Sävehof surprised by their own successArticle
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Sweden champions believe in themselves before the visit of the group leaders from Veszprém

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Sävehof surprised by their own success

IK Sävehof has been doing better every year in the VELUX EHF Champions League. Two years ago the Swedish champions did not stand a chance in a group with Veszprém, Montpellier, HSV Hamburg and Kolding.

Last year they made it to the Last 16, where AG København sent them out – and this year they even find themselves in third position in Group B after four rounds.

Their most impressive performance this season so far was the 35:30 win at home against Atlético Madrid on 17 October.

In fact, it is a bit of a paradox that Sävehof has managed to improve year by year, as they tend to lose their best players to Germany or Denmark every year.

Johan Jakobsson, Jonathan Stenbäcken and Niklas Barud are just some of the key players who have left over the past couple of years.

“Actually, we are a bit surprised about our success ourselves, as we have lost quite a lot of players,” goalkeeper Thomas Forsberg told ehfcl.com.

“However, we have a squad, where harmony and cohesiveness are dominating factors, and I think that these qualities have brought us far,” said the 32 year old keeper who is among the most experienced players in the Sävehof team of today.

“Obviously, the win against Atlético is a performance we can be very proud of, but actually our win against Constanta (35:31 at home on 27 September, ed.) was more of a key match for us with regards to going on from the group,” found Forsberg who is one of few Sävehof players with EHF Champions League experience from other clubs than Sävehof.

During his time in Danish league club Viborg HK he was up against European top teams such as Hamburg and Chekhovskie Medvedi in the season 2007/08, and he feels that he can still benefit from his experiences from back then.

“It is always an advantage to have as much international experience as possible, and having played against teams like Hamburg and Medvedi before would always give you a lot of valuable experience.

"So I must say that my Danish adventure also comes in useful to me now,” said Forsberg who is reluctant to predict how far he and his Sävehof team-mates can go in the VELUX EHF Champions League this season.

“We are in a tough group – tougher than last year – so our first object is to go on from the group which I think we have a good chance to do. After that we will simply have to take it from there”, he said.

Next task for Forsberg and Sävehof will be on Sunday, when MKB Veszprém pays them a visit in Göteborg. Can the Swedes make another surprise like the one against Atlético?

“We met Veszprém in the Champions League two years ago, and back then we had a very hard time against them in both matches. Since then they have lost several players, but they have also got some new names, so it will be a new team we are up against.

"There is no doubt that it will be a sensation, if we manage to defeat them, but we believe in ourselves,” Forsberg told ehfcl.com.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / br