Althaus: Strange to go to guest’s dressing roomArticle
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Thüringer HC player returns to her former club Viborg on Sunday – and hopes to take away two points

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Althaus: Strange to go to guest’s dressing room

Those were the five most successful years in her 12 years of professional handball, when Anja Althaus played for Danish side Viborg HK. She won the EHF Women’s Champions League twice in 2009 and 2010 with VHK, became Danish champion and cup winner several times and was EHF Cup Winners’ Cup finalist in May – in her last international match for Viborg against later-on winner FTC from Hungary.

Before this season 30 year old line player returned to her home country and arrived at German champions Thüringer HC to compete in consecutive seventh season in the EHF Champions League.

Now Althaus returns to Viborg on Sunday – and hopes to repeat the success with THC in the opening match of this season. After four rounds and two victories her club still have the chance to proceed to the Main Round, while Viborg still wait for their first point.

Althaus talked to about her emotions before returning to her former team. Anticipation or pressure – how do you feel before visiting your former club and city?
Anja Althaus: It is a really big anticipation, as a lot of friends will come to the match, whom I did not see for month. But it will be a strange feeling for me to do the warm-up on the other side of the hall and even more to go to the guest’s dressing room. But when the starting whistle is blown it is a regular Champions League match for me. Altogether I hope for a really cool stay in Viborg. A stay which could be even cooler, if you take two points…
Anja Althaus: Indeed! We will have a suitcase with us, which fits for two points. We are ready. Did you expect that your former club would start by four defeats in four Group Matches?
Anja Althaus: No, never ever. I think nobody expected such a start. They have some injury problems, but still they have an outstanding team. I don’t know what had happened. On the other hand, Thüringer HC have already four points on their account. Was this a result you had hoped for?
Anja Althaus: Of course we had hoped for it, but again – no one could expect that we still have chances to play on international court after the Group Matches regarding our group opponents. Now we do not have anything to lose anymore, as it was our main goal to win a single match after those five defeats and one draw in the previous season.

We did not only win one match, but two already. This is really great for the players, the fans and the club. We have reached much more already than everybody had predicted. But now we are not satisfied with those four points, we want more. Have you already started calculating what has to happen that your club reach the Main Round?
Anja Althaus: I am not so good in calculations. The only obvious fact is if we at least draw on Sunday, we are qualified for the Cup Winners’ Cup. In case we win both matches at Viborg and one home ground against Zvezda we can hope for the Main Round, but it depends on the result of Zvezda vs. Budućnost this weekend.

Finally, we know that we lost the direct encounter against Budućnost and we will need a major, major surprise to win the direct encounter against Zvezda after the 24:31 in the first match. Unfortunately we showed a poor performance in Podgorica last Sunday. Even as the final result looks completely different, we could have won there.

TEXT: Björn Pazen / br