Big interview with Kim Andersson: “Incredibly grateful that I can still do this”

Kim Andersson is back on the field doing what he loves most – namely playing handball.
There are still no thoughts of ending the career of Ystad’s fixed star.
– I’m still doing it because I think it’s so much fun and I realize that when I’m away from the field, says the 41-year-old to GoHandball.

After a prolonged heel injury, which required surgery, Kim Andersson is finally back on the handball court again. There, the right back and his Ystads IF have started to warm up after a heavier period in the autumn.

– In terms of results, it may not be where we want to be, but lately I think we have shown that we can stand up to the very best when we get to it. Then it hasn’t been easy for the coaching team either, there have been a lot of people missing and someone left prematurely, it’s things like that that make it take a little time to get the game to sit, says the former THW Kiel player, who is also starting to warm up personally:

– I don’t feel anything from the operation, so I don’t have those problems now. Then there are things with the timing, agreements and interactions with the new ones that take some time to get in. But there are only small details that should be avoided.

The love for the sport lives on

In 1999, a young right-back made his debut for his Ystads IF. Now, 24 years later, Kim Andersson is still one of the biggest attractions in Swedish handball. Since 2015, he has been back in Ystads IF – where he has become an unusually long-lived “returnee”.

– I usually take things as they come, for better or for worse. But when I signed my first contract there, which was for four years, I didn’t think much beyond that. But it’s clear that I might not have seen that I would do nine seasons there and then, says Andersson, who is transparent that there is concern about what happens after his career – even for one of Swedish handball’s greatest players of all time .

– It’s a time-limited industry and it’s not like I can play handball right up until retirement. At some point you have to stop and there can certainly be a little fear of what to do after your career, it has been a very big part of mine and my family’s life.

In March 2023, Ystads IF finally announced that they extended Andersson’s contract over the 2023/24 season, but when asked if there is any dialogue going on for another extension, Andersson’s position is clear.

– Right now there is no dialogue about it. I live in the moment and take it as it comes. I just try to do the best I can on the field. But I’m still doing it because I think it’s so much fun and I realize it when I’m away from the field. I am incredibly grateful that I can still do this.

The thoughts about coaching

In addition to trying to guide Ystad to the spring playoffs, Kim Andersson is also part of the leadership staff in Ystads IF’s prominent B14 team, where he also has his son on the field. But it was not a matter of course to step down on the coach’s bench when the question came.

– It wasn’t an obvious decision, but I certainly haven’t regretted it. I think it’s very fun to see the boys at this age where so much is happening and I just want to give a good experience, just like I remember I had during my youth, Andersson explains.

Have you considered a coaching career after your active career?

– I haven’t done it before. I’m not really that into sports, I just think it’s a lot of fun to exercise. But I’ve thought about it a bit now and the easiest thing would definitely have been to stay in the handball world where you know everything and my handball CV is pretty good and I feel like I have something to learn from all my own experiences, so we’ll see how it will be, says Kim Andersson.