Following an international break lasting precisely two weeks, the Borussia Dortmund women’s handball team will return to action with a trip to VfL Oldenburg on Sunday (16:00 CET). The match away to their league rivals marks the start of another hectic phase involving games at national and international level for Henk Groener’s team – starting with three matches in the space of a week.

“The training sessions have gone very well for those who were here,” said the BVB coach, as he reflected positively on the past fortnight. A lot of intensive work was conducted in small groups. That period went less well for some of the international players. Alina Grijseels, for example, could not make an appearance in the German national team’s second game against Poland. “She’s unfortunately still suffering from her dead leg. Lisa Antl and Zoë Sprengers also have minor problems. We’ll see how we can deal with it.”

That makes the Dutchman even more delighted that his countrywoman Harma van Kreij is available again. She got a few minutes under her belt in the match against HSG Bensheim/Auerbach and recently trained with her national team too. “She’s in the process of settling back into the team and rediscovering her old performance levels. She’s training with us fully in attack and defence and is fully fit,” Groener said. 

The coach is expecting to face a strong opponent on Sunday afternoon. VfL Oldenburg might be plagued by injury concerns, but they have an even points tally (16:16) and occupy seventh place in the table – a comfortable mid-table position. “They are very cohesive and impose their style over the 60 minutes. They also like to spring tactical surprises,” said BVB coach, who is expecting a thoroughly unpleasant opponent.

“In addition, Oldenburg possess dangerous goalscorers and quick wingers who can create tempo on the flanks. Full concentration will be required throughout the entire match in order for us to be successful in Oldenburg too,” he added. Incidentally, the clash with the Lower Saxony side will also see the top two scorers in the league go head-to-head: Oldenburg’s Toni-Luisa Reinemann tops the standings with 109 goals, with Alina Grijseels seven goals behind.

The match at the EWE-Arena will start at 16:00 CET on Sunday and can be watched free of charge on the streaming platform Sportdeutschland.TV.