Viborg aiming for another European triumphArticle
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Women's EHF Cup Countdown #9: For the 26th season in a row, Viborg HK are taking part in a European Cup competition. The traditional Danish club are ready for the Women's EHF Cup Group Phase.
»2018-19 Women's News

Viborg aiming for another European triumph

There is no Danish handball club with a prouder tradition in women's handball than Viborg HK.

Not only have the club from the central parts of Jutland won the Women's EHF Champions League three times, but this is the 26th season in a row that Viborg HK have participated in a European Cup competition.

After progressing through all three qualification rounds, the team from one of Denmark's oldest towns are ready for the group phase of this season's Women's EHF Cup.

“Part of our DNA”

After a poor start in the Danish league, which resulted in Jakob Vestergaard replacing Allan Heine as head coach, Viborg have improved considerably over the autumn. During qualification for the Women's EHF Cup Group Phase, they left no doubt as to their quality as they won all six matches.

Head coach Jakob Vestergaard, who was also in charge of the team when the club won the EHF Champions League in 2008/09 and 2009/10, understands the importance for Viborg to be competing in Europe once again.

“To Viborg HK, it is always important to be a part of the European tournaments. It is part of our DNA. I see the EHF Cup as having grown stronger over the past couple of years and, therefore, the tournament has become even more interesting for teams to participate in,” said Jakob Vestergaard.

With his team drawn against Larvik HK, Kuban and E.S Besancon Feminin in Group C, Vestergaard expects to be involved in a close group.

“We have entered a strong group, and I expect our games to be even and well-played. Therefore, we are seeking to maintain victories in our home games as this will be very important for further advancement. And then, hopefully, we will be able to steal a victory in one of the away games. This should bring us very close to further qualification," he said.

Numerous favourites

When it comes to identifying favourites to win the Women’s EHF Cup, Vestergaard points to Hungarian club Siófok KC Hungary, as do many of his coaching colleagues.

“I see Siófok as a strong contender for the title. They have a strong budget and top players in every position – first and second string. Many of the other teams in the EHF Cup do not have the same level of players and budget, and therefore I see Siófok as a strong contender," he said.

He also sees other contenders, though. Vestergaard does not conceal the fact that he hopes to see his own team reach the last four.

“I also have to mention the defending champions from Craiova as they have a strong team. Then there are the teams which have come to the EHF Cup from the Champions League. They, of course, are also strong – as is our own team here in Viborg,” said coach Vestergaard.


Viborg HK (DEN)

Qualification for the EHF Cup 2018/19 Group Phase:

Round 1: 66:44 aggregate win against HC Galytchanka Lviv (UKR)
Round 2: 59:49 aggregate win against Buxtehuder SV (GER)
Round 3: 57:27 aggregate win against ZORK Jagodina (SRB)

Newcomers: Ida-Marie Dahl (Ajax Copenhagen), Moa Högdahl (Byasen Handball Elite), Stine Andersen, Pauline Boegelund (both TTH Holstebro), Jakob Vestergaard (Coach – Randers HH, men’s team)

Left the club: Mathilde Storgaard (EH Aalborg), Nikoline Lundgreen (TTH Holstebro), Natasha Nolevska (Ringkøbing Handball), Sanne Van Olphen, Sidsel Bodholt Nielsen, Clara Hoeg-Poulsen (all retired), Allan Heine (Coach – Nantes Atlantique Handball)

Coach: Jakob Vestergaard (since 2018)

Team captain: Carin Strömberg

Opponents in the group phase: Larvik HK, Kuban and E.S Besancon Feminin in Group C

Women’s EHF Champions League records:
Winner (3): 2005/06, 2008/09, 2009/10
Runners-up (2): 1996/97, 2000/01
Semi-final (1): 2002/03
Quarter-final (4): 1997/98, 2004/05, 2006/07, 2014/15
Last 16 (1): 1994/95
Group matches (5): 1995/96, 1999/00, 2001/02, 2010/11, 2012/13
Qualification tournament (1): 2013/14

Women's EHF Cup records:
Winner (3): 1993/94, 1998/99, 2004/04
Semi-final (1): 2017/18
Qualification Round 3 (1): 2016/17

Other European Cup records:

Champions Trophy:

Winner (2): 2000/01, 2005/06
Runners-up (3): 1993/94, 1998/99, 2003/04

Cup Winners' Cup:
Winner (1): 2013/14
Runners-up (1): 2011/12
Last 16 (1): 2010/11

Danish league: 14 titles (1993/94, 1994/95, 1995/96, 1996/97, 1998/99, 1999/00, 2000/01, 2001/02, 2003/04, 2005/06, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2013/14)
Danish cup: 10 titles (1993/94, 1995/96, 1996/97, 2003/04, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13)

Read about the other Group C clubs featured in the Women's EHF Cup countdown series here:
#4 E.S Besancon Feminin
#8 Larvik HK
#12 Kuban

TEXT: Peter Bruun / jw