But it won’t be easy. In the last qualifying round for the EHF European League, the Spanish big team Bidasoa Irun awaits.
– I have to admit that I know a little too little about them to know whether I should be happy or sad. It was only Flensburg that was ranked higher, so it is in the cards that there is formidable opposition. It is probably one of the toughest teams, says general manager of Kolstad, Jostein Sivertsen, to TV 2.
Kolstad coach Christian Berge believes there are good chances to reach the group stage, although he does not know too much about their Spanish opponent.
– I have to watch a lot of video, but it’s a good team, I know that. It is a tough task we are facing, says Berge to TV 2.
Bidasoa Irun, the old greatness from Spain, won the Champions League back in 1995. Last season they reached the round of 16 in the EHF European League against GOG, who at the time was the employer of Kolstad goalkeeper Torbjørn Bergerud.
– It will be a tough opponent, definitely, but I think we have opportunities. We just have to hit on the day and have a high top level over 120 minutes, then we have opportunities, says the national team goalkeeper.
– We have never played important matches outside Europe before, it will be something else than Drammen. It is now that we feel that the European adventure begins, adds chairman Sivertsen.
If Kolstad manages to make it all the way to a group stage, it also means money in the coffers for the hard-working club.
– There is some prize money, then there is some subsidy from one and the other, and then it depends a bit on which teams we get in terms of audience income. It could be a nice calculation, in the millions, if we get into the group stage, Sivertsen explains.
The first match will be played in Spain on 27 September, while the return leg in Kolstad Arena will take place on 4 October.
The draw for the qualification for the European Cup also took place on Tuesday, and looks like this for the Norwegian teams: ØIF Arendal meets the winner of Turkish Izmir and Czech Zubri, last year’s gold winner, Nærbø, meets the winner of Maccabi from Israel and Slovenj Gradec from Slovenia, while Runar meets HV Lovcen-Cetinje from Montenegro.