Borussia Dortmund’s handball women are just one step away from the European League final. The semi-final against Danish side Nykøbing Falster Handbold will take place in Graz on Saturday at 18:00 CET. Alina Grijseels is on the verge of making her comeback.
For weeks now, the team have been looking forward to the EHF European League Final Four, where BVB will play their first match on Saturday. In the semi-finals, held on the first day of the Final Four tournament, BVB face Nykøbing from Denmark, a strong but beatable opponent standing in between them and a shot at the title.
“They are enjoying a good season in the Danish league and have reached the play-offs there. In the European League, their performances have been up and down at times, but they are still a top team. Their playing style is typically Danish – fast and built for speed,” says captain Alina Grijseels. Playmaker Kristina Kristiansen and Dutch circle runner Nikita van der Vliet caught her eye in particular as she poured over hours of video analysis.
Henk Groener is expecting a close match. “Both teams can win this game. We will of course be extremely well prepared and I believe we can beat them,” says the coach. In the effort to do just that, he is able to draw on his full squad, as Alina Grijseels is available again after an injury to the little finger of her left hand. Sara Garovic also made her comeback in Bad Wildungen on Saturday after a brief absence.
The team are eager to make it into the final, and their successes so far this season have given the team confidence. “The games in the European League in particular contributed greatly to this. The teams operate on a higher level than our opponents in the Bundesliga. But we have gradually become better and better. And we aren’t flying to Graz just to make up the numbers. We want to make it into the final,” stresses the Dutchman.
Captain Grijseels knows BVB are not the favourites to lift the trophy, but in her opinion, the Black and Yellows do have a chance. “If we can reproduce the performances we have shown in the European League so far and put up a good defence in front of a good goalkeeper, a lot is possible,” she says, confidently.
“We worked hard to keep playing in the competition over the season and are massively looking forward to the event. Playing in a Final Four is always something special, because you never know how often in your career you will get to play in the finals with a cup up for grabs,” she emphasises.
Ikast Handbold and Thüringer HC will meet in the second semi-final. The winners of the two games will meet in the grand finale on Sunday at 18:00 CET. The losers will play at 15:30 CET in the third place play-off. All games will be broadcast on the free DAZN RISE channel [Germany].