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29.08.2016, 15:50◄ last page     

INTERVIEW: Despite being one of the most experienced players at SG Flensburg-Handewitt, Holger Glandorf does not see himself as a key player in the upcoming VELUX EHF Champions League season

Glandorf: Experience is important, but it’s not everything

He is what the Germans would call ‘an old fox’.

At the age of 33, Holger Glandorf has experienced a lot in terms of handball world.

He was world champion with Germany on home court in 2007 when he still played for the national team (reaching 167 internationals in total).

Furthermore, since joining Flensburg in 2011, he has won the VELUX EHF Champions League in 2014 after winning the last edition of the Cup Winners’ Cup two years earlier.

230 matches and 1109 goals for the North German side have definitely also added to the 197 cm tall right back’s experience.

Still, he does not see this experience as a crucial factor in the upcoming season, in which Flensburg are going to make a further raid on the German championship along with taking on some of Europe’s strongest teams in the Champions League.

“Of course, experience is always important, but you are wrong if you think that I and other experienced players can decide it all in our favour merely based on our experience.

If we are going to have success, the entire team will have to work hard, and everyone – experienced as well as less experienced – will have to do their absolutely best,” he says.

Monster group in the Champions League

With teams like FC Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain Handball, Telekom Veszprém, THW Kiel and Orlen Wisla Plock, Group A of the Champions League has already been characterised as the toughest Champions League group ever.

Many experts have this opinion, and Holger Glandorf agrees.

“Of course, it is a monster group, but you can see it a bit in the same way as the Bundesliga.

“We finished second in the Bundesliga last season, and we can either see the coming season as an attempt to defend that second position – or as an attack on the first place and the championship.

“We definitely prefer the attacking attitude, and we should approach the Champions League with the same philosophy.

“We should be ready to take on any challenge and fear no opponent.

“Nobody probably expected us to defeat Barcelona in the semi-final and Kiel in the final of the (VELUX EHF) FINAL4 two years ago, but we did, and who says that we cannot perform similar results this time around?

“It is hard to say which team will be the toughest opponent.

“Paris appear strong, of course, and the matches against Kiel will obviously be special, as they are derbies, which have their own atmosphere, and are often less predictable than the other matches,” says the hard-shooting left-hander who is ready to give all opponents a warm welcome in the Flens Arena.
“I am sure we will get many points at home, but I am looking forward just as much to meeting all these fantastic teams in their own arenas and feeling the atmosphere in those places,” he says.

Hard to pick out a favourite

Just as it is hard for him to point out Flensburg’s strongest opponent in the group phase, he is also unsure about possible favourites to win the title in the first weekend in June, when the FINAL4 is played in the Lanxess Arena of Cologne.

“It is hard to predict. The only thing I am sure of, is that we will progress from our group, and from experience we know that anything can happen from then on.

“Last season, for instance, we were so close to reaching the FINAL4, and this season, we have the advantage of having a well integrated squad compared to last year, where we had to include five new players.

“Still, we were so close to reaching the FINAL4 last season, and who says that this cannot happen again?” asks Holger Glandorf.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / bc

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