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WOMEN’S EHF CUP COUNTDOWN #16: Odense Handbold (DEN). The hunger for success has not been stilled with a title yet, so the Danish side hopes for the EHF Cup to be the turning point
»2019-20 Women's News

Odense with growing hunger for a title

Having signed a bunch of star players in recent years, Odense Handbold have the ambition to win titles.

So far, however, the Danish side have failed to finish on top of any podium - in Denmark and in Europe.

Odense hope to land their maiden international title in the Women’s EHF Cup this season.

Three questions before the Women’s EHF Cup group phase:

- Will not winning titles so far hamper Odense in their ambition to win the EHF Cup?

It may be in the players’ back of their mind that they failed to capitalise in recent years. However, there are so many internationally experienced players in the team that it should not become a real problem.

- Can former Danish national coach Jan Pytlick lead Odense to the title?

Pytlick has not succeeded in leading Odense to a title yet, but it should be obvious that his 14 years as national team coach will come in useful, also in the EHF Cup.

- How far can Odense make it in the EHF Cup this season?

With six Danish internationals, one Norwegian, one Dutch and one Swedish international in their squad, they have every chance of going all the way.

That is also the way their CEO Lars Peter Hermansen sees it: “We will do what we can to go all the way to the final, and then anything can happen.”

Under the spotlight: Nycke Groot

When the versatile Dutch backcourt player joined Odense from Györ Audi ETO KC, it was considered the greatest signing in women’s handball in Denmark for many years.

After injury problems at the start of the season, Groot has started to meet the high expectations. A Nycke Groot in her best form will be crucial to Odense’s dreams of winning the EHF Cup.


After reaching the quarter-final of the EHF Champions League last season, it was a disappointment for Odense to miss out on Europe’s top flight this season.

However, they are eager to compensate by winning the EHF Cup, and considering their strong and deep squad, they have every right to dream of the title, although team captain Kamilla Larsen is cautious.

“We look forward to the matches in group C, which I find to be very strong. I think the competition in all four groups is tough, and the road to the quarter-finals will not be easy,” says Larsen, an experienced line player and three-time Champions League winner Slagelse DT.

What the numbers say

Nine players from Odense were on court during the IHF Women’s World Championship 2019, and all nine played for countries that reached at least the main round. Goalkeeper Tess Wester went all the way and won gold with Netherlands.

Odense Handbold (DEN)

Qualified for Women’s EHF Cup group phase: 72:39 vs DHC Slavia Praha (R2), 57:52 vs ESBF Besancon (R3)

Newcomers: Nycke Groot (Györi Audi ETO KC), Nathalie Hagman (CSM Bucuresti), Anne Mette Pedersen (Herning-Ikast Handbold)

Left the club: Maja Jakobsen (Storhamar Handball Elite), Mathilde Schæfter (Nykøbing Falster Handbold Klub)

Coach: Jan Pytlick (since 2016)

Team captain: Kamilla Larsen

European Cup records

Women’s EHF Champions League:
Quarter-final (1): 2018/19

Women’s EHF Cup:
Quarter-final (1): 2015/16

Women’ Cup Winners’ Cup:
Last 16 (1): 2013/14
Round 3 (1): 2014/15

Danish league: -
Danish cup: -

TEXT: Peter Bruun / ew