Faroe Islands' Brandenborg: "Biggest game in our history"
There are games and then there are special games. When the Faroe Islands face Denmark in the EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers it is definitely a game that stands out, since they form a self-governing overseas administrative division of the kingdom of Denmark.
Faroese star Pernille Brandenborg knows what’s at stake.
“It is the biggest game in our history,” says the line player, who plays her club handball in Denmark for Randers.
Faroe Islands is one of the smallest nations competing in the qualifiers and in their next game they phase Denmark, one of the best teams in the world. Eurohandball.com spoke Brandenborg before the game.
”I am only half Faroese so it is a very special game for me personally. My mother is from Faroe Islands and her side of the family live on the islands. My father is from Denmark I have grown up in Denmark. I know both anthems but, of course, I always root for the Faroe Islands,” says Brandenborg.
When asked whether she will sing both the Faroese and the Danish anthems before the game, she laughs: ”I won’t, “the only national anthem I will be singing is the Faroese one.”
The two countries get along just fine but that does not change how much this game means.
”I am sure that it’s the biggest game in our history. It cannot get any bigger than playing against Denmark, especially because of the special bond between our countries.
In the Faroese squad, there are seven players who play in the Danish league. Brandenborg says that young players in the Faroe Island dream of one day leaving the islands to play in Denmark.
”We are like their younger sister but maybe not all Faroese people see it that way. But we are a small country and girls who play handball look up the Danish players and the Danish league. They all dream of playing there one day,” says the line player.
”We are all very excited to play against Denmark. We have no pressure – all pressure is on Denmark.”
“Never play without believing”
The Faroe Islands team has improved a lot over the past few years and since Dragan Brljevic took over as coach, the improvement has accelerated. In the qualification phase, they beat Finland and Israel. Denmark is a different beast but Brandenborg believes in her team.
”I will never play handball without believing in myself and my team. And everyone in our country has a relationship with Denmark but that does not go both ways so maybe that gives us a small advantage,” says Brandenborg.
One thing is for sure – the Faroese players and supporters will give it their all in capital Torshavn on 10 October.
“We are hoping for a full arena. There was huge support when the football team played against Denmark, so we are hoping for something similar this time. We need a lot of support to win and hopefully, we can shock Denmark,” concludes Brandenborg.