Kim Andersson back in the EHF Cup
With the start of the EHF Cup Qualification Round 1 happening on the 5 September, we have a surprise name popping up on one of the team sheets: Kim Andersson.
You would normally expect to see Andersson in the VELUX EHF Champions League, but the 33-year-old right back is taking on the EHF Cup with Ystad IF, and it will actually not be the first time he appears in the tournament.
When he started his previous career in KIF Kolding Kobenhavn in the 2012/13, it was actually in the EHF Cup.
The past two years, he has been representing the Danish champions in the Champions League again, but before this season started, he returned to his childhood club Ystad.
Without offending any of the other players who will appear in the first qualification round of the EHF Cup, it is probably fair to say that the former Swedish international and Champions League winner is the most prominent name in the first leg this weekend.
Saturday afternoon, Andersson and his teammates are taking on Handball Kaerjeng from Luxembourg in Österporthallen in Ystad.
Ongoing shoulder problems have been decisive in Andersson’s decision to continue his career at a lower level than before.
“There have been ups and downs with the shoulder during the pre-season, but I feel okay now,” he told the Swedish Handball Federation.
Dinamo Bucuresti have lots of European experience, with making it to the semi-final of the EHF Cup in the 2003/04 season being their best achievement so far.
After seven years of absence from the European scene, they are back and ready for an all-Romanian tie against Energia Targu Jiu – a team with a considerably shorter European history than Dinamo.
Energia’s finest result in Europe so far is reaching the Last 16 of the Cup Winners’ Cup in the 2011/12 season.
The two teams meet for the first leg in the Romanian capital on 5 September.
In the past two seasons, Riihimaki Cocks have reached the quarter-final of the Challenge Cup – without making their ambition to test themselves at a higher level a secret.
Now the Finnish team gets that chance. They enter the EHF Cup in Sporthalle Kreuzbleiche in St. Gallen, Switzerland, where they will TSV St. Otmar St. Gallen for the first leg of their tie against the Swiss team.
Last year, Hubo Initia Hasselt made it to Qualification Round 2 for the EHF Cup after missing the cut for VELUX EHF Champions League Group Phase.
Now, the Belgian team, who have been in Europe without interruption for the past five years, are ready to have another go at the EHF Cup.
Their opponent in the first round will be Turkish Merzifon Belediye Hentbol SK who are European debutants.
Hasselt are playing at home in the Sporthal Alverberg in both matches.
Croatian RK Porec are receiving Maccabi Rishon Lezion from Israel in the SRC “Veli Joze” Saturday and Sunday night.
Four further ties will be played as double headers next weekend.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / bc