|09.09.2010, 09:50||◄ last page|
VELUX EHF Men's Champions League countdown, part 12: KIF Kolding (DEN)
A lot of big names
They already had one hand on the Danish champion’s trophy and were also close to the big sensation in the last EHF Champions League season.
But in the end, KIF Kolding missed the domestic crown by losing the decisive third final against Aalborg after extra time.
And after a draw in the first leg of the EHF Champions League Last 16 against Montpellier on home soil, they lost the second leg game in France after a half-time lead.
For the upcoming season the targets are set higher, and the club from the German-Danish border have signed some big names: Lars Christiansen, legendary wing player of Flensburg-Handewitt, will end his career in his home-country.
KIF also signed Lars Krogh Jeppesen, a former member of the successful Danish national team. Another top class player for the back court positions is the Serbian international Ratko Nikolic who arrives from San Antonio (Spain) in Kolding.
And as Rene Toft Hansen is the only player who left the club, Coach Ingemar Linnell can count on a strong team. The objectives are quite clear: "We want to qualify for the Last 16 of the EHF Champions League again, and reach the final of the Danish league," Linnell said.
His team will meet international handball top class in their upcoming EHF Champions League Group B: Kolding play against Montpellier, Veszprém and Hamburg, Sävehof and Tatran Presov.
"This is a group with an open ending. We can expect a lot of home victories and therefore the knowledge which team goes on to the next stage will be undecided for a long time. Those very interesting teams will mean a lot of spectators at our home matches," Linnell said.
In the last season Kolding’s biggest strength was their home advantage, as they didn’t only tie with Montpellier, but also with both finalists THW Kiel and F.C. Barcelona-Borges in the Group Phase.
And KIF will have a small anniversary in this season, as they play in the EHF Champions League for the tenth time. The biggest success was reaching the semi-final against SC Magdeburg in 2002. The Germans later went to win the trophy.
Since 1987 Kolding has become twelve times Danish champion and seven times Danish cup winner, aside they had reached.
Newcomers: Lars Christiansen (from SG Flensburg-Handewitt), Lars Krogh Jeppesen (from BSV), Ratko Nikolic from (San Antonio)
Left the club: Rene Toft Hansen (to AG Copenhagen)
Coach: Ingemar Linnell (SWE, since 2009 and from 1998-2001)
12 times Danish champion, seven times Danish cup winner, European City Cup finalist 1997, EHF Champions League semi-finalist 2002
Find more info here.
TEXT: Björn Pazen