"They’ll give us hell"Article
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Three German Viborg players talk about winning the trophy.

"They’ll give us hell"

A German trio wants to hold the EHF Champions League trophy on Saturday: Grit Jurack, Anja Althaus and Nora Reiche have good chances to win the title with Viborg HK after their 28:21 victory in the first leg with against Oltchim Valcea.

Jurack has won the EHF Champions League twice in 2006 and 2009, Althaus has the 2009 title on her account. Reiche had to miss the finals due to a ruptured crucial ligament. All three expect a real tough clash in Bucharest.

eurohandball.com: Seven goals difference is a good starting position – how do you see this result?

Grit Jurack: It could have been ten goals if we would have played more concentrated in the last five minutes. But we made a great first step, now Valcea’s under pressure.

Anja Althaus: Seven goals mean a quite comfortable cushion, as the match was a real strike against Valcea. But everybody knows that nothing’s decided yet. It sounds well but we’re still 60 tough minutes away from the title. In modern handball a team can decrease a seven goal difference very fast.

Nora Reiche: I agree. Finals have their own rules, you can lose with twelve goals, if you’re not aware. We will have to fight for another victory and can’t just rest on our cushion.

eurohandball.com: What were the reasons for the clear victory in the first match?

Grit Jurack: Our defence was strong, and by that we scored a lot of easy goals by counter attacks. We also managed to keep Valcea’s top player Cristina Neagu out of the match.

Anja Althaus: For me the match started totally strange, I received a two-minutes-suspension after only 93 seconds. But then it went okay from my point of view. As Grit mentioned we had an extra-ordinary defence with an extra-ordinary goalkeeper Katrine Lunde-Haraldsen. It was a great performance of our whole team.

Nora Reiche: We have shown that we can defeat such a great opponent like Valcea, this makes me confident.

eurohandball.com: On Saturday the return game will be played in a sold-out arena in Bucharest. What can you expect?

Nore Reiche: They’ll give us hell there. In Herning the 200 Romanian spectators made quite a noise and caused a great atmosphere.

Anja Althaus: …but we silenced them in the second half.

Nora Reiche: A thrilling atmosphere is very motivational. All of our team members want to win this great title. Especially me, as I have never won this important trophy yet.

Grit Jurack: I’m curious how Valcea will play. They have never played in the Bucharest hall before, attended by that large crowd. Maybe that will make them nervous.

eurohandball.com: What’s your plan after the match?

Althaus: If you mean party, we don’t worry about this topic yet. First those 60 minutes have to be played, and then we see what will happen.

TEXT: Björn Pazen