Family reunion in Györ
It is not only the top game in Group 2 of the Women's EHF Champions League main round, when number one, Györi Audi ETO KC received second placed Vipers Kristiansand Saturday evening (live on ehfTV at 19:30 hrs local time).
The match will also contain a Norwegian family reunion, as the sisters Veronica and Jeanett Kristiansen will be meeting, standing each on their side of the middle line.
Older sister Veronica is playing for Györ, who she joined from Danish Herning-Ikast Hdbold before this season, while younger sister Jeanett is playing for Vipers, but will be joining exactly Herning-Ikast from next season.
“I want new challenges in my life, and I want to be part of building a new team,” she explains this step.
Both sisters agree that the Saturday game will be special to them.
“It will be very special for me to play against my little sister Saturday, but I think it is cool that we meet in the Champions League. That just tells me that we are both playing handball at top level with our respective clubs,” says 28-year-old Veronica Kristiansen.
“It will be strange. I have to admit that I am particularly happy about playing against my sister, but I will just have to forget that, and of course, I am looking forward to seeing her again,” says 26-year-old Jeanett who plays the left back in Vipers just like her older sister does most of the time by Györ.
Agreeing on Györ being favourites
The two sisters and their respective teammates approach the Saturday meeting with quite unlike results in their latest Champions League matches.
While Györ lost their first point in 16 CL matches by drawing 32:32 away in the Hungarian derby against FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria, Vipers won as clearly as 31:24 at home against German champions Thüringer HC, for a great part thanks to no less than 10 goals from Jeanett Kristiansen.
“I think I did quite well, as we benefited from running a lot with THC, which tired them.
“I had not played a good Champions League match for a long time, so this was really cool,” says Jeanett Kristiansen, while her older sister is not too put off by the loss of a point to FTC.
“Of course, we were disappointed, but when you see how the game evolved, we were actually happy about one point, as we did not play particularly well.
“The mood in the team is back up again, though, and we are ready to fight even harder in every game,” says Veronica Kristiansen.
The two sisters have no problems agreeing that Györ are favourites Saturday night.
“I will honestly say that we are a better team than Vipers.
“Of course, anything can happen within the 60 minutes, but we have our supporters who create an amazing atmosphere, so on our home court, I think we will make it really difficult for Vipers to get the two points,” expects Veronica, while her sister agrees.
“On paper, Györ are a much better team, and on home ground, they are even stronger, but anything is possible,” as Jeanett Kristiansen puts it.
High expectations on both sides
While they agree that the two points on Saturday are likely to stay in Hungary, both sisters also see a bright future for their respective teams this season.
“I knew I was coming to a club with high ambitions, when I joined, and that everybody has huge expectations in the team, but that did not scare me!” says Veronica Kristiansen.
“I also have high ambitions and expectations myself, and I wanted to be a part of this team, where club and fans show the same attitude and reach out for the best every year.
“I hope that together, we can do the same as the team did last year, but this year, I am here and will be part of it.
“Lifting the Champions League trophy is my dream,” she adds.
Her sister does not exactly nourish the same ambition, but she does not see the Women´s EHF FINAL4 as being out of reach for Vipers.
“We have a deep squad with many different types of players, and we have a good coach.
“For now, we focus on reaching the quarter-final, and when we get that far, the FINAL4 will obviously be our next goal,” says Jeanett Kristiansen before travelling to Györ to face her older sister.Author: Peter Bruun / br