07.02.2016, 08:40
Back on the international stage

EHF Cup club countdown, part 3: Bjerringbro-Silkeborg (DEN)


Back on the international stage

After a three year international absence, Bjerringbro-Silkeborg are back in the European Cup as one of three Danish contenders and they have high hopes for the competition.

Having signed tall left back Nicolaj Markussen before this season, they have a player in their squad who already has the experience of playing at the EHF Cup Finals, as he finished third with his former team Skjern in Berlin in May 2015.

Markussen replaced Norwegian legend Kristian Kjelling and with a good short-term support in his position, Allan Damgaard Espersen arrived from bankrupted HSV Hamburg in Bjerringbro at the end of January.

Their right back Mads Christiansen, Danish international at the EHF EURO 2016 in Poland, will go the opposite way after this season as he already signed for German side and EHF Cup Group Phase participant, SC Magdeburg.

Bjerringbro-Silkeborg with a nearly All-Danish squad, except Slovenians Peter Pucelj and Sebastian Skube, had quite an easy task in their qualification against the Czech team Talent M.A.T. Plzen, beating them twice in Round 3 (31:28 away, 35:23 at home). In Group C of the EHF Cup Group Phase the team, under coach Peter Bredsdorff-Larsen, will face Saint-Raphael Var Handball, SKA Minsk and Pfadi Winterthur.

In the previous years, Bjerringbro-Silkeborg have made it at least to the Last 16 of all major EHF European Cup competitions, in the old version of the EHF Cup, they qualified for the quarter-final which now is their next goal.

Three questions to coach Peter Bredsdorff-Larsen:

What are your expectations for the Group Phase of the EHF Cup regarding your objectives and your group opponents?
Peter Bredsdorff-Larsen: The three teams in our group are all tough opponents, representing different cultures and also different ideas of handball. We very much look forward to the competition and although I consider Saint Raphael as the favourite to win our group, our expectations are still to be able to qualify for the quarterfinals.

What does the participation in the Group Phase of the EHF Cup mean to you and your club?
Peter Bredsdorff-Larsen: We are proud to be back in the EHF competitions. The EHF Cup will be a great challenge for our team, and the international games will definitely contribute to develop the team. To play international games help the team and the players to be able to perform under great pressure and against handball cultures that are different from what we are used to in the Danish leaque. The group stage is also a perfect opportunity for the club to present exciting and international games for our great supporters and sponsors.

What teams are your personal favourites to reach the EHF Cup Finals?
Peter Bredsdorff-Larsen: Magdeburg and the three French teams are my favourites to reach the EHF Cup Finals. But Göppingen are also a team with a lot of quality and I would not be surprised if a Danish team would make it to the EHF Cup Finals.

Bjerringbro-Silkeborg (DEN)

Newcomers: Kasper Larsen (Skanderborg Handball, Denmark), Johan Hansen (Skanderborg Handball, Denmark),  Nikolaj Markussen (Skjern Handball, Denmark), Rasmus Jensen (GOG Svendborg Handball, Denmark), Allan Damgaard Espersen (HSV Hamburg, Germany)

Left the club: Kristian Kjelling (Stavanger, Norway), Linus Persson (CSM Bucuresti, Romania), Richard Lönn (destination unknown), Benjamin Jakobsen (end of career), Theis Baagøe (destination unknown), Mathias Madsen (end of career)

Coach: Peter Bredsdorff-Larsen (since 2014)

Qualification for the EHF Cup Group Phase: Round 3 against Talent MAT Plzen 31:28, 35:23

Past achievements

VELUX EHF Champions League:
Last 16: 2012/13
Group Phase: 2011/12
Qualification: 2010/11

EHF Cup:
Quarter-final: 2002/03, 2008/09
Last 16: 2010/11

Cup Winners Cup:
Quarter-final: 2006/07

TEXT: Björn Pazen / ec


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