Gustavsson: "It is still in our hands!"Article
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Kadetten Schaffhausen's goalkeeper Björgvin Gustavsson feels confident before the game against Minsk.

Gustavsson: "It is still in our hands!"

The 2011 starting whistle of the VELUX EHF Champions League will be blown in Winterthur (SUI) on Wednesday, where Kadetten Schaffhausen will meet Dinamo Minsk in a postponed match from November.

Schaffhausen have three straight home matches ahead and still hope to qualify for the Last 16. The Icelandic goalkeeper Björgvin Gustavsson is one of the key players of the Swiss champions. He just arrived from the World Championship in Sweden back to his club, that is currently ranked fourth in Group C. After your returned from the World Championship in Sweden, is it hard to switch back from national team to club team?

Björgvin Gustavsson: You need a few days to clear your head and get back to the old routine. This time I did not get so much time to rest, as we started our preparation program at Kadetten straight after the tournament in Sweden. But the most important is that my body is in good shape after the World Championship and that I did suffer from any injuries. It is my job to play handball, so I can’t be crying for many weeks about some tiredness. It’s a fun job, but it is still a job. Iceland finished sixth in Sweden – are you satisfied with the result?

Björgvin Gustavsson: I think you can ask any player in our team and he would say no. Of course we wanted reach the semi-finals and fight for a medal. Still sixth place is not bad if you look at the whole tournament in a prospective. We played very good in the beginning but our Main Round group was a very tough, and it is hard to beat teams like Spain and France. Maybe our biggest disappointment was losing to Germany because that game was very important for us in order to reach our goals. But we reached the qualification for the Olympics so we have to be happy with our achievement. On Wednesday, Kadetten will meet Minsk in this year’s first VELUX EHF Champions League match. What are your team’s chances?

Björgvin Gustavsson: I think we have a good chance to win against Minsk. It will not be an easy game and we have to play our best if we want to get two points. These two points are very important for us and we will do everything we can to get them. Kadetten play their next three CL matches on home ground – how much of an advantage is this for the rest of the competition?

Björgvin Gustavsson: Of course it is always better to play at home rather then away but nothing comes for free in a competition like the VELUX EHF Champions League. Only the best teams in the world play in this competition. Home advantage does not help you at all if you don’t give 100 percent. But the most important part is to take one game at a time and we focus at first only on the game against Minsk. Still how far away are Kadetten from reaching the Last 16?

Björgvin Gustavsson: It is still in our hands and the group is still wide open. But to reach the Last 16 we need to show our best performances. What would a qualification mean for your club and for handball in Switzerland?

Björgvin Gustavsson: It would mean a lot for the club, and for handball in Switzerland also. We played very good last season in the EHF Cup where we reached the final. It would be great to build on that achievement by reaching the Last 16 in the VELUX EHF Champions League this year. From a goalkeeper’s point of view – which shooters in the CL do you like, which ones do you rather dislike?

Björgvin Gustavsson: I like the players who miss and dislike the players who score. I think some players are easier to read then others and of course some are better than others. I mainly focus on getting better myself and I think I can save all shots. It is only a question of being well prepared and playing your best. My motto: “Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better!” Who would be your favourite opponent for the Last 16?

Björgvin Gustavsson: THW Kiel or Ciudad Real.

Kadetten Schaffhausen’s postponed Round 7 match from VELUX EHF Champions’s League Group Phase against the Belarusian champions from the Minsk will be broadcast as a free-of-charge live web stream on

VELUX EHF Men’s Champions League 2010/11, Group Phase, Round 7
Wednesday 09 February 2011, 19:30 hrs (local time)
Kadetten Schaffhausen (SUI) vs. HC Dinamo Minsk (BLR) is the official Internet TV platform of the European Handball Federation and offers free live streaming as well as a video on demand service.

TEXT: Björn Pazen