Mork: “We can go all the way”Article
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INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK: Larvik and Norway star Nora Mork has grand plans for her club team as well as for the national team

»EHF CL Channel »2014-15 Women's News

Mork: “We can go all the way”

When Nora Mork says “we can go all the way”, she is actually referring to her club team Larvik as well as the national team.

The Norwegian national team already went all the way at the EHF EURO 2014 in Hungary and Croatia in December, and the 23-year-old right back believes that she and her teammates in Larvik can do the same in the Women´s EHF Champions League, where they recently became the first team to qualify for the quarter-finals.

At only 167 cm tall, Mork does not exactly have the typical height of a back court player, but she compensates with impressive jumping ability and will power, which is emphasised by her 187 goals in 47 internationals.

Furthermore, she is high on confidence in herself and on her two teams’ behalf.

At the moment, financial problems are hanging like a dark cloud over Larvik, but that does not shake Mork’s confidence in her club much. What is it like to think back on those days in Hungary when you took back the EHF EURO title?
Nora Mork: It is nice, of course. I had some wonderful days and it was probably a bit surprising that we could take the title, but we were good at standing together as a team and we managed to get our play working. In December this year, it will be the World Championship in Denmark. Will we see Norway at the top again?
Nora Mork: I hope so. I think Norway should always be considered a top team at major championships, and I think that this will be the case again.

However, there are many good teams in the top of international women’s handball these days, so of course it will be a tough competition once again. You will also have line player Marit Malm Frafjord back from injury. What will that mean, especially to your defence?
Nora Mork: Of course, it will make us even stronger, and as you say, especially in the defence that we have Marit back. Although I think our defence stood well at the EURO, it will strengthen us further having her back. What will it mean to have your group matches and a potential knock-out match in Frederikshavn, which is easily accessible for Norwegian fans via ferry?
Nora Mork: It is always a great advantage to play close to your home country. We experienced that in 2010, when we played our final matches in Herning and where we had fantastic support from many Norwegian fans.

Of course, playing in Frederikshavn will be something special to us, as I am sure that a lot of Norwegians fans will take the ferry there to support us. Are you dreaming of the Rio Olympics in 2016 already?
Nora Mork: Of course, I am. It is the dream of any athlete to take part at the Olympics, I think, so of course I am hoping for that too. That could be really great, but it is still far away. Let us move from the national team to your club team Larvik. What was it like to come home as a European champion and start the daily life in your club team again?
Nora Mork: Actually, it started very soon! It was really no problem. I am used to coming home from a championship every year around Christmas and getting back to training and matches with my club.

Of course, it is always extra fun to come home as European champions, but we soon had challenges with the club team and then you are back in the daily routine in a hurry. Larvik are the first team to have qualified for the quarter-finals of the Women’s EHF Champions League. What do you see as the reason for this success?
Nora Mork: We were in a very good position from the group phase, so that obviously made it easy to qualify in a hurry.

We have a very good team this season, where the players are supplementing each other really well, so it is really not that big a surprise that we have done so well thus far. How far can you go this season?
Nora Mork: I think we can go to the (Women’s EHF) FINAL4. I think we have the team to accomplish that, and I will be disappointed if we do not make it.

If we get to the FINAL4, anything can happen, so it is definitely possible that we can go all the way. Does it mean anything in that connection that you have already won in Hungary against ruling Champions League winners Györ (26:25)?
Nora Mork: Yes, absolutely. It has given us a great boost to know that we can defeat Györ, even in Hungary.

Actually, we were the better team during the entire match down there and now we are really looking forward to meeting them in Larvik and try to defeat them once again. How do you see your own future? You have been abroad before, so do you fancy another foreign adventure or do you see yourself staying in Larvik?
Nora Mork: I do not feel any big urge to go abroad, so for now I relate to the fact that I have a contract with Larvik until 2016.

I hope that the club survives the present financial trouble, so we can go on playing here. As I said, we have a really good team, and I hope that we can keep that together, as we can get far with this team. How does the club´s financial trouble influence you? Are you thinking about it a lot?
Nora Mork: Of course, it is impossible not to think about, but we all try not to be too influenced by the situation.

Instead, we focus on doing well on the court, as that is where we can put out effort in.

By doing well on the court, we hope to be able to prove to the outside world that here is a product worth keeping, so we try to think of it as little as possible and to do our job as well as possible.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / cor