When Bjerringbro-Silkeborg faces Flensburg-Handewitt on Sunday, Michael Knudsen visits his hold home court.
Written by Jonas Løytved
Photo: Ole Mørk, www.midtjysk-foto.dk
For nine years from 2005 to 2014, Michael Knudsen played his home games in Flens Arena. The line player is still popular in Flensburg and the interest for his homecoming game is huge. The tickets to the game between Flensburg-Handewitt and Bjerringbro-Silkeborg were sold out already in December. The fans look forward to welcome Michael Knudsen back.
– It is great that people look forward to the game and I know of cause many people who are coming to the game but I try to stay focused on the game. I am going to Flensburg to win, aid the 38 years old line player.
He finished his nine years in Flensburg winning the VELUX EHF Champions League. After the celebrations, he and goalkeeper Søren Rasmussen want back to Denmark to join Bjerringbro-Silkeborg. The game on Saturday is their first game in Flens Arena since they left Flensburg.
– It is going to be a bit odd to go into a different dressing room and to enter the court from the opposite side. Something is not the way it is used to, said Knudsen, who does not expect any homecoming gifts.
– Of cause, Søren and I are excited about playing in Flensburg but they are also excited about facing us. To them it is a special game. The do not want to lose face against us and especially not at home where they almost never losses.
Chock in Kiel
Last week, Bjerringbro-Silkeborg chocked Europa when beating THW Kiel in Kiel. Michael Knudsen scored seven goal, was top scorer and among the best seven in Round 12 in VELUX EHF Champions League. Now, the Danish Champions face another German powerhouse and Knudsen thinks it is going to be even more difficult than last week. Even though Bjerringbro-Silkeborg is supported by almost 500 fans in Flensburg.
– It is going really tough. We did a sensation in Kiel where we played a great match and they did not play their best game. In order to win in Flensburg, we again need to do a great game, make few mistakes, have great goalkeeper and a really strong defense.
– Flensburg plays good at the moment. The destroyed Minden in the Bundesliga on Wednesday. On the other hand, they focus a lot on winning the German Championship and that can be our advantage if they have less focus on the VELUX EHF Champions League. But, from my years in the club, I know that Flensburg does not want to lose against a Danish team, told the line player.
Bjerringbro-Silkeborg still dream of reaching the Last 16 of the VELUX EHF Champions League. They are two point behind Wisla Plock in sixth but if Plock loses against PSG (home) and Barcelona (away), Bjerringbro-Silkeborg can grab the Last 16-spot by beating Kadetten Schaffhausen in their last game at home.
– If we lose in Flensburg, it is not in our own hands. Wisla Plock has a home game against Paris but of cuase we hope that Paris and Barcelona can beat Plock. It would be really great for us to have the opportunity in our last game against Kadetten Schaffhausen, said Michael Knudsen.
Throw off between Flensburg-Handewitt and Bjerringbro-Silkeborg is Saturday at 17.30. The game is live on DR2 Denmark and EHFTV.com.