Andersson: "I know the way to the right dressing room"Article
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INTERVIEW: KIF’s Swedish right back returns to Kiel on Sunday to face his former teammates for the first time in an official match

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Andersson: "I know the way to the right dressing room"

With successes in 2007, 2010 and 2012, Kim Andersson belongs to the rare number of players, who were apart of each EHF Champions League title winning THW Kiel  teams, with the victory over Atletico Madrid in the 2012 final in Cologne his last international match for THW.

Being closer to his home country Sweden was the main reason for signing a contract at AG Copenhagen.

However, due to the bankruptcy of AGK the Swedish international needed to change his plans – and like a huge number of AGK players he joined the newly formed side of KIF Kolding-Copenhagen during the summer of 2012 after becoming Olympic silver medallist and member of the All-Star Team in London.

On Sunday Kim Andersson will enjoy a very special moment. He will face his former THW teammates in the second round of the VELUX EHF Champions League Group Phase.

His participation was in doubt until last week, as after a severe shoulder injury forced him off the court for a month, but after playing against Porto in the opener, any doubts were laid to rest.

Now Andersson is looking forward to enter the court at the Sparkassenarena, as he says in this interview with Congratulations on your comeback – how did it feel to be back on the court?

Kim Andersson: It was a great feeling, though I had not been playing such a long time. But everybody, who knows me, knows that I really hate to sit on the bench and watch a match, not able to play.

I made a small step and will have a huge number of steps to be at full fitness, as my shoulder  is something like a construction site. My biggest problem at the moment is that I cannot shoot like I used to. But will you be able to help your teammates on Sunday?

Kim Andersson: I hope so, but in the end it is the decision of our coach, whether I play or how long I play or on which position.

I would really enjoy to be back on the court of the Sparkassenarena, enjoying the special atmosphere of a fully-packed arena with more than 10,000 spectators. Also, even if I cannot shoot, I think I still can help my teammates in other ways. The more I play, the more fun I have. In a test match before the start of the season KIF managed to beat Kiel – a good omen for your first official match at Sparkassenarena against THW?

Kim Andersson: If we want to beat Kiel again, we need to give 120 per cent and Kiel must have a bad day, otherwise it is close to be impossible. It is a really high mountain to climb to win at Kiel as the guest team.

I dreamt of it when joining AGK, to return home victorious from an away match at Kiel, but things have changed. So we’ll wait and see. How big had your anticipation on those matches against Kiel been when so saw the draw result?

Kim Andersson: It was huge. I played so many years for THW Kiel and my biggest dream was to play against my Swedish home club Sävehof in the Champions League – but those fixtures occurred for the first time right in the season after I left Kiel.

So I dreamt to return to Kiel with my new team – and even managed it right in my first Champions League season with KIF. Now we face two of the best teams of the world, Kiel and Kielce, already in the Group Phase. Sunday will be a brilliant experience especially for our younger players, who have never seen an crowd like this. Those matches are something to remember and to develop from. Regarding top opponents like Kiel and Kielce – can KIF make it to the knock-out stage?

Kim Andersson: If all of our players were fit, we could even dream of the quarter-finals, but now we need to be humble. Without several key players it will be really hard, as we play in a really tough group. We need to win all our matches at home, if we want to proceed – and then maybe get some bonus points in away matches. Are there certain old friends you specially want to meet on Sunday?

Kim Andersson: I try to skip those thoughts of whom I want to meet for after the match. First I want to focus on those 60 minutes on the court and after the match I can talk to old friends. By looking back: Which of the three titles you won with THW was the best?

Kim Andersson: Every trophy has its own story and is something special. But of course the first Champions League title is even more special, as it was not only the first one, which caused unprecedented excitement at Kiel, and of course, as I scored the last and decisive goal in the second leg against Flensburg.

Also title number three at Cologne, my last international match for Kiel, was more special than title number two, when I was injured. Is there any danger that you enter the wrong dressing room on Sunday, missing the one for the away team?

Kim Andersson: No, not at all. I played a friendly match already in the Sparkassenarena, so I know the way to the guest’s dressing room. 

TEXT: Björn Pazen / cor