Women’s EHF Cup countdown: Part 12: Byasen IL (NOR)
Talent pool is eager to gain experience
Being one of the major talent pools for the highly successful Norwegian national women’s team, the Trondheim-based club, Byasen, are counting on a nearly all-Norwegian squad in the current season. Ida Alstad and rising top talent Emily Arntzen - one of the discoveries of the tournament - became EHF EURO champions with Norway in December in Gothenburg.
On domestic ground, the five-time Norwegian champion were in the shadow of Larvik in the previous decade, but now hope to leave the arch rivals behind in one of the Norwegian competitions. Byasen play their 19th international season already, highlighted by the Cup Winners’ Cup finals in 2006/07, when they were defeated by Romanian-side Valcea.
In the qualification for the group stage, Byasen earned five wins in six matches, beating Zagorje (Slovenia), their country fellows, Bergen, and finally the strong Romanian-side, Braila. In a tough group C, the team of experienced coach Arne Hogdahl now will face Rostov, Bietigheim and ERD.
“We are outsiders in our group, but our young team learns fast and I think that we could have a fair chance to win some matches,” says Hogdahl. “Rostov are the strongest team in the group and ERD had a strong result against Dunaujvaros in the third qualification round. Bietigheim seem to be the strongest German team this season. With that, I think we are in the strongest group of all.”
In general, the Byasen coach expects the newly merged EHF Cup to bring women’s handball one step further. “We think the competition is a good development of the two former tournaments. The group system gives us six games of very good experience. It’s also a good preparation for the group stage of the Champions League, which we have high hopes for in the upcoming years.”
Byasen IL (NOR)
Newcomers: Eirin Skogen (Kongsvinger)
Left the club: Ingrid Odegaard, Maren Gundersen (both retired)
Coach: Arne Hogdahl (since June 2016)
Team captain: Teodora Tomac
EHF Champions League records:
EHF Challenge Cup:
TEXT: Björn Pazen/tm
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