Extremely important for Viborg to qualify, Dalmose admitsArticle
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The weekend of 14 and 15 September, when Qualification Group 3 of the Women´s EHF Champions League takes place in Baia Mare, will be an extremely important weekend for the Danish club, according to head coach Christian Dalmose.

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Extremely important for Viborg to qualify, Dalmose admits

Having to go through a qualification tournament to reach the competition proper is not something that happens every year to the winners from 2006, 2009 and 2010, Viborg HK.

Nevertheless, that is the situation this year, where the Danish club face the hosts HCM Baia Mare in the semi-final and, if they win, can look forward to either Danish rivals Team Tvis Holstebro or the winners of the Qualification 1 tie between Dutch side SERCODAK Dalfsen and Turky’s Muratpasa Belediyesi SK.

“Right now I do not know a lot about the other teams in the group – apart from Tvis of course – but in a week or so I am going to start collecting information on our opponents. There is no doubt, however, that we will be in for a tough challenge in our semi-final against Baia Mare.

“Not only have they got a lot of new players, they are also likely to have 5,000 spectators supporting them. However, we also have a very strong team ourselves, and we mainly focus on that,” Viborg head coach Christian Dalmose told ehfCL.com.

“I am not sure if that weekend in Romania in September will be the most important weekend of the season to us. Hopefully, there will be other important weekends along the way, but there is no doubt that reaching the Champions League Group Matches will be extremely important to us,” Dalmose added.

Squad bolstered by signings

Viborg have very active on the transfer market this summer. Serbian international Sanja Damnjanovic has joined from Croatian side Podravka, Danish international Louise Burgaard has arrived from Danish league rivals Team Tvis Holstebro, while Brazilian goalkeeper Chana Masson has joined from another Danish rival, Randers HK.

Furthermore, former Swedish international Tina Flognman has reversed her decision to retire and signed a one year contract with Viborg, while left winger Anne Kjersti Suvdal has joined from Norwegian outfit Nordstrand.

“These players have obviously meant a considerable reinforcement to our team, through their experience as well as through their handball qualities.

“We have lost some players too, of course, but in general I see our team as stronger than last season,” said Dalmose, who has two key players on the long term injury list, with Norwegian internationals Marit Malm Frafjord and Amanda Kurtovic both recovering from shoulder injuries.

“Both had surgery on 15 May and although things are always hard to predict, when it comes to shoulder injuries, I would say that both are back at full strength in two or three months. When we have those two back, our team will be considerably stronger than it was last year,” Christian Dalmose said.

If Viborg manage to win their qualification group, they can look forward to playing in Group A alongside reigning champions Györi Audi ETO, German champions Thüringer HC and the winners of the Cup Winners Cup last season, Hypo NÖ.

Photo: Viborg HK

TEXT: Peter Bruun / cor