EHF Cup countdown, part 4: Eskilstuna Guif (SWE)
After a long wait, Eskilstuna Guif returned on the European club competition scene in the 2009/10 season by reaching the fourth round of the Cup Winners’ Cup, one year later they made it to the EHF Challenge Cup, and Kristján Andrésson’s young team significantly improved on a domestic and international level, reaching the Last 16 of the EHF Cup last season.
This season, the Swedish club’s goals were clearly marked, similar success in the new format of the EHF Cup, as well as a first Swedish championship.
The second round saw Guif come out on top in an all-Swedish duel with Kristianstad, this was followed by a surprise win over Spanish club BM Aragon in Round 3 by the narrowest of margins, with a one goal win on aggregate.
Coach Andrésson is now aiming even higher and hopes to qualify for the quarter-final in the EHF Cup.
Three questions to coach Kristján Andrésson:
What are your expectations for the Group Phase of the EHF Cup - concerning your objectives and your group opponents?
Kristján Andrésson: Though we have to face tough opponents we want to finish the Group Phase among the top two teams in our group. Each of our opponents are great teams and those encounters will be big challenges for us to beat them.
What does the participation in the Group Phase of the EHF Cup mean to you and your club?
Kristján Andrésson: We gain experience and energy from every game, and have the opportunities to compete against some of the best European teams.
Which teams are your personal favourites to reach the final tournament of the EHF Cup?
Kristján Andrésson: Rhein Neckar Löwen, SC Magdeburg, KIF Kolding, and Guif Eskilstuna.
Eskilstuna Guif (SWE) – Group A
The road to the Group Phase:
Round 2: 22:24, 26:23 against IFK Kristianstad
Round 3: 30:26, 27:31 against BM Aragon
Coach: Kristján Andrésson (since 2007)
Newcomers: Heimir Heimisson (Haukar, ISL), Adam Sjöö (HK Linköping)
Left the club: Tobias Aren (Aalborg/DEN)
Biggest successes in EHF European Cup competitions:
EHF Cup: 2 appearances – Last 16 2011/12, Last 32 1995/96
EHF Cup Winners’ Cup: 3 appearances – quarter-finalists 1997/98, Round 4 2001/02, 2009/10
EHF Challenge Cup: 1 appearance – Last 16 2010/11
Born on 27 March 1981
The former Icelandic international (13 matches) was a former Guif player from 1999 until he became coach in 2006. The 31 year-old was born in Eskilstuna and was the club’s former junior team coach.
Born on 26 May 1987
Just like head coach Andresson, Tholin was born and grew up in Eskilstuna and has never played for any club other than Guif, where started playing handball at the age of 6. He firmly believes that Guif will win the Swedish championship this year, and that he will be the next Guif player in the Swedish national team.
Born on 22 August 1990
In his 28 internationals so far, Zachrisson has developed into the natural number two on the right wing in the Swedish national team after Kiel player Niclas Ekberg. He was called in for the Olympic final in London last summer, as Dalibor Dodor was injured in the semi-final. In Guif, whom he joined from Irsta IF in 2006, he has also grown to be a key player, and at the age of only 22, he still has a lot of potential to develop even further.
Find more information on Eskilstuna Guif here
The schedule of the Men´s EHF Cup Group Phase can be found here
TEXT: Björn Pazen, Peter Bruun / cor