Danish international talks to eurohandball.com before the first leg of the Women's EHF Cup.
Holstebro stalwart Kristiansen: ”We are experienced now”
When Team Tvis Holstebro take on Metz Handball from France in the Gråkjær Arena of Holstebro on Sunday for the first leg of the women´s EHF Cup final, it will be the second time within three years that the club from the western part of Denmark is involved in an EHF Cup final.
Two years ago, Holstebro suffered an aggregate defeat in an entirely Danish final against FC Midtjylland, so it is only natural that the Holstebro women are hungry for revenge this year, where they have reached the final after eliminating none other than Midtjylland in the semis.
On top of this triumph, Team Tvis Holstebro have also qualified for the Danish championship final – and thereby at least for the EHF Champions League qualifiers – for the first time in history.
One of the most important key players in those triumphs has been Danish international Kristina Kristiansen. The 23-year-old playmaker who took the geographically huge leap from Roskilde in the east to Holstebro in the west four years ago, played a particularly great part last Sunday, as ruling champions Randers were eliminated in the semi-finals of the play-offs. eurohandball.com has talked to her about the secrets behind her and her team-mates recent success.
Kristina Kristiansen: Now we have been in the EHF Cup three years in succession, so we have gained some experience. For instance, we have met a top team such as Lada all three years, and this year we eliminated them at a fairly early stage of the tournament. Later on we have sent FC Midtjylland out. Such matches give self confidence and experience. Another factor is the fact that we always stand together as a team and simply fight the best we can.
Kristina Kristiansen: Of course it has meant a huge additional boost to our self confidence. We have never been in the championship final before, neither have we been in the Champions League, so it is historical what we have achieved. It is obvious that this has added a lot to our belief in our selves.
Kristina Kristiansen: It is really hard to say, but there is no doubt that they have considerably more international experience than we have, so I suppose they will have to live with being favourites. We will just have to fight our butts off and see what it brings us. Anyway, I am really looking forward to those two matches, not least to playing in front of a lot of people in a full hall in Metz.
Kristina Kristiansen: I am not really sure what will be an advantage and what will not. You are right that we won big away against Midtjylland in the first semi-final match, only to lose almost as big at home. I am not sure, if that makes it an advantage for us to start at home this time, though, but there is no doubt that we will get a fine trip home from France if we win at the end.
Kristina Kristiansen: At this moment it is not a lot – apart from the fact that they play in skirts! I know they have a lot of highly skilled players, but when I hear their names I cannot really put a face on them, so I will need to see some video on them in order to have my knowledge updated.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / br
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