Haslum´s weeks of destinyArticle
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Haslum´s weeks of destiny

The next couple of weeks will be Haslum HK´s weeks of destiny. At least if you ask Thomas Håkonsen, sports director in the Norwegian top club.

“Within the coming two weeks we have four matches which will decided our entire season,” Håkonsen told eurohandball.com ahead of the first leg of his team´s Round 3 tie against Besiktas JK in the EHF Cup. Two matches which will decide if the Norwegians reach the Group Phase of the newly formed competition. The first match will take part in Nadderudhallen, Haslum´s home ground, Saturday evening.

“Our two matches against Besiktas as well as our two top games against Elverum and Fyllingen in our domestic league will decide if our season turns out well or not”, Thomas Håkonsen explained.

The first of those four matches did not turn out particularly well for Haslum, as Wednesday night´s home game in the Norwegian league against Norway´s other EHF Cup participant, Elverum, was lost 29:24.

However, the defeat has not harmed Haslum´s confidence before the first meeting with the Turks seriously.

“We did not know a lot about Besiktas before the draw. We have noticed that they have made some fine results over time, also internationally, but even though it is always difficult to form a picture of a team from videos and DVD´s, I would say that based on the material we have on them, it should be a task we can solve, and we would very much like to go a round further, but there is no doubt that it will be two tough matches,” Håkonsen predicted.

A round further will mean the group phase, and in Haslum they are keen on reaching that new stage of the tournament after having failed to qualify for the Champions League.

“In the Champions League qualifiers we realised that the Champions League is an aim which is a bit too high for us at the moment, but it has certainly given us the appetite for more international experiences. Reaching the group phase would mean a lot to us, as it is that kind of matches we need in order to improve, also our national league,” Thomas Håkonsen added.

While Haslum is meeting Besiktas, Norway´s other representative in the EHF Cup, Elverum, will have to try and get past the Bosnian team RK Sloga in order to reach the group phase. Elverum also starts at home.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / br