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11.09.2010, 09:00◄ last page     

VELUX EHF Men’s Champions League countdown, part 14: IK Sävehof (SWE)

100% Made in Sweden

Only three clubs in the current EHF Champions League season start with both men’s and women’s teams: Metalurg Skopje (FYR Macedonia) and KIF Vejen & KIF Kolding (Denmark) the Swedish team IK Sävehof.

On the same day both teams won their Swedish league finals. The women have to go through two rounds of the EHF Champions League Qualification (they won the Round 1 tournament on home soil and are playing the last qualification round this weekend in Skopje), the men are automatically qualified for the Group Stage.

For the women’s team it was their sixth Swedish title, the men won for the third time. But it was the very first time both were triumphant in the same season.

And IK Sävehof, from the host city of the Partille Cup, is different from other EHF Champions League participants in one point: there are only Swedish players in the squad of the new coach Mikael Franzén, who formerly coached HK Aranäs.

In the Swedish all-time ranking Sävehof is ranked seventh. They have even published their own vision for the future on their website: "Sävehof will be the most successful Swedish handball club and due to good results we will have play a role in the international scene."

For Sävehof it’s the third time after 2004 and 2005 to participate in the EHF Champions League, their biggest success was reaching the Last 16 in 2005. In the Challenge Cup Sävehof reached the semi-finals in 2003. Since then the club has been a steady participant of European Cup matches. This year the Swedes celebrate their tenth participation in European Cups since 1989.

Aside bringing three youngsters from their own youth team to the elite, Sävehof signed Michael Apelgren from the Spanish club Granollers, but also lost two players to different Swedish clubs.

Despite the fact that they play in a tough EHF Champions League group, meeting Hamburg, Veszprém, Montpellier, Kolding and Presov, the Partille team hopes to "reach the next stage and to win the Swedish league again."

Coach Franzén said: "We play in a tough but interesting group, in which Hamburg and Montpellier are the favourites."

Key facts

Newcomers: Michael Apelgren (from BM Granollers), Peter Johannesson, Anton Blickhammar, Robert Månsson (from IK Sävehof juniors)

Left the club: Andreas Ungesson (HK Aranäs), Erik Jakobsson (HF Kroppskultur Herr)

Coach: Mikael Franzén (SWE, from HK Aranäs), Henrik Signell (assistant coach)

Club records

Three times Swedish champion (2004, 2005, 2010), four times Swedish runners-up (1993, 1994, 2006, 2008)
Tenth participation at European Cups (1989, 1993, 1996, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)

Find more info here.

TEXT: Björn Pazen

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