Iceland made their debut on the big stage at EHF EURO 2010 last night at the NRGi Arena in Aarhus last night but suffered a 35:25 defeat at the hands of the strong Croatians.
One of the best Viking players in that game, right-winger Hanna Stefánsdóttir, talks to ehf-euro.com about the unusual experience of being at a major tournament.
ehf-euro.com: What´s your view on the game against Croatia?
Hanna Stefánsdóttir: I had a very good feeling before the game and we were ready to start our EHF EURO 2010 campaign. Unfortunately we didn´t play well in defence, and in attack we shot but couldn´t score.
ehf-euro.com: It was often mentioned in pre-tournament articles that Iceland´s players arrived at EHF EURO 2010 with the intention to play freely, enjoy themselves and to show how well they can perform.
What´s the mood like now with the players and coaching staff?
Hanna Stefánsdóttir: We´ll surely have some fun during the next games, but we were a bit angry about the our defeat against Croatia though as I´m pretty sure we can do much better in our next games.
ehf-euro.com: Apart from people cheering for Montenegro, you had the most spectators supporting you, was this a bit unusual for you as debutants?
Hanna Stefánsdóttir: It was, but I really enjoyed the fans. Most of them are players families and friends, or players that my teammates know as well as some Icelandic people who work here in Denmark. I expect even more Icelandic supporters for our upcoming matches.
ehf-euro.com: What are your expectations for the games against Russia and Croatia?
Hanna Stefánsdóttir: We are expecting tough games but we shall focus exclusively on our own game. With our Viking fighting spirit and a better-disciplined defence we can take some of the heat off our goalkeepers.