Women’s EHF Cup countdown: Part 16: Nykøbing Falster Håndboldklub (DEN)
International debutants expect a close group phase
Nykøbing Falster Håndboldklub has realised its dream of qualifying for the group phase of the Women’s EHF Cup in the club's debut season of international competition. After six straight wins in the qualification stage, the Danish side will face Lada, Metzingen and Glassverket in Group D.
The team is coached by Niels Agesen, who is familiar with the old format of this competition. He steered Team Tvis Holstebro to three EHF Cup finals, winning titles in 2013 and 2015, but now looks forward to leading Nykøbing in the new format of the tournament. "Being part of the group games in this new system with a new club is a very good experience and I look forward to it", says Agesen.
Although the Danish side has already reached its major international goal of being among the best 16 teams in the competition, the team now have ambitions to go further.
"Now we want more of course," says coach Agesen, who expects tight matches: "I think we are in a very equal group, and look forward to playing in close matches. We can finish from position one to four, so hopefully it will be interesting to follow."
The vast majority of Nykøbing's squad is Scandinavian, and it has been strengthened by the additions of Swedish international Johanna Westberg (from Randers) and Rio All-Star Team member Nathalie Hagman (from Holstebro).
Another star of the team is Danish international Kristina Kristiansen, who was part of the Niels Agesen’s Holstebro sides that won two EHF Cups.
Coach Agesen believes Russian side Rostov are the main favourites to win the first ever trophy in the new format, “but also Erd and Brest can go all the way”.
Nykøbing Falster Håndboldklub (DEN)
Qualification for the EHF Cup 2016/17 Group Phase: Round 1: 25:23, 29:20 against Lugi (SWE), Round 2: 35:29, 33:28 against Szczecin (POL), Round 3: 36:24, 36:22 against Converesano (ITA)
Newcomers: Johanna Westberg (Randers), Nathalie Hagman (Team Tvis Holstebro), Laerke Nolsoe Pedersen (Team Tvis Holstebro), Ditte Folden Vind (Odense), Sarah Iversen (Odense), Louise Kristensen (Odense), Pernille Holst Holmsgaard (København), Celine Lundbye Kristiansen (Lyngby)
Left the club: Nadja Mortensen, Nanna Willumsen, Simone Toftdahl, Barbara Arenhart (Vacz), Karol de Souza (Vacz), Line Werngren (Roskilde), Deonize Fachinallo (Odense)
Coach: Niels Agesen (since 2015)
Team captain: Mette Sahlholdt
TEXT: Björn Pazen / ap
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