Tollbring: “Once I get a chance, I will take it”
From sitting on the bench at Rhein-Neckar Löwen to being the big star at GOG: Jerry Tollbring has experienced a remarkable turnaround in fortunes this year.
The Swedish international moved from Germany to Denmark in the summer and the left wing has become one of the hottest players of the EHF European League 2021/22, scoring 49 times for GOG in qualification and group phase so far.
A modest and shy person, Tollbring does not like to talk about himself – but in the last couple of weeks, he has to.
His scoring rate in the EHF European League has been stunning: six goals in round 1 against Chekhovskie medvedi, seven in round 2 against Cocks, nine in round 3 against HBC Nantes, and 11 in round 4 against SL Benfica last week.
“My coach has a lot of faith in me and the handball we play suits me well. We play fast and run a lot. And we have a very good team,” Tollbring said.
“Now I trust myself again so when I get an opportunity, I take it. Just like I did when I played at IFK Kristianstad. I believe in myself, and it has worked out well so far. I hope it continues.”
Tollbring had a few strong seasons in his native Sweden when he played for Kristianstad. The move to Löwen in 2017 was his reward.
However, his time in Germany has not quite gone like he or the club had planned.
“From the beginning they told me that they believed in me. But they never really showed it. I understand that when they had a chance to bring Uwe Gensheimer back, they took it,” Tollbring said.
“But when he came back I got almost no playing time at all. Except for the last six months when Uwe was injured.”
When Danish side GOG saw their standout scorer Emil Jakobsen leave for another German Bundesliga club, SG Flensburg-Handewitt, in the summer of 2021, it opened up a possibility for Tollbring as their new left wing.
“I saw a few of their matches and really liked what I saw. They play like I want to play,” he said.
Meanwhile, Tollbring has more than just settled with his new club in Denmark: he has shown everyone what he is capable of.
“I have always felt that once I get a chance, I will take it. I try to do my best, but I don’t feel that I have anything to prove. I try to do what I am good at,” Tollbring said.
Now I trust myself again so when I get an opportunity, I take it. Just like I did when I played at IFK Kristianstad. I believe in myself, and it has worked out well so far. I hope it continues.
Scoring goals is certainly something he is good at.
Tollbring has scored more goals with each round in the EHF European League, culminating in his 11-goal outing, from 13 shots, against Benfica last week.
“It is always fun to score and I have always felt that way,” said Tollbring, who has been doing an impressive job in replacing Jakobsen.
“When I got to GOG and did my first interview, I immediately got asked about Emil and if I would be able to replace him considering he broke the goal scoring record at the club last season,” Tollbring said.
“So far, I think the club and the supporters are pleased. But maybe I have to break Emil’s record and then they will be very pleased,” he added with a smile.
GOG are one of the four teams sharing the lead in group B with six points each. Their only loss came against Nantes – a team they face again, this time in Denmark, on Tuesday (live on EHFTV at 18:45 CET).
“It will be a tough game. Last time they limited us and we weren’t really prepared for that,” Tollbring said. “Now we want to play our way and hopefully win the game.”