Paris Saint-Germain Handball now know who awaits them in the Velux EHF Champions League group stage. Here is the fifth instalment in our series of portraits of Paris Saint-Germain Handball's Group B opponents: last season's revelations Skjern.
Skjern in a few words
Skjern are a very young club, founded in 1992 and ascending to Denmark's top flight in 1999, where they have stayed ever since. So it's not really surprising to see that the Black and Greens have a relatively modest history in the Velux EHF Champions League. The coming campaign will be just their fifth, but they reached as far as the round of 16 in 2004 before stunning everyone with a run to the quarters last season.
Jorgen Jorgensen's men's last campaign surprised many. Starting in the lower groups, they topped Group C before wining a play-off against Zaporizhia for the right to face giants Veszprém in the round of 16. Thanks to an excellent showing at home in their Bank Arena, Skjern took an option on qualification with a 32-25 win and, despite losing the return leg 34-29, they claimed a sensational aggregate win! They failed to make it to the Final4, however, coming off second-best in their double-header against future Velux EHF Champions League runners-up Nantes (33-27; 27-27).
Skjern have seen some key players leave since this stunning run, with top scorer Markus Olsson (88 goals) signing for Lidl StarLigue outfit Fenix de Toulouse. 'Keepr Tibor Ivanisevic headed to Bundesliga side Wetzlar while Danish playmaker, Thoma Mogensen (31 Velux EHF Champions League goals last season with Flensburg), retuns to his homeland aged 31. Paris will also need to watch out for Bjarte Myrohl, who was named as the best pivot in the competition last season.
While the two sides have never met before in official competition, they did play a friendly less than a year ago. The Rouge et Bleu spent two days in Denmark, taking on Aalborg and then Skjern. Our players were up against a good Skjern side but ultimately came out on top and ended their pre-season preparations on a winning note (25-35).
Paris – Skjern: Round 6
Skjern – Paris: Round 9