EHF Cup countdown, part 7: KIF Kolding (DEN)
Not many clubs in the EHF Cup competition can boast a European Cup history like KIF Kolding’s, but despite this tradition, a lot has changed in Kolding.
After the bankruptcy of AG København, a number of former AGK players transferred to KIF to form a new nationwide top club for Denmark, with some of the clubs home games being played in the Danish capital.
Among the new players is Kim Andersson, the world class left back from Sweden, who had originally signed for AGK before the bankruptcy and never actually played for the club.
With a strengthened squad and depth in many positions, hopes are high at the most successful Danish club in EHF European Cup competitions. KIF are hoping to add another Danish title to their tally this season and are aiming for the EHF Cup Finals in Nantes.
Kolding had to start their campaign in Round 1 of the EHF Cup, on their way to the Group Phase they only lost one of six matches, away to Russian side Permskie Medvedi, but the Danes comfortably won in the return leg.
One of the most experienced players in the KIF squad is goalkeeper Kasper Hvidt, the former Danish national team number one. Hvidt is enthusiastic about the new Kolding-Copenhagen project, but knows that building a team to compete at an international level is not simple.
“With this new Kolding-Copenhagen project it is important that we show the world that we can compete on the highest level. Therefore our performance in the EHF Cup is very important and is a big focus for us.
“Of course everybody knows that is very difficult to build a new team in a very short time, but I think we can show the handball world the new big team in European handball.
“The matches in the EHF Cup give us a good experience for the team to prepare for the play-offs in Denmark, and for next season to qualify for the VELUX EHF Champions League which is our main target,” Hvidt tells eurohandball.com
Three questions to coach Peter Bredsdorff-Larsen:
What are your expectations for the Group Phase of the EHF Cup - concerning your objectives and your group opponents?
Peter Bredsdorff-Larsen: Our goal is to reach the quarter-final and I think that we have a good chance to do that. We are in a strong group with three good teams with international experience so it can be difficult, especially with this “best second rank” system. We have three very difficult away matches.
What does the participation in the Group Phase of the EHF Cup mean to you and your club?
Peter Bredsdorff-Larsen: The club of KIF Kolding Copenhagen have played more than 150 matches in European Cups. It is a club with a great history and the expectation from the fans, partners and spectators are always high. Therefore it is important to play in the European Cups and it is important to perform well. The Group Phase of the EHF Cup gives us a good chance to show the home fans three good matches at a high level.
What teams are your personal favourites to reach the EHF Cup Finals?
Peter Bredsdorff-Larsen: Wisła Płock and Rhein Neckar Löwen are in our eyes the biggest favourites to go to the final tournament. Besides them, we think that we will see Nantes in their home finals. Below these teams we estimate a big group including us, Magdeburg, Göppingen, Cimos Koper, and Team Tvis Holstebro. A lot will be decided in the (quarter-final) draw.
KIF Kolding (DEN) - Group B
The road to the Group Phase:
Round 1: 46:16, 42:15 against London GD Handball Club
Round 2: 34:17, 32:31 against HC Lovćen
Round 3: 27:30, 41:24 against Permskie Medvedi
Coach: Peter Bredsdorff-Larsen since summer 2011
Newcomers: Kim Andersson (THW Kiel), Lars Jørgensen (AG Copenhagen), Joachim Boldsen (AG Copenhagen), Kasper Hvidt (AG Copenhagen), Stefan Hundstrup (AG Copenhagen), Luka Sokolić (RK Gorica/Croatia), Søren Westphal (Nordsjælland Håndbold)
Left the club: Lars Christiansen (end of career), Anders Oechsler (Minden/Germany), Fredrik Ohlander (Ystad/Sweden)
Biggest successes in EHF European Cup competitions:
VELUX EHF Champions League:
10 appearances – 2001/02: semi-finalists, 2002/03 quarterfinalists, six times Last 16 (2004, 205, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011)
EHF Cup: 1 appearance – Last 16 1995/96
EHF Cup Winners’ Cup: 3 appearances – semi-finalists 1999/00, quarter-finalists 2007/08, Last 16 2008/09
Danish league: 12 times winners (1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009)
Danish Cup: 7 times winners (1989, 1993, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2007)
Born on 11 August 1967
Former clubs as a coach: Aalborg Handball and Skanderborg Handball
Biggest success on club level: Danish Champion with Aalborg in 2010
Assistant coach of the Danish National Team from 2005 to 2012
Biggest successes: Two times European Champion 2008, 2012, Silver medal at World Championship 2011, EHF EURO bronze medal in 2006, World Championship bronze medal in 2007. Two times participant at the Olympic Games
Born on 21 August 1982
Kim Andersson was nominated for the World Handball Player of the Year 2012, finishing joint-third place behind winner Daniel Narcisse. The nomination capped a brilliant year for the right back which included Olympic Silver with Sweden and winning the VELUX EHF Champions League with THW Kiel for a third time. Andersson scored 63 goals in Kiel’s successful run to the title and top scored in the final against Atlético Madrid BM with seven goals.
Born on 24 July 1979
Spellerberg has been a KIF Kolding player for ten years, winning the Danish championship four times with the club. Internationally, Spellerberg is a European champion with Denmark in 2008 and 2010, and a silver medallist at the World Championship in 2011. The left back has scored 19 goals so far in this season’s EHF Cup and 42 goals in 11 games during the VELUX EHF Champions League last season.
Find more information on KIF Kolding here
The schedule of the Men´s EHF Cup Group Phase can be found here
TEXT: Björn Pazen / cor