International restart with hopes for a bright futureArticle
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Women’s EHF Cup countdown #8: Koebenhavn Haandbold (DEN) are back after a renaming and four-year absence from international competition.
»2017-18 Women's News

International restart with hopes for a bright future

When the bronze final of the 2017 World Championship in Germany threw-off, no other club was represented by more players than Koebenhavn Haandbold with their two Dutch players - Kelly Dulfer and Debbie Bont - celebrating medals, and the Swedes Johanna Bundsen, Jenny Alm and Hanna Blomstrand leaving the court empty-handed.  Except for Bont, all four are newcomers in the side of coach Claus Mogensen.

After a four-year-absence in international competitions and a renaming, the club from the Danish capital is now back on track. The 2009 Cup Winners’ Cup winners had eliminated Dunaujvaros, the last EHF Cup winners of the old format, by two victories in the qualification. Now, Koebenhavn will face Lada, Kristiansand and Issy in their first-ever group phase in club history when they take to the court for the Group B clashes.

“Our objective is to qualify to the quarter-finals, but we expect a really tough task to get there,” says coach Mogensen, adding: “I think everyone can beat each other, so winning the home matches will be essential. It is such a tough group with three teams leading their domestic leagues. I expect a lot of exciting matches and we are really looking forward to it.”

In Mogensen’s opinion, two of the main contenders for the trophy are already part of group B:

“Lada are the favourites to win the EHF Cup,” he said. “I think their biggest rivals will be Vipers and Brest, but I can assure you that we will also do our outmost to challenge those teams in the final stages of the competition.”

Lada were the team who eliminated Koebenhavn in their last international appearance, the 2014 quarter-finals but now, the club hopes that the international restart will open a bright future.

“We have a long-term objective of not only participating in the EHF Champions League, but also being able to compete with the best,” said Mogensen. “Therefore, we are really happy that we have been drawn into such a strong group where we will gain international experience as a club, and hopefully also be able to perform at a high level.”

For the start of the group phase, Koebenhavn hope for the return of Anne Cecilie de la Cour after her pregnancy.

Koebenhavn Haandbold (DEN)

Qualification for the 2017/18 EHF Cup group phase: Round 2:  32:23, 28:27 against Cercle Dijon (FRA), Round 3: 22:21, 23:20 against Dunaujvaros (HUN)

Newcomers: Hanna Blomstrand (Lugi), Johanna Bundsen (Sävehof), Jenny Alm (Team Esbjerg), Mia Møldrup (Nantes), Kelly Dulfer (Oldenburg), Marie Tømmerbakke (Opsall IF), Annika Meyer (Buxtehuder SV), Line Bjørnsen (Glassverket)

Left the club: Ine Stangvik (Team Esbjerg), Christina Elm (Sävehof), Ronja Johansen (Lyngby HK), Maria Dueholm Sørensen (end of career), Sofie Flader (Aarhus United), Anne Mette Hansen (Györ), Anne Mette Pedersen (FCM)

Coach: Claus Mogensen (since 2016)

Team captain: Jenny Alm, vice-captain Mia Rej

Opponents in the group matches: Vipers Kristiansand, Handball Club Lada, Issy Paris Hand - Group B

EHF Women’s Champions League records: Group matches 2000/01, 2008/09, 2009/10

Other EC records:

Cup Winners’ Cup: Winner: 2008/09, Semi-final 2003/04, Last 16 2010/11

EHF Cup: Quarter-final 2013/14

Danish champion: - (runners-up 2016/17)

Danish cup winner: -

TEXT: Bjorn Pazen/amc