19.12.2016, 09:20
Sweden's flagship with the quarter-final in focus

Women’s EHF Cup countdown: Part 1: IK Sävehof (SWE)

Sweden's flagship with the quarter-final in focus

Sweden was the focal point for women’s handball in the previous two weeks, as Gothenburg was the setting for the main round and the final weekend. In the outskirts of Gothenburg, in Partille, the most successful Swedish women’s handball club is located: IK Sävehof.

Since 2009, the club had constantly been Swedish champions and thus EHF Champions League participant. But the team of Henrik Signell surprisingly failed in this season’s race for the main round: A finally clear defeat at Danish side Esbjerg sealed Sävehof’s fate to finish on fourth position of their group, in which besides Krim and Larvik proceeded to the next stage.

This was the first setback for Signell the second one followed right now: As he is parallel coach of the Swedish women’s team, he and some Sävehof players failed on the way to their dream goal, making it to the semi-final of the EHF EURO.

“We have to look ahead for the re-start of the season in January. I hope we will be among the quarter-finalists,” said Signell.

The opponents are quite mixed with another Danish side, Randers, German former Challenge Cup winner Oldenburg and the new faces in European Cup competitions from Nantes in France. “This group is composed by some challenges,” says Signell, who mainly focuses on the home matches in the Partille Arena.

In previous years the list of those leaving Sävehof often included their top stars and key players, as the eight-time Swedish champion club was always an initial launching point for big careers to be continued abroad.

This season is opposite, as national team players Jasmina Roberts (Team Tvis Holstebro) and Johanna Ahlm (FC Midtjylland) return to Sweden from Denmark, and Ida Oden comes back after maternity leave.

“We believe we made a good job with our young team last season by becoming Swedish champions and making it to the Champions League main round, though we had some important losses. We are satisfied with how the team looks this year,” says team manager Anders Eliasson.

“We want more,” is also the motto of team captain Elin Enhörning, who says: “We are quite satisfied with what we did last season if you see our lack of experience and the big losses before. For Eliasson, the participation in international competitions is crucial for the whole club: “We have won the national league the last eight years so we need these kinds of games to develop even more and faster.”  

IK Sävehof (SWE)

Qualification for the 2016/17 EHF Cup Group Phase: Swedish champions, fourth ranked in EHF Champions League

Newcomers: Julia Walstern (GF Kroppskultur), Ida Oden (back from maternity leave), Jasmina Roberts (Team Tvis Holstebro), Johanna Ahlm (FC Midtjylland), Hanna Örtorp, (from youth team)

Left the club: Sofia Tegstedt (Önnereds HK), Birna Berg Haraldsdottir (Glassverket Norway), Stine Lund Andreassen (Bergen), Mimmi Eliasson (quit playing due to injury), Tilda Olsson (Skövde HF)

Coach: Henrik Signell (since 2012)

Team captain: Elin Enhörning

Opponents in the group matches: Randers, Nantes and Oldenburg in Group A

Women’s EHF Champions League records:

Participations (including 2016/17 season): 9
Main Round (3): 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16
Group Phase (3): 2007/08, 2010/11, 2012/13, 2016/17
Qualification (2): 2006/07, 2011/12

Other EC records:

Cup Winners’ Cup:
Last 16 (1): 2011/12

Swedish league: 12 titles (1993, 2000, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)

TEXT: Björn Pazen / br

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