Watch Nærbø – Elverum from 20:25 on TV 2 Sport 2 and Sumo.
Elverum has been by far Norway’s best handball team on the men’s side in recent years, and now has Europe as a playground. Every week they play against the best teams with the biggest stars in the Champions League, but to win at Jæren against little Nærbø, Elverum has not managed that.
– There is a bunch of good players who never give up, and they are especially good at home, says Simen Holand Pettersen.
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The left-back of Elverum, who is the son of former national team coach Gunnar Pettersen, was born in 1998 and knows the Nærbø players well. The tribe in the team from Jæren is a group of friends born in that year.
Holand Pettersen has played against them as a club player, and with them on younger national teams.
– The two times we have met them away, they showed a warrior attitude, and we were not quite on top, he explains.
Elverum were big favorites at Jæren two seasons ago when Nærbø was newly promoted, but lost 29-30.
Before the settlement last season, Nærbø’s Steffen Stegavik, with a past in Elverum, said this to TV 2 before the match:
“We win 1 of 20 times against Elverum and we won last year. But the guys here are crazy enough to believe it can happen again »
Then Nærbø won again, 31-29. It was the only match Elverum lost in the domestic series and cup last season.
– They stuff the whole village into the hall and create a lot of life and impact. We were taken to bed. But this year it is the corona, “fortunately”, so we have to bet that they do not get everyone in and that it can turn it around, says Elverum’s goalkeeper Emil Kheri Imsgard with a smile.
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He is also a 98 model and knows the Nærbø players both as courage and teammates. Maybe the corona situation with only 200 spectators can help Elverum to win the match they have not managed to win.
– On paper, we are a strong team, says Holand Pettersen. It is a match we are going to win, but anything can happen on Jæren. They train well and are serious in everything they do, so I’m not surprised that they cause trouble for most people.
– They are doing something right, Imsgard thinks.
– They have acquired a good handball culture that matches us when we are not at the top. They should have all the credit for that. A lot of good work has been put in, and we should not regret that it is a good team, he continues.
Shock loss for Elverum’s star gallery
Before the settlement on Sunday, Elverum has done something as rare as losing two games in a row. Against Haslum in the series and against PSG in the Champions League.
– The loss against Haslum means that we are hungry for revenge. We must show in the Norwegian series that we do not go on such blisters again. Now we have missed a match this year and must be even sharper than we have been before. It is important to be on, says Simen Holand Pettersen.
– You can not stand another loss against Nærbø?
– No, no we do not, Emil Kheri Imsgard states. And as a team, we are too good for that. And if we are to take titles, we must take these battles.