Andersson: "Always better to play 60 minutes than 45"Article
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FEATURE: KIF Kolding Kobenhavn’s young gun Lasse Andersson relishes the extra responsibility left by the many injured players.

»EHF CL Channel »2015-16 Men's News

Andersson: "Always better to play 60 minutes than 45"

He has been seen as a rising star in the international handball scene for a few years now.

However, Lasse Andersson had great parts of last season ruined by knee injuries, but this season, he seems to be back at full fitness again and ready to add further layers to his great potential.

This was clearly demonstrated last Sunday, as ten goals from young Andersson played a decisive part in KIF’s surprising 33:31 win at home against top team HC Vardar in Group B of the VELUX EHF Champions League.

The match did not only earn the Danish champions their first Champions League points this season, it also seemed to mark the 21-year-old Andersson’s comeback to the top of the handball world.

“I feel no pain in my knees anymore. Of course, I do not know what the future brings, but I would not be able to play handball, if I was afraid such injuries could come back in a month or so,” says Lasse Andersson who feels that his team is really back on track after the surprising win against Vardar.

“In that match, everyone in the team was good at helping each other to get into the best possible positions in the attack, and personally, I felt that I got the right passes which enabled me to shoot most effectively.

“The win obviously meant a lot to us, as it meant that we are now back in the race in our group.

“We only have two points less than Montpellier, Kristianstad and Pick Szeged, so we are really back in the race for Last 16.”

Relishing the extra responsibility

Last season, it was Lasse Andersson, who was injured for great parts.

This season, injuries have hit several of his teammates, and this has meant plenty of court time for Andersson, and it has obviously also meant a lot of extra responsibility for the versatile young back court player.

“This is not much different to the situation two years ago, when I and Bo (Spellerberg) were the only back court players for a while, with Lars Jorgensen or Torsten Laen as temporary supplements.

“Of course, the injuries are sad for the team in general and for the players who are injured, but personally I like to play as much as possible.
“It is always better to play 60 minutes than to play 45, particularly in the Champions League where I really feel that I can develop against the best players in the world.”

“Of course, it is always a special experience to play against big teams like Barcelona, but once the match gets started, I only think about doing my best and winning the match,” says Lasse Andersson.

Thanking the veterans

Not only can he score goals he can defend too – a player coaches yearn for these days.
“Defending is 50% of the game to me, and I am glad that I have learned that part of the game too,” says Andersson who sends a special thanks to the two veterans in the KIF defence, Lars Jorgensen and Torsten Laen.

“They have really taught me a lot.

“They are particularly good at telling me if I become too offensive or if I move too far towards the sideline, and it is great for me to have such guidance,” he says.

His defensive qualities have also been noticed by national coach Gudmundur Gudmundsson.

“Of course, it is very important these days that a player can play at both ends of the court, and Lasse Andersson can do just that. Besides being a very fine back court player, he is also a great defender, and that will make him very valuable to any team,” says Gudmundsson who recently nominated Andersson for Denmark’s so-called ‘development team’ who will be playing test matches in Poland early next month.

Some people think that Lasse Andersson should be in the real national team already, but Andersson himself takes the situation easy.

“I am happy to have been nominated, and I am looking forward to playing those matches with the development team. It is neither up to other people nor to myself to decide, if or when I am going to play in the real national team, but of course, the national team is my ambition,” he says.

He can be rest assured that his time will come, according to the national coach.

“He is definitely a man for the future,” Gudmundur Gudmundsson says.

Feeling fine in KIF

Usually, the best players in the Danish league have a tendency to leave for foreign leagues at some point, mainly the German Bundesliga, but some go to the French league and a few to Eastern Europe.

When asked about his own ambitions club wise, Lasse Andersson needs some long time to think it over.

“That is a really good question,” he finally says.

“Right now, I concentrate on playing for KIF, where I feel fine, and where we have really good team.

“Of course, no one knows what the future brings, and it is probably a dream for any handball player to play in one of the top clubs of Europe.

“However, that is not something I give much time to at the moment.

“No one knows what the future brings, but I am definitely in no hurry to go abroad,” he says.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / bc