|25.08.2016, 13:40||◄ last page|
VELUX EHF Champions League Countdown: 27 days to go - Elverum Handball Herrer enter Europe's top competition with the aim to edge closer to the top clubs
A small town with a big heart for handball
In the 2015/16 season, Elverum Handball Herrer embarked on their maiden voyage to the group phase of the VELUX EHF Champions League after they had won the qualification tournament in Banja Luka.
This season, for the first time, the Norwegian champions have been granted with a direct place in the group phase.
For the third time after 2013 and 2015, the team of coach Michael Apelgren won the Norwegian championship. For this season the club’s aim is to continue developing the team on international level and edge closer to the European top clubs.
In 2015/16 Elverum won three of their ten matches – it should be more this season.
In order to do so, Elverum signed the highly experienced former Hungarian international Tamas Ivancsik who arrives from Baia Mare. However, on the other side one of last season’s key players, Steffen Stegavik, has left the club.
Club manager Bjørnar Myhren hopes that participation in the VELUX EHF Champions League pushes the team’s development.
“We want to get closer and closer to the level of performance the best teams in Europe deliver. We want to fight for points, and want to be a good representative for Norwegian handball,” he says.
“We face many good teams and we are looking forward to playing them at home in Terningen Arena.”
Elverum’s group phase opponents in Group C are HC Metalurg, Chekhovskie Medvedi, Montpellier HB, Naturhouse La Rioja and the winners of Qualification Tournament 1.
Team captain Morten Nergaard expects “a tough group with a lot of good teams.
“We know we need to be at our maximum level to be able to compete with them. But it will be fun and challenging for our team.”
Most of the 20,000 inhabitants of Elverum love handball. Therefore being part of Europe’s top club competition is something very special for the entire region.
“It is of great importance for the club and the town of Elverum. For us as a club it is important to meet the best teams in Europe to develop our team and get closer and closer to the level they are at,” says Bjørnar Myhren.
Morten Nergaard shares his manager’s anticipation: “For a Norwegian handball player it is a dream come true to be a part of the VELUX EHF Champions League.
“And for us local players it has even more to do so that we reached this level with the club we have been with for our entire handball lives.”
Elverum Handball Herrer (NOR)
Qualification for the 2016/17 VELUX EHF Champions League season: Norwegian champions
Newcomers: Josef Pujol (Hammarby), Tamas Ivanscik (Baia Mare)
Left the club: Luka MItrovich (Gorenje Velenje), Steffen Stegavik, Lars Nordberg, Kalle Bjørkman (both retired)
Coach: Michael Apelgren (since 2014)
Team captain: Morten Nergaard
Opponents in the group phase: HC Metalurg, Chekhovskie Medvedi, Montpellier HB , Naturhouse La Rioja, winners of Qualification Tournament 1 in Group C
VELUX EHF Champions League records:
Participations (including 2016/17 season): 3
Qualification (1): 2013/14
Group Phase (2): 2015/16, 2016/17
Other EC records:
Cup Winners’ Cup:
Norwegian champions: 2012/13, 2014/15, 2015/16
Norwegian cup winners: 2009
TEXT: Björn Pazen / ts