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11.09.2015, 09:40◄ last page     


FEATURE: European debutants realise that reaching their EHF Champions League aims will be difficult
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Reaching the Group Matches - Glassverket's dream

Reaching the Group Matches of the Women’s EHF Champions League would mean the world to Glassverket IF.

Kenneth Gabrielsen, head coach of the club from Norway’s ninth largest city, Drammen, makes no secret of this fact that: “It would really mean a lot to us, but we also realise that it will be extremely difficult, as we will almost certainly have to get past Györ, who are one of the strongest teams in Europe,” says Gabrielsen, whose team have never played in Europe before.

They reached the qualification tournament for the Women’s EHF Champions League in Norway last season finishing runners-up.

Glassverket will be hosting Qualification Group 1 this coming weekend, where the participants, apart from Glassverket, will be Champions League winners from 2013 and 2014, Györ Audi ETO KC as well as Serbian champions WHC Radnicki Kragujevac and Dutch champions SERCODAK Dalfsen.

In the semi-finals in Drammenshallen, Györ will face Kragujevac, while Glassverket will be locking horns with Dalfsen.

The winners will then meet to decide who will take the only ticket to the next stage.

Feeling well prepared

“We feel very well prepared for the task. We had a good pre-season phase and a great start to the Norwegian league season, defeating Byasen by 11 goals.

I also feel that we have a good working knowledge of Dalfsen, who we will meet in the semi-final, and I think we have a good chance of defeating them and reaching the final,” Kenneth Gabrielsen tells ehfCL.com.

I am in no doubt, though, that our opponent in that deciding match will be Györ, and it is a bit of a problem that the road to the Group Matches is blocked by such a strong opponent.

“Of course, we know Györ and how they work. We know what their Norwegian players, Heidi Loke, Linn Jorum Sulland and Kari Aalvik Grimsbo can do, but Györ have many more star players such as Amorim, Tomori and others, so there is no doubt that we will be in for an extremely tough challenge,” Gabrielsen realises.


 

Big interest in a sporty town

“Of course, the fact that we are playing at home will be an advantage for us, and we can already feel the interest among the nearly 60,000 inhabitants in the town growing.

“As it is, Drammen is a real sports town. We have the men’s handball team Drammen’s HK who have drawn some real top players to the Norwegian league. I expect that a lot of people will show up in Drammenshallen to support us, especially on the final day, if we make it that far,” says Kenneth Gabrielsen.

Photo: Peter Tubaas


TEXT: Peter Bruun / bc

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