Our 2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,100 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 7 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.


Larvik HK – Official fan pages for players

Larvik HK is currently in the process of creating a beautiful community of fans around their players, and the club.

Starting a couple of days Larvik HK Facebook page started to post, one by one, links with official Facebook fan-side pages. No doubt it will be a nice source for fans to find news, great photos, and also inside view from the players themselves and from the club – both managing this pages.

Fan-side Facebook Pages so far.:

Kari Mette Johansen – offisiell fanside


Thea Mørk – offisiell fanside


Nora Mørk – offisiell fanside


Sara Breistøl – offisiell fanside


Stay tuned on Vibork’s HK Facebook page for updates.

Who do you think will win this year Women Champions League?

Head Coaches Change in Women Handball

We had a week with 2 major events in women handball.

  • Viborg HK’s coach JAKOB VESTERGAARD will leave at the end of this season, after 5 years, and 2 Champions League trophies.
  • Olchim Valcea. After just a month, ANJA ANDERSEN was fired by the management & sponsor due to… who knows’s exactly why.

Until the season ends, both teams are covered. Viborg has Jakob, and Olchim Valcea will be once again trained by Radu Voinea (also the Romanian NT coach).

Questions, questions when the season ends.

  • Who will be the next coach in Viborg? Will it be Anja Andersen?  Peter Cassøe says NO.
  • Will Radu Voina remain for the next season?
  • Will Larvik change Tor Oddvar Moen? If Viborg says no to Anja, will Larvik consider this possibility?


How about Marit Breivik’s comeback as a coach, or

Karl-Erik Bøhn, former Larvik’s coach, fired on January 2011. There were rumors saying he is in negotiations with Oltchim Valcea but it’s not the case since the team announced his new coach.

Until we have our answers, one more form Denmark:

Susanne Munk Wilbek

Viborg HK just announced today that Susanne Munk Wilbek will comeback at the club, in the summer, as the new Goalkeepers Coach.

Susanne is returning to the women’s handball after a couple of years where she was coaching on the men’s side.

Sussane Munk Wilberk played at Viborg HK from 1997 to 2006 (7 seasons). She won with Viborg one Champions League Title in 2006 and 2 EHF Cups, in 1999 and 2004.

More about Sussane Munk Wilbek performances as a player.


Cristina Neagu, an injury case

All you hear this days is about Cristina Neagu’s shoulder injury. You hear/ read around things like:

“she will never play handball again”

“if she has a surgery, it will be the end of her career”

“do the surgery, it will be ok, others did so and are now playing their best handball ever”

….and so on. I could extract excerpts from the Romanian press all day long.

What it is known for sure is that Cristina, is indeed, injured and this is the reason Anja Andersen coddled her in the past games.

Oltchim Viborg 2010

Cristina Neagu

She has been injured since the European Championship, but she still played in every game (except the one with Russia), the whole 60 minutes. It is no doubt that she is very important for the club and for the national team. What’s interesting is why this entire good cop, bad cop game … around this matter. Although Anja said that winning Champions League is an objective for the next year, is something that some people around Oltchim hope to happen this year, so obviously if Cristina has the surgery she will be out for 3 to 6 months, so she will not play for the team, so here we have a smaller chance of winning this year’s Champions League = PROBLEM. Of course all of this are speculations.

Cristina went this week, together with Anja Andersen to some clinics in Denmark and Belgium, for some investigation and take a decision regarding her shoulder, decision that hopefully she will make in her best interest, and not the interest of others.

Like Anja said this week “She is not a machine. She is a human first and then a handball player”, something that you don’t hear around too often. In Romania, you are educated to embrace the pain that comes with the sport you are practicing. Nobody denies that there are risks in being a professional player, and having injuries…but at the end of the day, it has to bring you joy and satisfaction, definitely no pain and sorrow.

Anja Andersen’s mentality it’s clearly different, and to her, the people matter more than the glory of winning with all costs. It seems it is something that she will not sacrifice in Oltchim, and she will not do it with Cristina Neagu either…as important as she might be for the team.

I recently read a post written by Radu Naum (a Romanian sport journalist) “The phantoms Revenge”. He talked there about how the girls are now taking revenge for all the treatments they were applied to, in the past (no lights after 10 pm…and some more, because that’s how we do “performance” here). Like Radu Naum said in its post “Anja hit us like an asteroid…” and so the thinks are shaking a bit, but that’s Anja :).

I truly hope that some things are going to change, but of course it takes time.

Coming back to Cristina Neagu, the latest news is that, with the help of the former president of Romanian Olympic Committee and a famous tennis player in the 70s, Ion Tiriac, she will be seen by a physiotherapist in Austria. This doctor has also treated with “no surgery” Boris Becker and the swimmer Camelia Potec who had similar injuries.

To be continued…

Larvik – Gyori ETO 16-25

What does a normal person do when coming back home after a Saturday night in the club? The correct answer is … enters EHF site to see what he/she should have seen hours before if it was a little more serious: Larvik HK – Audi ETO Gyor. Why haven’t I seen the most important match of this day live is kind of a family story so it will not be revealed here.

Coming back to Saturday evening, I got home, I’ve changed into pajamas and hop in the middle of the bed holding my precious laptop into my arms. I got on the site really quick and immediately hit play on the video. The very first thing that I noticed was the absence of Gro Hammerseng. I wondered why is she not playing (comment on EHF was in Norwegian, a language not yet mastered at a level to understand what the nice guy was saying)? I wanted to search the answer on the internet but I was afraid that I will see the final result so I gave up the idea. I said to myself, that’s it, is Gro the best player in Larvik but Larvik is the champion of Norway, the Champions League semi-finalists last year an the game is played in Larvik Arena so I should see a really tight match between two great teams.

And the game begins. Everything goes smoothly in the first 5 minutes. 2 goals for Larvik while Gyori has just scored its 3rd. What happened from that 5th minute until the end of the first half was incredible. And this not because of i had earlier at the bar. Larvik suddenly began to look exactly as Dinamo looked one week ago when they lost against Larvik 20-41. The team with the best attack of all those remaining in the competition manages an incredible range of 17 minutes in which scores a single goal. Meanwhile Gyor had no time to wait for Larvik to wake up and decided to take advantage on the lack of vision from the attack of Larvik (Larsen and Kristiansen both tried to replace Gro but without any success). In 22 minutes, the scoreboard says: Larvik 3 – Gyor 13! The difference of ten goals was kept until the break. Halftime score 7-17.

The entire first half seemed like a training game of the Hungarian team. Gyor’s central defense, consisting in Spiridon, Amorim and Bradeanu was like a wall in front of Larvik girls. Simona Spiridon, Loke Heidi’s possible replacement in Larvik, excelled right through Loke’s annihilation. Loke only managed to score once in the first 30 minutes and that one goal was scored on a counterattack.

Katrine Lunde Haraldsen was used in Gyor goal from the very first minute. Hungarian team relied on the fact that she knows perfectly the girls from Larvik, most of them colleagues at the national team of Norway. The effect of this decision? Over 60% percentage of ball saved!

The second half was closer to what I would have expected from a game between the two teams with the best chance of reaching the semifinals. Larvik has used Olga Medvedeva more and she perfectly managed to keep the defense organized. The good defensive play was backed by an inspired Cecile Leganger so if somehow Gyor managed to pass the ball behind Larvik’s defenders Cecile was there to stop the ball entering the goal. This is how, in the first 18 minutes of the second half of Gyor only scored three goals.

Just like Larvik has done in the first half. Does that mean that the Norwegian team managed to score as many goals as Gyor in the first half? No. Although they came closer by six goals, the girls from Norway have continued to miss a lot of attacks and Gyor’s defense continued to work perfectly.

The second half score: 9-8. Final score Larvik 16:25 Gyor and the Hungarian team is one step and a half in the semifinals.

This game conclusions:

  • Larvik does not have a player able to gather the colleagues around her in the hard moments just as Gro does
  • KLH was by far the better goalie today
  • Loke Heidi can be stopped; it just takes a great defender, capable to stay between her and the ball
  • Gyor’s great strength remains the defensive phase (central defense + goal); once again I wonder how will they manage to replace Spiridon and Bradeanu next season.


Aurelia Bradeanu will leave Gyor in the summer

It is official. Gyor ETO has confirmed that Aurelia Bradeanu’s contract will not be renewed. During the 7 years spend at the Hungarian team, Bradeanu was a solid presence in the team. Togheter with her teammates she achieved to:

  • win 5 times the Hungarian Championship
  • win the Hungarian Cup 5 times
  • play one Champions League final and 3 semifinals in the same competition

Few weeks ago, Gyor’s officials have made a similar statement about the other Romanian born player, Simona Spiridon. If there are rumors about Simona replacing Heidi Loke at Larvik, no anouncement has yet been made about Mica’s (this is how the fans call Aurelia Bradeanu) next team.

Before playing in Hungary she has been several times Romanian Champion with Oltchim and Rapid. Will she come back to Oltchim and join her national team colleagues or will she move north?

No matter which team the two girls will play, there remains a big question about what will Gyor play next season. It will for sure have a better attack with Heidi Loke but what about defense? The Hungarian team is well known for its impressive defense. Will it be the same without 2 of the main rocks? Something tells me that we will soon have some other transfer news coming from Gyor.

Anja Andersen interview on her birthay

It was Anja’s birthday yesterday, Happy Birthday Anja!

Some of the romanian media got with her and here we have some excerpts from the interview.

  • The first one for me, is how nice she talks about coming to Oltchim, as a coach, and how this opportunity is the best present she could hope for her birthday.

“The best gift is coaching Oltchim. I said it before, is an honor to be on the technical bench of such a team.”

  • Regarding the match Oltchim lost with Itaxko, Anja talked about why the game was lost when Itaxko changed their strategy – what a defence they had – and how the team was unable being unable to act upon those changes. This is something she is working on with the girls.
  • About the next game with Krim:

“I have time this week to decide which girls will play. The players who are in their best shape are going to make it. Until the hour of the game i have to make the girls capable to enfold upon any opponent tactics, to change everything on the go.”

She also talked about the great potential of Oltchim, and how this season’s Champions League throphy is not something she is very sure of, but for the next year the team is definitely favorite.

More from Anja Andersen’s interview here

Source: prosport.ro

EHF Group 2, Main Round, Day 2

Audi ETO Gyor – Leipzig 25:20 (11:8)

The match between Hungarian champion and the pleasant surprise of previous match was far more close than the score shows.

With great defense on both sides and two incredible goalkeepers (Katalin Palinger and Katja Schulke) the two teams finished the 1st half with very few goals scored.

Leipzig started the 2d half better and managed to equalize Gyor in only 4 minutes. It was the last time the two teams found themselves tied. Katrine Lunde Haraldsen, goalkeeper in Katalin Palinger’s place, had some great interventions showing once again that the home team has the strongest couple of goalkeepers in the entire female handball.

The attack went a little better in the 2nd half with some winning shots from the pivot. Simona Spiridon, whose contract expires this summer and which will then be replaced by Norwegian Heidi Loke, was the best scorer for Gyor.

Final Score: Gyor 25 – Leipzig 20

Top Scorers:

  • Gyor: Spiridon-6, Bradeanu-4, Gorbicz-4
  • Leipzig: Lyksborg-5, Augsburg-4, Kudlacz-4, Rosler-4

Larvik – Dinamo Volgograd 41:20 (24-9)

Not much to say about this game, dominated so categorically by the Norwegian players who managed to score in one half as much as Gyor throughout the entire match.

Larvik showed in this match as a true champion of Europe:

  • a goalkeeper, Cecilie Leganger, who defended shots from 9 meters, 7-meter, one on one situations…
  • great defense (only 9 goals conceded in the first half)
  • yield attack (1 goal every 88 seconds) and the result: 10 of the 12 players put their name on the scorer’s list.

A funny moment occurred in the last seconds of the game when Larvik has appointed Cecilie Leganger, the goalkeeper, to execute a 7-meter shot. Unfortunately she missed the chance to become the 11th scorer of Larvik in this match against Dinamo.


Nora Mork

Top Scorers:

  • Larvik: Nora Mork-10, Heidi Loke-8, K.M. Johansen-5
  • Dinamo: Khmyrova-4, Danshina-3, Milova-3

Remains to see in the next week’s match against the main competitor of the group, which is the true face of Larvik, the one in this match or that from the one played at home against Leipzig.

After the weaknesses exhibited by the other group teams, the winner in Larvik-Gyor confront will be the main favorite to win the trophy.

EHF Group 1, Main Round, Day 2

The results of the 2nd stage in the main round led to an almost perfect balance in this group standings. All 4 teams have 2 points and the goal difference is also very close: +2 goals for the leader respectively -3 goals for the team on the 4th place.

Surprise in Spain, Itaxko-Oltchim 26:25 (10-14)

Less than a week, after a very good match against Buducnost, Oltchim Valcea came to Spain to get the victory that would have eased the way to the semifinals of the competition. In the first 45 minutes, nearly 2,000 Itaxko supporters in the hall could see why Oltchim Valcea was considered to be the favorite team to win:

  • good defense
  • great passing for the counter-attacks of Ada Nechita
  • powerful 9 meters shots and unpredictable attacks for the turk Yeliz OZEL and Alice Ardean Elisei, both reborn after the arrival of Anja Andersen in Romania.

In the 43rd minute of the game, Oltchim was leading by 6 goals and the match seemed to end even at a bigger difference, Itaxko having obvious problems with completion (only 4 goals in the first 13 minutes of the 2nd half).

What happened in that last 15 minutes it’s hard to understand for Oltchim’s supporters and probably harder to forget for those of Itaxko.

The former Champions League finalist couldn’t find solutions to overcome Itaxko’s aggressive defense. Mistakes in defense (which worked perfectly until then), the seven 7-meter throws dictated by Danish officials in favor of the Spanish team, and especially the great evolution of Emilia Turey (the player formerly coached by Anja Andersen who played in the 2nd half, although the team officials had originally announced her as unavailable) all made for the 58th minute score to become equal for the first time since 9th minute (3:3).

Emilia Turey

In the 59 th minute, Oltchim Valcea misses, thru Ada Nechita, the chance to return in front of the game. In reply, Emilia Turey scores her 9th goal for Itaxko and brings the team in the lead for the first time in this match.

With just 9 seconds utill the end of the match, Oltchim desperatly throws the ball from its own field side, but the ball hit the bar.

Final score: 26-25.

Top Scorers:

  • Itaxko: Turey – 9 (5), Barbosa – 6, Martin – 6 (1)
  • Oltchim: OZEL – 8, Nechita – 7, Elisei – 5.

Buducnost-Krim Ljubljana 32:29 (17:12)

An exceptional evolution from Andrea Lekic (11 goals) was not enough for Krim to leave Montenegro with points won.

After a first defeat in this Champions League season, suffered in the first game with Oltchim, Buducnost could not afford to lose even a point at home.

Bojana Popovic (down) and Jovanka Radicevic

In front of 4,500 spectators, the girls scored 12 more goals than in the previous stage with Oltchim, and managed a clear victory.

Top Scorers:

  • Buducnost: Bulatovic 6, Djokic 5, Jovanovic 5, Popovic 5
  • Krim: Lekic 11, Varlec 5