With the start of the group phase, a new era begins for HC MidtjyllandArticle
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Men’s EHF Cup countdown – part 6: Danish club HC Midtjylland want to use the EHF Cup Group Phase to grow as a team but also as an organisation
»2016-17 Men's News

With the start of the group phase, a new era begins for HC Midtjylland

Midtjylland is a famous handball city in Denmark, well knows in particular for its women’s team, FC Midtjylland, former winners of the Danish championship, the Women's EHF Cup and the Cup Winners' Cup and participants at the Women's EHF FINAL4 in 2014.

And from the shadows of FCM, a second side, the men's team of HC Midtjylland, is ready to jump into the spotlight.

Over the past 12 months HCM has put a lot of effort into a new and refreshed start, creating something that can be dubbed a 2.0 version of the club with the aim of reaching higher levels on and off the court.

HCM want to play a consist role among the Danish top clubs and right in the “update's” first year they won the Danish cup for the first time and therefore qualified for the Men's EHF Cup.

Then, in what marked their European Cup debut, they beat Russian side Astrakhan clearly in Qualification Round 3 to advance to the competition's group phase.

In Group B the team will face defending champions Frisch Auf Göppingen, last season's Finals participants Fraikin BM Granollers as well as FC Porto.

And while club officials say that the team will take it one game it a time, they made at the same time some big transfers, including Norwegian international Espen Lie Hansen, to underline their ambitions.

For head coach Morten Secher participating in the EHF Cup is a huge chance for the team.

“It means that we get a chance to develop as a team. It is interesting and fun to play European handball and it takes everything to a different perspective. It is something different from the usual and everything is just at a higher level.”

He also thinks that the club as a whole will benefit. “For the club it opens something new and we get the chance to see and experience new things.

“The participation gives the club the possibility to lift the organisation to another level because everything is just a bit better and at a higher scale when you play European handball.”

Secher expects a tough campaign for his team: “From now on it is going to be difficult. We have some really tough matches. Nothing will come easy. We are ready to work hard and hopefully we can get some good results.”

HC Midtjylland (DEN)

Qualification for the 2016/2017 EHF Cup Group Phase: Round 3: 29:29, 36:26 against Dinamo Astrakhan (RUS)

Newcomers: Espen Lie Hansen (Bregenz Handball), Eivind Tangen (Fyllingen Bergen), Lars Eggen Rismark (Fyllingen Bergen), Rasmus Carlsen (Halden Topphåndball), Dennis Kirkegaard ( Bjerringbro-Silkeborg), Morten Slundt (Aalborg Håndbold), Oliver Bondrop (Youth team), Casper Sas (B-team), Lars Jakobsen (ØIF Arendal)

Left the club: Pascal Hens (HBW Balingen Weilstetten), Martin Hansen (TTH Holstebro), Vignir Svarvarsson (TTH Holstebro), Nicolaj Nørager (Skive fH), Rune Andersen (Fredericia HK 1990), Lasse Justesen (Mors/Thy), Jacob Weinreich (Skive fH), Simon B. Madsen (Ribe-Esbjerg HH), Kasper Kvist (HSG Wetzlar), Rasmus Porup (Skanderborg Håndbold)

Coach: Morten Secher (since 2015)

Team captain: Jacob Østergaard

Opponents in the group phase: Frisch Auf Göppingen, Fraikin BM Granollers, FC Porto in Group B

EC records: n/a

Danish champions: n/a

Danish cup winners: 2016

TEXT: Björn Pazen / ts