EHF Cup countdown, part 14: Skjern Handbold (DEN)
Finals are the only aim for the Danes
Skjern Handbold, the double EHF Challenge Cup winner (2002, 2003) and 2007 EHF Cup semi-finalists from Denmark, have high hopes going into their first participation in the EHF Cup Group Phase, in which they will face Montpellier, Zomimak and Sporting Lisbon.
“We are going to meet three talented teams, which we have never met before in our European Cup history,” said manger Anders Dahl-Nielsen, who adds: “The overall objective is to participate in the finals in Berlin.”
The full Skjern squad consists only of Danish players, led by experienced national team aces Kasper Sondergaard and team captain Henrik Mollgaard.
“We have ended up in a very exciting group. We of course hope to get to the quarter-finals and after that to meet the three three remaining teams in Berlin,” said a confident Mollgaard.
In qualification for the Group Phase, Skjern did not have high hurdles to clear, beating Ronal Jicin from the Czech Republic and Serbian champions RK Vojvodina clearly before entering this stage of the competition.
Coach Ole Nørgaard will have to deal with the absence of right back Jesper Dahl Joergensen, who is out for the rest of this season, and internationally experienced Nikolaj Markussen, who is doubtful this season with his Achilles tendon injury.
Three questions to coach Ole Nørgaard:
What are your expectations for the Group Phase of the EHF Cup - concerning your objectives and your group opponents?
Ole Nørgaard: We hope for sufficient results in the group phase which hopefully leads us on to the quarter-finals.
What does the participation in the Group Phase of the EHF Cup mean to you and your club?
Ole Nørgaard: We at Skjern Håndbold are proud to have qualified for the group phase and all in the club are looking forward to the upcoming matches.
What teams are your personal favourites to reach the final tournament of the EHF Cup?
Ole Nørgaard: I´d be surprised if Montpellier, Pick Szeged and Füchse Berlin would not qualify for the finals. All other teams will aim for the fourth place in Berlin.
Skjern Handbold (DEN)
The road to the group phase:
Newcomers: Thomas Bruhn (former clubs: Mors-Thy Håndbold, AG København, FCK Håndbold, Bjerringbro- Silkeborg, Rhein-Neckar Löwen)
Left the club: Palle Kjærgaard Hansen (HC Midtjylland)
Coach: Ole Nørgaard (since 01.07.12)
Biggest successes in EHF European Cup competitions:
VELUX EHF Champions League
EHF Cup Winners’ Cup
EHF Challenge Cup
Danish champions: 1998/1999
Danish cup winners: 1999/2000
TEXT: Björn Pazen / cor
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