Competition of Women’s EHF Champions League starts this weekend with interesting, top level encounters and timeoutmagazin’s staff will present the Groups and the teams of each group through a short overview.
Group A: Larvik HK (Norway), RK Krim Mercator (Slovenia), Rostov Don (Russia), HCM Baia Mare (Romania)
Larvik HK is the “eternal” Norwegian champion, last years runner up, being defeated only by Buducnost in the final. The club had faced some serious economical issues during previous season, but after fixing the problems they preserved their strength and presents themselves as serious contenders to this seasons Final 4 in Budapest.
Some changes in their squad make the team a bit different, but based on same concept, with mostly Norwegian players on almost every position. However we can find three foreign players in the squad: Alina Wojtas (Poland) and Sandra Toft (Denmark), the third one is Alma Hasanic (borned Bosnian, moved to Norway as child) who changed her passport from Norwegian to a Montenegrin one, to be able to aim to higher stands on national team competition as well.
Coach Ole Gustav Gjekstad said farewell to handball and earlier assistent coach, Tor Odvar Moen has taken over the position, assisted by a legend of Larvik, Tonje Larsen. Goalkeeper coach is another legend: Lene Rantala.
Linn Jörum Sulland left the club in favour of Győr, Isabel Blanco and Tine Rustad Albertsen (became mothers) left also the club, Sofie Lund transfered to Skrim Kongsberg.
Despite a questionable economical situation Larvik managed to sign to lefthanded players, Amanda Kurtovic (Oppsal) and Jenny Osnes Graesholt (Nordstrand). They needed a new rightwing since Linn Kristin Riegelhuth Koren is pregnant. Players from their own junior tam has also beeing promoted to the team.
Alina Wojtas and Tine Stange are still recovering from injuries, but are expected to be ready soon.
Goalkeepers: Alma Hasanic, Sandra Toft
Backplayers: Gro Hammerseng Edin, Anja Hammerseng Edin, Mari Molid, Alina Wojtas, Tine Stange, Amanda Kurtovic, Nora Mörk, Karoline Dyhre Breivang, Kristine Breistöl, Frida Helene Bjaaland, Hanne Svela, Lena Lowe
Wingers: Thea Mörk, Sanna Solberg,Jenny Osnes Graesholt, Helene Glemming
Lineplayers: Marit Malm Frafjord, Vilde Ingeborg Johanssen