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INTERVIEW: It has been a big, but positive change for goalkeeper Alma Hasanic to join the EHF Champions League top team Larvik, she tells in this interview.

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Big change for Hasanic

When ambitions drove Alma Hasanic to leave the Drammen based club Glassverket to join Norway's indisputable top team Larvik HK, she was not dreaming of playing as much from the start, as she actually has. However, injuries by Larvik's two veteran keepers, first Lene Rantala last season and now Cecilie Leganger has meant more challenges and more responsibility for 24-year-old Hasanic, than she had dreamt of.

And even though Drammen is a bigger town than Larvik, she has had to get used to Larvik HK being a club on a considerably higher level than what she was used to. What was the change from Glassverket to Larvik like for you?

Alma Hasanic: It has been an extremely big change. It has meant much tougher training and tougher matches, but that was what I came for, as that is what develops me, so that has been really cool. The Women's EHF Champions League has been a completely new experience to you. What has that been like for you?

Alma Hasanic: It has been fantastic to get the chance to play against some of the strongest team in Europe. I develop and learn a lot from that, and I really enjoy it. Due to injuries, first by Lene Rantala, then by Cecilie Leganger, you have been playing a lot already. How do you feel about that?

Alma Hasanic: For me it has been great to get to play that much, but of course it is sad that Cecilie is out for so long (Achilles tendon injury) I really hope for her to get back for the deciding matches of the season. How do you see your own performances now that you have got the chance to play this much?

Alma Hasanic: I would say that it has been a bit up and down. I have had to get used to the pace and the intensity, so I really think that my performances have varied a bit until now. On Saturday you and your teammates from Larvik are facing Vardar in the group final – the deciding match for the first place in Group D. How do you see the chances in that game?

Alma Hasanic: I really think it is a match we should be able to win. Vardar have a lot of great players, but on home ground I still think we should be the better team, and that we should be able to win and secure the first place in the group. You have not got that much big-match experience. What is it like for you to play such matches?

Alma Hasanic: That is just the kind of matches I enjoy. You might think that I would be nervous ahead of such a challenge, but when I enter the court I simply look forward to the task, so I like those important and deciding matches. As we all know, Larvik reached the EHF Champions League final last season. How far can the team get this season, do you think?

Alma Hasanic: If we are free of injury, I think we can get just as far again this season. I do not see why we should not be able to at least reach the final again. You said “free of injury”. At the moment your team is far from being free of injury. What do all those injuries mean to your team?

Alma Hasanic: Obviously they are a handicap to us right now, but if we can at least get our key players fit for the deciding matches – which I hope we can – I still see us with a great chance of going all the way.

Further information

Follow the race for the first place in Group D libe on on Saturday at 19:30 hrs local time.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / br