Christiansen Disappointed with Season EndingArticle
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Two months ago everything seemed to be fine for Flensburg. At the end the German team had to be satisfied with qualifying for CL at all. Danish winger, Lars Christiansen talks to

Christiansen Disappointed with Season Ending  

For German top team SG Flensburg Handewitt, the 2006/07 season ended with disappointment. First, they lost the semi-final in the German Cup against their North German rivals, THW Kiel. Then, they lost the Champions League finals – also against THW Kiel. Finally, THW Kiel won the German championship for the second year in a row. At a certain point, Flensburg were even seemed to fail to qualify for the Champions League, but at the end they managed to secure their fifth CL participation by finishing third in the Bundesliga. talks to Flensburg’s left winger, the 35-year old Danish international, Lars Christiansen He tells us about the season and about the future of the ambitious club.

Christiansen was in great form in the CL - finished second on the top scorer How would you describe the season that has just ended?

Lars Christiansen: I would say that it has been quite ‘mixed’. Two months ago everything looked fantastic for us. We were number one in the Bundesliga, we qualified for the Champions League final and for the semi-finals of the German Cup. Then we lost it all, and at the end the only goal to fight for was the Champions League qualification. Quite unusual for us, who are used to be in the race for the championship until the end… What’s happened towards the end of the season?

Lars Christiansen: I think there were several factors. One of them is that we were not successful enough in replacing the injured players. A team such as Kiel, who were hit even harder by injuries, were much better at bringing the best out the fit players. You almost failed to qualify for the Champions League. Did it save your season that you managed to reach that goal after all?

Lars Christiansen: Yes, definitely. The prospect of not playing in the Champions League next season would have been almost unbearable – to me personally and to many of my team-mates. How do you see the future for you team? You say goodbye to goalkeeper Jan Holpert (retired), right back Jan Thomas Lauritzen (leaving to Danish Bjerringbro/Silkeborg) and playmaker and left back Joachim Boldsen (going to Danish AaB Håndbold).
On the other hand, Flensburg signs Serbian goalkeeper Dane Sijan from Danish Viborg HK, Ejnar Holmgeirsson and Alexander Pettersson from TV Grosswallstadt and Thomas Mogensen from Danish champions, GOG Svendborg TGI.

The team will not stay together for next seasonLars Christiansen: It is obvious that we lose some really great players. Jan Holpert has always been in the club, but “Mr. Flensburg” has now ended his career. Jan Thomas Lauritzen is a great and complete person. Even though he did not play much, he has been very inspiring, not least at trainings. We have known about Boldsen that he was going to leave. It is, of course, a big loss, but I know that his replacement, Thomas Mogensen, is a great talent doing really well lately. All in all, I expect us to be in the top at home and in Europe as well – as Flensburg usually is. You are in Pot 2 for the next Champions League. What will it mean to your chances in the CL?

Lars Christiansen: In fact, I was a bit shocked when hearing that we are placed in Pot 2. As apparently only national champions are allowed in Pot 1, it has to be like this. I do not really think that it is going to mean a lot. We will probably get a ‘tough’ match a bit earlier, but we have to meet the ‘tough’ teams sooner or later anyway. So, I’m sure that we can cope with it too.

* Please note that at the time of publishing the article, the EHF Transfer Department could not yet confirm the transfer of Joachim Boldsen. The transfer rumour comes from our journalist specialized in local handball news.

TEXT: Peter Bruun