Signell: “We are stronger than ever”
The maybe most surprising result on the first round of the Women’s EHF Champions League was IK Sävehof’s 25:22 win away against Larvik.
Not only was it the Swedish club’s first win ever against the Norwegian powerhouse; the win also came after Larvik had apparently been controlling the game during the first 35 minutes, leading 17:13 at that point.
In other words, Sävehof won the last 25 minutes 12:5, but this was not as surprising to head coach Henrik Signell as it might have been for many others.
“Our defence was key in us winning.
“In advance, we had agreed how to defend, and we were well prepared for Larvik’s style of play. I was definitely not happy after the first half, where we did not stick to the things we had agreed on.
“However, we got that settled during the break, and in the second half, I think there was really nothing Larvik could surprise us with,” explains Henrik Signell.
“It is hard to say what this win will mean in the longer term, but for now it improves our self-confidence and confirms that we can compete at this level.
“The two points we got in Larvik were probably two bonus points which can bring us far, but I still see our group as very open, and for the moment, we still take one match at a time.
“Of course, I think we have a good chance of reaching the main round, but we will also need to qualify with as many points as possible considering that main round group which awaits us!” finds the Sävehof coach, referring to Group C with Györ Audi ETO KC, Rostov-Don and CSM Bucuresti.
Homecoming Sävehof players
Ahead of this season, two former Sävehof players returned to the team.
Right back Ida Oden, who had actually ended her career, got the motivation back and started again, while left back Jamina Roberts returned from Danish TTH Holstebro.
Both are Swedish internationals and obvious reinforcements for Sävehof.
Furthermore, a third former Sävehof player has returned for this season.
Playmaker Johanna Ahlm came back from FC Midtjylland but is out for long with torn cruciate ligament.
Still, Henrik Signell considers his team stronger than ever.
“We did surprisingly well in the Champions League, considering how many players we had lost over the two previous years.
“However, our young players did very well, and now when some ‘old’ Sävehof players have returned, we are undoubtedly even stronger,” finds 40-year-old Signell who was born in Partille, where Sävehof is based.
When Sävehof host Danish champions Team Esbjerg on Sunday, it will be their first Champions League match in the new Partille Arena with a capacity of 4,100 spectators.
“Of course, this new arena is an enormous boost to the club.
“It increases the commercial possibilities, it means better facilities for everyone, and hopefully it will mean more spectators for support us in our home games,” he says.
Impressed by Esbjerg
After the surprising win in Larvik, another Scandinavian derby is awaiting Sävehof, when Team Esbjerg visit the Partille Arena Sunday afternoon.
“I was very impressed by Esbjerg’s first match.
“It is not every team who makes their debut in the Champions League by winning by 10 goals against an experienced Champions League team like Esbjerg did against Krim (35:25)
“Esbjerg will probably be coming with as much confidence as we have after our win in Larvik, and I am sure it will be another difficult match in a group, where I think all teams can beat each other.
“However, we are looking very much forward to the match and to welcoming the former Sävehof players (Filippa Idéhn and Jenny Alm) who now play for Esbjerg,” finished Henrik Signell.
You can catch Sävehof away to Danish champons Esbjerg at 15:00 (CET) on Sunday 10 October, live on ehfTV.com