Norwegian champions from Larvik HK are one of the favourites for winning the CL-trophy this year and regarding their way to the MVM EHF FF it would not be a big surprise.
The team led by Ole Gustav Gjekstad has qualified to Budapest without loosing any points on their way through groups, main round and quarter finals. In the last stage, they defetaed clearly Thüringer HC in both matches.
This years team of Larvik is more complete, well covered on all positions, they have two quality players for every position, all of them national team members.
The goal of Larvik has been taken over this year by Danish Sandra Toft and Alma Hasanic, meanwhile Cecilie Leganger and Lene Rantala has retired. Anyway the takeover went smoothly, the goalkeepr position was one of the strongest part of the team this season so far.
Nora Mörk on rightback is just fantastic once-again, she is responsible for many scorings, assists and she is the brain of the team, but not only, she could be called also the engine of this team, since she seems to be full of energy all the way.
Then they have the Hammerseng-Edins, Breivang, Sulland or Rieelhuth Koren, all of them gained a lot of experience through years both in Larvik and in national team.
Lineplayer position is covered by Marit Malm Frafjord, recovered from his injury, but Isabel Blanco is pregnant.
The susbstantial change was brought by signing Polish leftback, Alina Wojtas, who had an important contribution that the team has made it so far. She was an important brick both in attck and defense, but unfortunatelly got injured in the first quarterfinal match in Germany, against THC. Knee injurie, whic requires surgery, so she misses the MVM EHF FF in Budapest.
Larvik Hk as a club has gone though difficul times this year, teh shadow of banktrupcy was hanging over their heads, but the economical problems seems to be solved and the team is hungrier than ever for a new title.
Gro Hammerseng-Edin, on her blog on eurohandball.com writes about the season and Budapest:
“I have the pleasure of working with people who are just as dedicated to handball as I am. That goes for the players as well as for the coaches. Most of us have won a lot already, but we have definitely also experienced disappointments and hardship at various levels.
In some cases, an opponent is simply better. In other cases it is you who do not get enough out of your potential in the deciding moments. I am boiling inside each time someone from the outside questions our commitment, our motivation.
What is the main reason for our better season this year? Why did we manage to qualify for the FINAL4 this year, but not last year?
“I would say that there are many reasons, and it is hard to say which ones are the most essential ones. No doubt it is tempting to answer that it is because we have a deeper squad this year, that we have been reinforced by some new players, or that we have more players who have maintained a higher and more consistent level this season. Maybe we have made better priorities at training?
What annoys me a bit is that I personally suspect that I, and we as a team, have WANTED THIS so badly this year! This can have much to do with it. The burning wish to get to Budapest has been so obvious and has been shining out of our eyes the entire time.