New coach, new players and aiming high
They have a new coach and they are building up a new team - and high hurdles await them in the group phase of the EHF Cup: Team Tvis Holstebro are facing challenges in their third appearance in the EHF Cup Group Phase.
In the first season of the new format, they eliminated their country-fellows KIF Kolding Kobenhavn to be the first Danish team to proceed to the EHF Cup Finals in Nantes - finishing third in 2013. In the 2014/15 season, they were again a quarter-finalist, but lost against Slovenian side Gorenje Velenje on their way to Berlin.
This year, they took revenge, as again Gorenje were their opponent, but in the third qualification round - after Holstebro had beaten Lisboa before. In contrast to April 2015, the Danes were victorious, despite having lost top players such as the Damgaard brothers, who transferred to Germany last summer.
Patrick Westerholm is the new coach as the successor of Danish women’s national team coach Klavs Bruun Jorgensen. Westerholm’s major international objective is to gain experience with the young team, which has an all-Scandinavian/Nordic roster with former Swedish national team player
Jonas Larholm, one Finnish and two Icelandic players added to the Danes.
In tough Group B, Holstebro will face EHF Cup Finals host Nantes, two-time EHF Cup winner Göppingen and the OCI Lions from Netherlands.
Three questions to coach Patrick Westerholm:
What are your expectations for the group phase of the EHF Cup - regarding your objectives and your group opponents?
Patrick Westerholm: We are in a very difficult group with Lions, Nantes and Göppingen. Of course, we hope to proceed to the quarter-finals, but we know that this will be really difficult. We have a lot of respect for the other teams.
What does the participation in the group phase of the EHF Cup mean to you and your club?
Patrick Westerholm: Team Tvis Holstebro always want to achieve the best possible results. We have started to build up a new team, and those international games will give us more experience and hopefully help us in growing as a team.
What teams are your personal favourites to reach the EHF Cup Finals?
Patrick Westerholm: The German teams are my favourites to advance to the EHF Cup Finals, but also Chambery look very strong.
Team Tvis Holstebro (DEN)
Newcomers: Lars Mousing (Skanderborg), Jac Karlsson (Mors-Thy), Sigurbergur Sveinsson (Erlangen), Nicolai Neupart (Esbjerg), Egill Magnusson (Stjernar)
Left the club: Michael Damgaard (Magdeburg), Allan Damgaard (Hamburg/Bjerringbro), Rasmus Lind (Esbjerg), Jakob Green Jensen (Sydhavsoerne), Nicolaj Norager (Midtjylland)
Coach: Patrick Westerholm (since June 2015, successor of: Klavs Bruun Jorgensen)
Qualification for the EHF Cup Group Phase: Round 2, 36:31, 28:32 against Sporting Lisboa. Round 3 29:25, 32:27 against Gorenje Velenje
EHF Cup records
EHF Cup Finals (third ranked) 2012/13
EHF Cup Winners’ Cup records:
EHF Challenge Cup records:
Round 4 2002/02
Danish Cup winner: 2008
TEXT: Björn Pazen / bc