Davidsson after the slow Löwen-start: “On par with ourselves”

Gustav Davidsson got his dream move from Hammarby to Rhein-Neckar Löwen during the summer. But the swede means that the German giants has higher potential than the Bundesliga-chart shows.
– I would say that it has been okay, we have played on par with ourselves
, Davidsson tells GoHandball.

After two great seasons in Handbollsligan with Hammarby Gustav Davidsson got his dream transfer to Bundesliga and Rhein-Neckar Löwen. But the Swedish playmaker couldn’t believe it when his agent told about the interest.

– I heard from my agent that they were concretely interested and then it was really a pinch in the arm. I guess I heard it a year ago and it was something that I couldn’t have even imagined a year and a half ago. It was particularly interesting that they could also present a long-term plan that felt good to both me and the team, says Gustav Davidsson to GoHandball.

Precisely the long-term plan was about being an option on both the left nine and center nine. But Davidsson has been thrown into the hot air earlier than expected during the pre-season.

– I have received an incredible amount more playing time than I had thought. We have had injury problems and it has opened up for me and there I feel that I have mixed and given a little. But at the same time I want to have as much playing time as possible and overall I think it has felt great.

What are the biggest differences between Handbollsligan and Bundesliga?

– I would say that it is the pace. The teams have an incredible number of high-quality players, which allows them to maintain a higher tempo throughout the match. When the absolute best teams change players, you barely notice the difference between the different lines.

Slow start

After 15 games of the Bundesliga-season Davidsson and Rhein-Neckar Löwen sits at sixth place of the chart. A position that could have been better, but it also has its logical explanations.

– I would say that it has been okay, we have played on par with ourselves. But we have also got a lot of injuries in the squad. Knorr was out in the beginning, Uwe Gensheimer has been out since the spring and Patrik Groetzki has been vacant during the last two months, says Davidsson and continues:

– But you also need to consider that we have a pretty young squad. But the goals is absolutely to be up there within the top five – and to play domestically next year.

National team ambitions

Before the move to Rhein-Neckar Löwen, Davidsson had time to make his debut in the national team under Glenn Solberg’s leadership – a long-awaited experience for the 24-year-old.

– I think that a place in the Swedish national team is the biggest thing you can achieve in a handball career and it was a huge honor to be there, says Davidsson, who also has expectations for Sunday’s squad selection for the Euros in Germany.

– I know that it is an extremely tough competitive situation, but I have hopes and hope that I will come in, of course. Then there is not much to do when Gottfridsson, who is perhaps the best player of his generation, plays in the middle nine and behind there is Claar, who dominates in the Bundesliga. So it’s a very tough competitive situation, but I use it in the right way and it spurs me to develop and do even better.