Solberg's magic touch back in NorwayArticle
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Drammen key player, Glen Solberg, talks about the chances in the Champions League, but also about ending his career.

Solberg's magic touch back in Norway 

In a good mood after the victory against LubinHe had his best years in the German Bundesliga, but now he is one of the top players of the champion of his home country, Norway. Glen Solberg, who played long time in Nordhorn and Flensburg, was – together with Frode Hagen – key to Drammen HK’s success in the Norwegian championship that took the club to the Champions League. After the 23:28 home defeat against Ciudad Real, he talks to about his career and about Drammen’s CL chances. Did you expect to have any chance against Ciudad Real before the game?

Solberg: No, we never expected anything like this. We are a pure amateur team from Norway; Ciudad are one of the three best teams in the world. So we never had a chance against them. But in the first half and at 14:15 it looked good for your team…

Solberg: Yes, we really made a good match, especially in the first 30 minutes when we were even leading against Ciudad Real. Our goalkeeper made a good performance, our defence was strong and we could endure the high speed as well.But in the second half we were not able to cope with this pressure and Ciudad brought one world class player after the other, while we only have a couple of experienced players. But this match was also very important for us, as we could learn a lot. Now Drammen have 2 points after three matches, just as Lubin and your former club, Flensburg-Handewitt. Did you expect this?

Solberg (in blue on the left) defending next to HagenSolberg: The home defeat of Flensburg against Lubin was unbelievable for me. I never believed that they could lose – and this result makes it harder to reach our objective in the Champions League. What is the objective? Qualifying for the second group phase?

Solberg: No, this has never been our objective as Ciudad Real and Flensburg are too strong for us. We want to finish third in the group and qualify for the Cup Winner’s Cup. But this will be very hard after the Lubin victory in Flensburg. So now we have to win our home match against Lubin and then we have a great chance to continue in the European Cup. After leaving Flensburg in 2006, you signed a contract in Dramen together with your old friend, Frode Hagen. Was it your dream to play in the Champions League again with Drammen?

Solberg: No, never. I signed for Drammen as I wanted to go back to my home country and my home town club. I never expected to be champion in the first year and to qualify for the Champions League. But now we have a great chance to show us in the most important competition for clubs, this is great.

However, it is very hard for me as I’m 35-year old and played a long time professional handball. I feel every bone of mine, as we play Wednesdays and weekends in CL and Norwegian league where we are number one again. So how long do you want to play?

Ciudad Real were too strong for DrammenSolberg: My contract is valid until 2009, but I think I will end my career after this season. It’s enough now. But will you play again for the Norwegian national team in January at the European Championships?

Solberg: Yes. Though I retired from the national team, I was asked as this Euro will take place in Norway. I said that I will help the national team together with Frode Hagen. But the last Norwegian match at the European Championship will be my last match for the team. Are you planning your future afterwards. Will we meet a coach called Glen Solberg?

Solberg: Maybe, but not in the next years. I will give up handball completely for a couple of years, and I will have another job and more time for my family. But sometime later, maybe I will start coaching.

TEXT: Björn Pazen