Women’s EHF Champions League countdown: 12 days to go – IK Sävehof (SWE) hope to proceed further in the competition with the help of Roberts, Ahlm and Oden.
Three returning stars strengthen Sävehof
In previous years the list of those leaving Sävehof often included their top stars and key players, as the eight-time Swedish champion club was always an initial launching point for big careers to be continued abroad.
This season is opposite for the Partille-based club, as national team players and EURO hosts Jasmina Roberts (Team Tvis Holstebro) and Johanna Ahlm (FC Midtjylland) return to Sweden from Denmark, and Ida Oden comes back after maternity leave.
“We believe we made a good job with our young team last season by becoming Swedish champions and making it to the Champions League main round, though we had some important losses. We want to get closer to the best teams, take some more points and at least reach the main round again – then we will see. We are satisfied with how the team looks this year,” says team manager Anders Eliasson, looking ahead with confidence.
Sävehof will have some short trips for away matches, as Group D includes their neighbours Esbjerg from Denmark and Larvik from Norway, with Krim from Ljubljana the third opponent. At home they will welcome their rivals in a new arena with a capacity of 4,100 spectators.
Despite strengthening their own team, Eliasson says Sävehof are aware of the level of competition: “Larvik are still a very good team with a lot of good players, and Danish teams are always hard to beat.
“Krim is a club with experience and tough to face on their home turf, but our goal is to reach the next round with more points than last season.”
“We want more,” is also the motto of team captain Elin Enhörning, who says: “We are quite satisfied with what we did last season if you see our lack of experience and the big losses before. This group is interesting with three Scandinavian teams that know each other very well, including our former players Jenny Alm and Filippa Idehn. Krim play a typical Balkan style, which is a little bit different compared to ours.”
For Eliasson, the participation in the EHF Champions League is crucial for the whole club: “We have won the national league the last eight years so we need these kinds of games to develop even more and faster.”
IK Sävehof (SWE)
Qualification for the 2016/2017 EHF Women’s Champions League season: Swedish champions
Newcomers: Julia Walstern (GF Kroppskultur), Ida Oden (back from maternity leave), Jasmina Roberts (Team Tvis Holstebro), Johanna Ahlm (FC Midtjylland), Hanna Örtorp, (from youth team)
Left the club: Sofia Tegstedt (Önnereds HK), Birna Berg Haraldsdottir (Glassverket Norway), Stine Lund Andreassen (Bergen), Mimmi Eliasson (quit playing due to injury), Tilda Olsson (Skövde HF)
Coach: Henrik Signell (since 2012)
Team captain: Elin Enhörning
Opponents in the group matches: Team Esbjerg, Larvik and RK Krim Mercator in Group D
EHF Women’s Champions League records:
Participations (including 2016/17 season): 9
Main Round (3): 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16
Group Phase (3): 2007/08, 2010/11, 2012/13
Qualification (2): 2006/07, 2011/12
Other EC records:
Cup Winners’ Cup:
Last 16 (1): 2011/12
Swedish champion: 12 times (1993, 2000, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Swedish cup winner: No cup competition in Sweden
TEXT: Bjorn Pazen / cg