’s 2013 World Championship in Spain.
The first stage of preparation is two test matches at home against Argentina on 3 and 4 November, and for those matches, national coach Ulrik Wilbek has made several changes to the team that reached the quarter-finals at the London Olympics.
Some changed were forced and some out of the wish for experiments. For example, prominent names such as Bo Spellerberg, Kasper Nielsen and Thomas Mogensen are absent for various reasons.
Eurohandball.com asked Wilbek to elaborate on his thoughts and plans.
Eurohandball.com: What do you expect to gain from the two matches against Argentina?
Eurohandball.com: You have these two matches, then three matches at the beginning of January, and two training camps in between before the World Championship. How many players do you have time to observe under these conditions?
Eurohandball.com: Where do you feel that you stand with the national team at the moment – after the slightly disappointing result at the Olympics and with the injuries?
A tribute to Lars Christiansen
In connection with the second match, in Odense on 4 November, the spectators will also get the opportunity to say goodbye to arguably Denmark´s greatest handball player ever, Lars Christiansen.
After scoring 1503 goals in 338 internationals, both of which are Danish records, the 40 year old left winger ended his career at the end of last season.
Ulrik Wilbek, national coach who had Lars Christiansen under his wing in the national team from 2005 to 2012:
“At the same time he had one of the largest variety of shots in the world.
“He was also special off the court. He always took the time to give autographs and talk to fans as well as to TV stations and other media.”
Lasse Boesen who played with Lars Christiansen in Flensburg Handewitt as well as in KIF Kolding and the Danish national team:
“Most people tend to see Lars as a very sociable person, but there is also an extremely ambitious Lars inside, and the way I see it, it is the main reason why he achieved what he has.”
Per Frederiksen, former head coach in KIF Kolding and Lars Christiansen´s coach in the early years of his career:
“I often watched him train on his own, rehearsing new ways of shooting, and I am sure that this was the main reason for his enormous shooting repertoire.
“There was no doubt, however, that he was more interested in attacking than what went on at the other end of the court.
“I had to work a lot with his defensive play, and it improved without ever reaching world class.
“Another important quality was the fact that he was always a happy player, almost always with a funny remark on his lips. Such a player is valuable to any team.”
TEXT: Peter Bruun / cor
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