"The greatest achievement for us"Article
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INTERVIEW: FC Midtjylland coach Helle Thomsen is in no doubt that playing in the MVM EHF FINAL4 is her team's crowning achievement

"The greatest achievement for us"

“We can hardly wait,” are the first spontaneous words from Helle Thomsen, as ehfCL.com starts the interview with her about the upcoming MVM EHF FINAL4.

“Going to play the Women´s EHF FINAL4 is the greatest experience for us ever. We are going to inaugurate the FINAL4 so to speak, as it is the first time it is played, and this in itself is great for us to be a part of. Each time we receive papers on the event, we are reminded just how great an even this is.

“Just to have qualified for the event is an achievement for us. It is a huge boost to the team and there is no doubt that our players can develop a lot from playing the FINAL4,” she adds.

She sees the fact that her team has qualified for the Women´s EHF FINAL4 as a proof of what hard work can lead to: “The fact that we have qualified shows that even clubs with small budgets – and we probably have the lowest budget of all four teams at the FINAL4 – have a chance to be part of it, if only you work hard and believe in yourself. Those are the qualities which have brought us this far.

“Obviously it means a lot us in FCM as a club to be part of the first FINAL4, but in my opinion it also means a lot to Danish handball in general. I see it as a great boost to women’s handball in Denmark to have a team among the four best teams in Europe again.

“Denmark may not have the absolutely best team in Europe right now, but the fact that we have qualified for the FINAL4, while Viborg have qualified for the Cup Winners’ Cup final and Team Esbjerg are in the EHF Cup final shows that we have several really good teams in Denmark, and that is very encouraging,” finds Helle Thomsen who will be an extremely busy lady for the next two and half years, where she is going to be Swedish national coach besides being head coach in FCM.

The underdogs

When it comes to her team’s actual chances in Budapest in the first weekend of May, the FCM coach is a bit more reserved, though. She realises that her team are the underdogs, at least in the semi-final.

“As we all know, we are going to meet Györ in the semi-final  and they are the ones we have been expecting all the time to be standing with the trophy once the Champions League came to an end.

“Of course, they will be huge favourites, not only against us, but maybe to win it all. They have an extremely strong team, and they will even have the home advantage with probably 10,000 spectators supporting them.

“However, we are definitely not going to Budapest just for the experience. We are going there to chase the chance we have after all. I am sure we will have to play a more than perfect match in the semi-final, and Györ will probably need to have a bad day, if we are going to win and qualify for the final, but we will definitely be ready to take the chance if we get it, and we are really looking forward to the challenge and to being part of the event,” concludes Helle Thomsen.