EHF European Cup 2017/18 - Article - Young Swedish underdogs out to surprise
31.01.2018, 16:20◄ last page     

EHF Cup countdown #9: Lugi HF (SWE). The Swedish team have a talented squad which could make life difficult for more experienced opponents

Young Swedish underdogs out to surprise

Lund is not only one of the top places to study in Europe, but also a top location to play handball in Sweden.

Many Swedish stars played for local club Lugi. Most recent example is Simon Jeppsson, one of the stars of the Swedish EHF EURO team which took silver in Croatia. After his lessons at the Lugi handball school, Jeppsson moved to German side Flensburg-Handewitt this season.

This season coach Thomas Axnér is eager to present more talents on the international stage. Four years ago, he had steered Lugi into the quarter-finals of the EHF Cup after eliminating German club Hannover-Burgdorf in the group phase and qualifying for the next round with Ademar Leon.

Back in the group pgase again, Lugi have a similar group as in that 2013/14 season with a Spanish team (Anaitasuna) and a German side (Berlin). The fourth opponent in Group B is Saint-Raphael of France.

“I expect good games against very strong opponents. We have a young team and see ourselves as outsiders. But we are good enough for a surprise in some of the games,” Axnér says.

In general, participating in a competition on this level is perfect for his club, according to the coach.

“It means a lot for our young squad to face top clubs in Europe,” Axnér says. “We participated in the group stage a couple of years ago and brought valuable speed, power and confidence to the games in the Swedish league.”

Axnér, a former Bundesliga player, names the ‘usual suspects’ as contenders for the EHF Cup Finals in Magdeburg: “All German participants are favourites, together with Chambery and maybe Bjerringbro-Silkeborg.”

Since celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2016, Lugi have got a new president (Peter Andersson) and a new manager (Patrik Bengtsson).

Except for Josip Cavar (Bosnia) and Nemanja Milosevic (Serbia), Lugi has an all-Swedish squad. In their first international tie since Jeppsson’s departure, they eliminated the experienced Swiss side Winterthur thanks to an away win in the qualification for the group phase.

Lugi HF (SWE)

Qualification for the EHF Cup Group Phase 2017/18: Round 3: 29:29, 22:17 against Winterthur (SUI)

Newcomers: Anton Karlsson (Lugi Youth Team), Carl Möllerström (IFK Kristianstad)

Left the club: Simon Jeppsson (SG Flensburg-Handewitt), Andreas Arman (retired)

Coach: Tomas Axnér (since 2012)

Team captain: Anders Hallberg

Opponents in the group matches: Berlin, Saint-Raphael, Anaitasuna in Group B

EHF Champions League records:

Other European Cup records:

Cup Winners’ Cup:
Last 16: 2011/12
Round 2: 2006/07

EHF Cup:
Quarter-finalists: 2013/14
Last 16: 1998/99

EHF Challenge Cup:

Swedish champions: 1980
Swedish cup winners: -

TEXT: Björn Pazen / ew

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