ROUND 1 PREVIEW: From this season, the Women’s EHF Cup is following the same format as the Men’s competition. The first qualification matches take place this weekend.
Now the women play like the men in the EHF Cup
From this season, the Women’s EHF Cup is following the same concept as the men’s competition has adopted four years ago.
This means that the EHF Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup have merged into the Women’s EHF Cup, where three qualification rounds this autumn will determine the 16 teams in the group phase, which is going to be played after new year.
Their coaching duo also has considerable international experience, as their head coach Kenneth Gabrielsen was in charge of Glassverket in the Women´s EHF Champions League qualifiers and the Cup Winners’ Cup last year – and their assistant coach is no other than former Norwegian international Kristine Lunde-Borgersen.
The first leg is being played in the Aquarama Kristiansand Saturday night, the return match taking place in the same venue the following evening.
“We feel, as if we lack two weeks of our preparations, as we have mainly been training physically this far, so we are still in need of some actual handball practice,” Nykøbing coach Niels Agesen tells eurohandball.com
“However, the conditions are more or less the same for our opponents, and we have already defeated Lugi in two test matches ahead of this season, so I expect us to proceed in the tournament,” adds Niels Agesen who has won the EHF Cup twice in his time as head coach by another Danish team, TTH Holstebro.
However, it is Friday which is the opening night of the new Women's EHF Cup.
At 18.00 local time, Romanian ASC Corona 2010 Brasov are welcoming Bosnian HZRK Grude for the first leg of a double header in the Dumitru Popescu Colibasi in Brasov, where the second match is going to take place Saturday evening.
Later the same evening, the first leg of another double header is starting in France.
Nantes Loire Atlantique HB are receiving Alavarium/Love Tiles from Portugal, the second leg to be played the following night.
SPONO Eagles from Switzerland are hosting KHF Pristina from Kosovo, while Russian Dinamo-Sinara are receiving Dutch Succes Schoonmak/VOC Amsterdam, and Turkish Muratpasa Belediyesi SK are taking on ACME-Zalgiris Kaunas from Lithuania.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / br
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