|19.09.2016, 22:00||◄ last page|
VELUX EHF Champions League Countdown – 1 day to go: Bjerringbro Silkeborg (DEN).
Bjerringbro begin new chapter in Group A
Even before the national final had been played, it was settled that Denmark would see a new champion as the successor of KIF Kolding. In the final, Bjerringbro defeated Holstebro to capture their first domestic trophy and are now part of Group A in the VELUX EHF Champions League.
For manager Christian Lynnerup, a dream will come true in his team’s fourth participation in the top flight of European club handball. “We have the great pleasure to be in the strongest group ever of the VELUX EHF Champions League. We are going to face five teams with a very realistic chance to win the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne. We are very much looking forward to playing in these matches.”
Only one top player left the Peter Bredsdorff-Larsen’s team - Danish Olympic champion Mads Christiansen (to Magdeburg). Bjerringbro were quarter-finalists in the previous EHF Cup season, missing the EHF Cup Final at Nantes by only one goals against Granollers of Spain.
Lynnerup underlines that the anticipation is at its highest. “We will play in some of the biggest arenas of Europe, where the atmosphere will be incredible. In some matches, our chances to gain points will be minimal, but we will enjoy every minute. Even though we will play against clubs with a more positive economic background, we will be ready to take the points when the opportunity arises and we will do anything to get enough points to qualify for the Last 16.”
In 2013, Bjerringbro made it to the Last 16 of the VELUX EHF Champions League for the one and only time thus far. Experienced team captain, Michael Knudsen, is confident they will return. “It is a very tough group with world class teams, as five of them were already part of the VELUX EHF FINAL4. We will give our best in all the matches and we hope it will be enough to qualify for the Last 16.”
For some of their matches, Bjerringbro will move to the larger arena in Herning; the final venue of two EHF EURO events. Throughout the competition, some games will take place in Århus and other will be in Silkeborg.
“It is almost impossible to point out a favourite in the group,” adds Lynnerup, “but last season’s two group winners, Barcelona and Paris, both look very, very strong again. Additionally, Veszprem have strengthened their squad significantly. Of course, Kiel and Flensburg have incredibly talented players, but they also play in a very tough and exciting domestic league.”
Now all fans in and around Bjerringbro and Silkeborg are eager to be part of the new adventure. “Everybody is very proud to be among the very best. It gives us all a great feeling to be a part of the VELUX EHF Champions League again. We hope that we can create some great events in Denmark and that our spectators, sponsors, fans and volunteers will enjoy the matches,” says Lynnerup.
“It is very important, because every player would appreciate a higher salary. We also want to be famous and to show all the Danish teams that we are the best. We want to learn from all the stars.”
Qualification for the 2016/17 VELUX EHF Champions League season: Danish champions
Newcomers: Sebastian Frandsen (Ribe-Esbjerg), Kasper Olsen (Århus Håndbold), Jacob Lassen (Randers HH), Rasmus Kier (youth team)
Coach: Peter Bredsdorff-Larsen (since 2014)
Cup Winners’ Cup:
Danish champions: 2015/16
TEXT: Björn Pazen / tm