|22.10.2010, 16:30||◄ last page|
World-class middle back Gro Hammerseng dreams about lifting the trophy at the end of the CL season.
Hammerseng: "My best club team ever"
The national team captain and world-class Gro Hammerseng is back to Norway after seven years in Denmark (Ikast/FCM). It is time for the 30 year old European and Olympic champion to lift trophies also at a club level. The most prestigious of them, the EHF Champions League, is clearly in her mind.
ehfCL.com: You have now spent a couple of months with your new team. What are your impressions of Larvik HK?
Gro Hammerseng: It’s a great experience to be part of such a good team. Larvik is the best club team I’ve ever played in. When I say so, I feel like I offend the team mates I used to play with in the past, but Larvik has got the biggest depth. It’s outstanding to see so many great players here, on every position.
ehfCL.com: Can Larvik win the EHF Champions League this year?
Gro Hammerseng: Yes, I believe so. Of course, other teams could win it as well. But I feel like we are one of the candidates. We have a high number of top players all over the court. That is a big advantage. We also have world class goalkeepers, a solid defence and are very effective in fast-breaks. And the team can benefit from the balance between very experienced and younger players who are not afraid of anything, like Nora Mørk.
ehfCL.com: Do you think it’s relevant to compare Larvik with the Norwegian national team, since most of the players are part of both teams?
Gro Hammerseng: Well, not less than ten Larvik players can absolutely apply for the Norwegian squad at the EHF EURO in December. I think the mentality is quite the same here, compared to the national team. The qualities in defence, fast-breaks and of the goalkeepers are also very similar. But our play in offence is somewhat different. We have many more system variants in Larvik, and the way we build our offense is not the same.
ehfCL.com: What is the strength of Oltchim Vâlcea, your opponent on Saturday?
Gro Hammerseng: They have fantastic players who work together as a team. I’m more impressed by their offense. It’s very nice to see how they manage to play with their excellent line players. And Neagu is capable of fabulous long-distance shots.
ehfCL.com: Your list of merits is huge with the national team, but on a club level you have never won anything except the EHF Cup Winners’ Cup with Ikast in 2004. How would you like to this year win every trophy you still miss: a national championship, a national cup title and the EHF Champions League in your third participation?
Gro Hammerseng: That’s possible, and I dream about it! I know it will be a hard fight in the EHF Champions League. But I also know it’s possible to lift the trophy if we play at our best. The CL is not something I must win before the end of my career, but I dream about it. It’s one of the reasons why I signed for Larvik.
ehfCL.com: Does it feel good to be at home again? Norwegian media have talked a lot about you during the last months.
Gro Hammerseng: I must say I’m happy to be back in Norway, although I enjoyed Denmark very much as well. I felt like it was the right time to return home. Since summer I have received much more media attention than when I used to live in Denmark. It’s quite logical because both countries are very keen on their own national players. But this attention is positive most of the time.
The EHF Women's Champions League top game of Group C, Larvik HK (NOR) vs. C.S. Oltchim Rm. Vâlcea (ROU) on Saturday 23 October 2010 at 17:15 hrs (local time) will be broadcast live on our free-of-charge web stream on ehfTV.com.
TEXT: Grégory Tervel