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Women’s EHF Champions League countdown, part 10: The Swedish champions IK Sävehof may have lost some of their star players, but their confidence and goal of continuing their good form remain.

»EHF CL Channel »2014-15 Women's News

Stars depart, new talent arrives

IK Sävehof were one of the biggest surprises of the Women’s EHF Champions League 2013/14 season. First, they qualified for the main round for the first time in their club’s history, then they proved their strength on home ground by taking one point each from future semi-finalists Vardar and FC Midtjylland.

But when you perform well, other teams take notice – Sävehof lost four national team players to other teams before the start of this season, including one of their top stars Jamina Roberts, now at Holstebro in Denmark, and wing Hanna Fogelström, who transferred to French side Toulon.

As a result of the losses, coach Henrik Signell, who is in charge of Sävehof for his third season, had to add fresh blood to his nearly all Swedish (Icelandic Birna Berg Haraldsdottir is the only player from abroad) squad again. Three players from the successful youth team have been brought up to join the senior squad.

Though they lost some key players, Sävehof, who have been Swedish champions every year since 2009, want to taste success again and are aiming for the main round. In the group phase they will face defending champions Györ, three-time EHF Champions League winner Viborg and Croatian champions Zagreb.

Signell, who also acts as team manager, is confident they can stand the heat.

“We are glad to have qualified for the Champions League again. I think we did well last season, and we hope we can continue to perform at that level. We have lost four national team players and of course it’s hard to replace them, but we still have quality in our team. Our group phase opponents will be hard to beat, but we will try to continue as we did last year,” said Signell.

Team captain Ida Oden shares those hopes: “It will be an exciting season again and even though we have lost many good players, we know we can beat every team if we perform well.”

Three questions to coach Henrik Signell:

Concerning your objectives and your group opponents, what are your expectations for the upcoming season of the Women’s EHF Champions League?

Henrik Signell: We know we are in a really tough group with Györ and Viborg, but we are strong at home and will fight for every point. I rate us as the typical underdog in this group.

What does participation in the Women’s EHF Champions League mean to you and your club?

Henrik Signell: It really means a lot to the club and the fans, but mostly for the players, because our domestic league is quite uneven so it is very motivating to know that we will have those quality international matches for our players.

Which teams are your personal favourites to reach the FINAL4 tournament of the Women’s EHF Champions League season?

Henrik Signell: Györ, Vardar, Viborg and Buducnost.

Qualification for the Women’s EHF Champions League 2014/15 season: Swedish champions

Julia Eriksson (Karra HF)
Elin Enhöring (Team Eslov)
Sofia Tegstedt (BK Heid)
Linnea Petterson (youth team)
Johanna Forsberg (youth team)
Joanna Lindvall-Haggren (youth team)

Left the club:
Jamina Roberts (Team Tvis Holstebro)
Linn Blohm (Team Tvis Holstebro)
Frida Tegstedt (BVG Füchse Berlin)
Hanna Fogelström (Toulon)
Amanda Sundberg (Fredrikstad)

Coach: Henrik Signell (since 2012)

Women’s EHF Champions League records:
Participations (including 2014/15 season): 7
Main Round (1): 2013/14
Group Phase (3): 2007/08, 2010/11, 2012/13
Qualification (2): 2006/07, 2011/12

Other EC records:

Cup Winners’ Cup:
Last 16: 2011/12

Swedish league: 10 titles (1993, 2000, 2006, 2007, 2009-2014)

TEXT: Björn Pazen / cg