Even though Anja Andersen has stopped her career as a player, she still has an immense imporance to Danish handball and perhaps also to international handball as such. She has been nominated as the best female player in the world and many players look up to her skills and inventive strive to improve.
To many of us, Anja personifies Danish handball, which she has influenced and changed from boring teams of "knitting housewives" tossing the ball just to pass time into a creative, inventive and top professional game which is more popular than football and strives to be as entertaining and playfull as basketball. But she had a tough struggle with the "establishment" within the sport and with the media, who all wanted to tame the "ugly duckling" with its provoking ideas and behaviour. Now that she herself has become a trainer, she has the chance of proving what she had in mind for the development of handball.
Slagelse (2000 - 2008) became her big experiment, which we followed with great interest. The goals she set for herself and the team were steadily being fulfilled. Champions League, national championships etc..
2008 was the year when her time with Slagelse ended and a hello to a new "building project" where FCK now will be developed according to her plans. Her time with Slagelse almost ended earlier, in 2006, due to an incident where she, during a match against Aalborg, left for a short period of time with her team in order to have a chat about the situation, only to return four minutes later. She was dissatisfied with the referees and had received a red card for grabbing hold of one of the referees, but remained behind the bench.
In a later press conference, Anja chose to stop working for the league team. From now on she wouldl only train the team for Champions League, she said. However, she did give an aplogy to the press, feeling that this is a personal vendetta. She said that she had long considered to stop at this point. Others think, that she made her decision in order to get ahead of the handball authorities, who were likely to judge her severely. And the did: One year of suspension from participation in Danish matches plus a club fine at 100,000 Dkk.
In April, the Danish Handball Federation decided to reduce the penalty to only six months, which means that Anja could be with her team next season if she wanted to.
Anja also threw herself in a very peculiar experiment, becoming the national coach of Serbia Montenegro (sic!) training in Slagelse with interpreters. That is over now, gott sei Dank!
Several top players have said, that they will stop playing for Slagelse when Anja is no longer their trainer, amongst others Bojana Popovic and Cecilie Leganger.
Do you want to discuss anything related to Anja?
Haandboldligaen for the latest results.Anja's data
My dreamteam report
Count her many goals for the national team in the results section - details of the championships.
Look through the old news archives to follow her career.
Find the titles of the books, Anja has written and what has been written about her by others (all in Danish).
Check out the linkspage for links concerning Anja
Readers' stories - do you have one as well?
Videos made about her (in Danish)
When nominated Handball player of the year 1997