National team hero coaches at Partille Cup

As a player he celebrated great triumphs with the Swedish national team on the handball field, now in Partille Cup Andreas Larsson leads IFK Skövde’s B14 side.

It’s IFK Skövde’s B14 team that is Andreas Larsson’s main focus during this edition of Partille Cup. He enjoys all the activity around the tournament and at the same time his teams has had a nice opening to this year’s tournament.
”It’s usually a party here at Partille Cup, this year too! There is a lot of motion and fun games to watch. Great fun to be here”, says Andreas Larsson.
“It’s been going well for us so far. We’ve got two teams in the B14 class and we’ve won our matches and had fun.

On his own list of accomplishments, Larsson can be proud of several gold’s in the European Championships and well over 100 international games for Sweden. Like many other successful handball careers, he’s participated as a player in Partille Cup at several occasions.
“I’ve participated in the Partille Cup a number of times and back then we played on asphalt”, he says with a smile.
”I’ve had bleeding knees after playing matches here. There are much better conditions now, but of course it was fun already back then”.

At the same time as he looks out over all the movement on Hedens artificial turf he says that this is a tournament that differs from others.
“It’s a different kind of cup, it’s not what we’re used to when it comes to the turf and all the excitement around the fields. It’s a bit more focus on having fun than in the season when we play tournaments, then it’s a bit more focus on the results”.

However, it’s not only at youth level that Andreas Larsson has experience in leading handball teams. This spring he managed to keep elite side Skövde HF in the SHE.
”There are some difference, of course. Now the guys are 14 years old and they are still growing and are at different phases in their development. When it comes to training players who are among the elite, where everyone has reached that level, one doesn’t need to call on the same focus when they come to training sessions and so on.”

As part of the Swedish national team’s successes in the 90’s and early 2000’s, Larsson has of course had Bengt “Bengan” Johansson as coach. He’s a leader whom the former right back looks up to.
“As a leader, I’ve tried to learn much from Bengan. I think everyone who’s had him takes a lot from that experience. There’s a lot focus on the group; to lift instead of push down and make everyone feel involved, whether you score ten goals or you may not be the one who does so many goals. To make everyone feel like part of the group, it’s his strength and a way to get win.”

At Partille Cup you see the stars of the future, Andreas Larsson is proof of it. When he ranks his career highlights he mentions one of his total of three golds at European Championships.
“If something stands out, it’s when we won the Euro’s in Zagreb year 2000. We won in overtime and I scored two goals then. I must say it was something a bit extra.”