INTERVIEW: Winning the EHF Cup would be a perfect way for Jonas Larholm to end his career in Hungarian Pick Szeged before starting a new chapter in Danish Team Tvis Holstebro.
Larholm wants to say goodbye to Hungary in style
Jonas Larholm has been around handball Europe. From the Stockholm based club Hammarby in his Swedish homeland he went on to play for FC Barcelona, from where his handball career led him to Danish AaB Håndbold (now named Aalborg Handball). And for the past two seasons has the 31-year-old Swedish international been playing in Hungary for Pick Szeged, with whom he will be playing the EHF Cup Finals in Berlin this coming weekend.
“Playing in Hungary has been a new and interesting experience, and I have learned a lot from being here which I am sure I can benefit from in the future. I also think it has been a quite successful stay. Last year we played in the Champions League, and this year we have reached the EHF Cup Finals, so I think we have done well. We have had two different coaches during my time here, and I feel I have learned something from both.
“Actually, I have not been playing as much this season, as I did last season, as we have been rotating more in the team this year, but still I have become most scoring player in the Hungarian league so that has been okay,” Jonas Larholm explains to eurohandball.com.
This season, Pick Szeged have Spanish Juan Carlos Pastor as coach, and having played in Spain in the past, Larholm has welcomed the new coach in particular.
Happy as he may be in Pick Szeged, he will be leaving the club and Hungary after this season. For the second time in his career, his destination will be Denmark. This summer he will start a three-year stay in Team Tvis Holstebro who reached the EHF Cup Finals last year, just like Pick Szeged have done this season.
“I like Denmark, and I liked to play in the Danish league the last time I was there. I still know that league very well, and Holstebro seem to be getting a strong and interesting team next season.
“However, I also want to move closer to my friends and relatives. My parents are not young any longer, and I would like to be close to them. If something should happen to them, I would be a bit far away down here. Furthermore, my brother married recently as has become a father, and I would also like to see some more of that family, so there is a number of reasons for my decision,” he explains
Before going to Denmark and Holstebro, he is going to finish the season in Hungary, though, and this includes the upcoming EHF Cup Finals in the Max Schmeling-Halle in Berlin.
“Obviously it is a big thing for us to have reached the finals, and I am really looking forward to the event. There are almost always a lot of spectators and a great atmosphere in Berlin, and I would definitely love to take that trophy before leaving Szeged. However, I am sure I would be just as motivated, even if I was not going to leave after this season. In fact, I am always one hundred per cent motivated for each and every game I play,” says Jonas Larholm who will run into the hosts Füchse Berlin together with his teammates in the semi-final Saturday.
“I am not sure if that was the worst possible draw for us. All four teams are strong, and they should be when we are that far in the tournament. Of course, Füchse is a tough opponent, not least as they are playing at home, but we are ready for that challenge too, and we are looking forward to it,” Jonas Larholm promises.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / br
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