|03.07.2009, 12:30||◄ last page|
The Danish surprise team of last season have to go through qualification first. The coach is confident.
Aalborg prepare for CL comeback
Björn Blomquist, Swedish head coach of Aalborg DH is really looking forward to his team´s comeback in the Champions League. The club achieved several fine results earlier – semi-finals as well as quarter-finals.
“I am looking forward to playing these matches like a child,” Björn Blomquist told eurohandball.com.
Before getting the chance to repeat the triumphs of previous years, however, Aalborg will have to go through qualification matches. In Qualification Group 4 the Danes will be facing Balomano Parc Sagunt from Spain, Greek champions AC Ormi-Loux Patras and the winner of Group B from Qualification round 1.
“While we should be able to defeat the team from the first qualification round, no matter which team that might be, Patras is a team I know quite a lot about. I think they should also be an opponent we can manage. This means that the first place and the access to the group stage will be a matter between Sagunt and us. Spanish women’s handball has been strong for many years, which was also emphasised by Itxako winning the EHF Cup last season. However, I definitely think we have a good chance of winning the group and proceeding to the group stage,” Blomquist told eurohandball.com.
Louise Mortensen stays
After a lot of uncertainty about her future career, Danish international Louise Mortensen has chosen to stay with Aalborg for another year.
“The chance to play in the Champions League again and to keep my position in the national team was decisive,” she said.
Louise Mortense, who played 82 internationals for Denmark, was considering finishing her career after the past season when she took a silver medal in the Danish championship.
Rumours also linked her with Danish champions and Champions League winners Viborg HK, but at the end she decided to stay in Aalborg.
“I’m really looking forward to a season which will hopefully bring Aalborg back to the group phase of the EHF Champions League. I think our future team looks really interesting and I hope that the competition for the positions in the team will also help me to keep my position in the national team,” the 29-year old versatile right-handed backcourt player said.
Sponsor helped out
A local sponsor agreed to sign a so-called personal sponsorship for Mortensen, guaranteeing her wages for the coming season. However, the amount could not match the offers she got from other clubs, but she still decided to stay in North Jutland.
“By signing this new contract, Louise has proved that she chose with her heart and not based on financial aspects,” Aalborg´s director Jan Hansen said.
In case of a successful Qualification Tournament, Aalborg would meet Hypo Niederösterreich, Krim Ljubljana and Metz Handball in Group B of the group stage.
TEXT: Peter Bruun