Bøhn: Larvik will be back!Article
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The Norwegian head coach with an optimistic look ahead.

Bøhn: Larvik will be back!

Three times Larvik HK have been in the semi-finals of the Women’s Champions League, but so far without making it into the final. This season the Norwegian champions did not succeed either, as the semi-final tie against ruling champions Viborg HK was lost 53-48 on aggregate. However, there was no disappointment to be traced with Karl Erik Bøhn, head coach in Larvik after the Champions League exit.
"We are not disappointed at all. We were simply sent out by a better team, and we just want to thank Viborg for what they thought us," Bøhn told eurohandball.com.

eurohandball.com: What do you see as the deciding reasons, why Viborg were better than your team?

Karl Erik Bøhn: First of all, they have a frightening backcourt line. When Bojana Popovic, Kristine Lunde, Rikke Skov and Grit Jurack are all fit, they have the best backcourt line in Europe. And when you had Gorica Acimovic, it is just scary.
Furthermore, their wingers, Henriette Mikkelsen and Christina Varzaru were also extremely strong in both matches against us, and then you cannot win against team like Viborg. I would also be surprised, if they do not win the finals too.

eurohandball.com: How do you see your team’s performance in this Champions League campaign in general?

Karl Erik Bøhn: I am very happy with what we have achieved. Together with Vâlcea we were the team who got the highest total of points in the Champions League so far. We were undefeated in Arena Larvik, and we managed to defeat teams such as Buducnost, who are now in the final of the Cup Winners Cup, FCK, who won the Danish league, Leipzig, who are German champions, and Györ, who qualified for the semi-finals of the Champions League. We were then unfortunate to run into the best team in the Champions League, Viborg, in the semis.

eurohandball.com: Your own team appears to be considerably reinforced next season, with star players Gro Hammerseng and Katja Nyberg joining from Danish FC Midtjylland. Will this make Larvik one of the favourites for the Champions League title next year?

Karl Erik Bøhn: Yes, definitely. We are going to have a very strong and interesting team next season, and in fact I think we could have reached the final this year already, if only we had avoided Viborg in the semis. If Viborg had been at full force in the Main Round, they would probably have won their Main Round group, and we would then have faced Vâlcea in the semi-finals. In that case, I think we would have had a final against Viborg. However, we will be back next season, and I definitely see us as one of the favourites, if only all our key players stay clear of injuries.

eurohandbandball.com: You have been in Larvik since 2005, and recently you extended your contract until the summer of 2012. Do you see Larvik winning the Champions League within those next two years?

Karl Erik Bøhn: Oh yes, I definitely do. Right now Viborg is the better team, but we have learned at lot from our matches against them, and as you said earlier, we will be stronger already next season, so we will be back in the race for the title.

TEXT: Peter Bruun