Following the Arsenal 2-0 victory against Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, we caught up with Palace’s Norwegian defender Jonathan Parr to ask him a quick question about handball – a sport that the women in his homeland have won everything in.
“With sports that your country does well in you kind of get interested in,” said Parr when asked if he was a handball fan.
“Norway have done well – especially the women, but the men have done alright, but, personally, I’ve never really played it.”
Norwegian international Parr has only just broken into double figures in appearances for the 2013/14 Premier League season with Crystal Palace following injury, which also saw him miss the back end of his sides’ 2012/13 season promotion-winning campaign.
After winning the club’s Player of the Year award in his debut season in 2011/12, the left-sided player, who can also operate in midfield, was always going to be a footballer and was never tempted by the sport which penalises the use of feet, but follows the sport with national pride when either national team are playing.
“I went to a couple of training sessions when I was younger because my friends went but I have never really played it,” said the Norwegian international. “I watch it when it is on TV – I watched the women win their gold at the (London 2012) Olympics on TV.
“You feel like you have to support them when they do well and it’s fun to watch and good entertainment.”
So, will ‘Jonny’, as he is known to his teammates be trying to pass on any handball techniques to them at their Beckenham training ground this season?
“I won’t be teaching (Crystal Palace’s first-choice goalkeeper) Julian Speroni and Peter Schmeichel-esque saves” concludes Parr with a smile, and with that he is off to join the Palace squad on the coach home as they continue their fight to stay in the world’s richest football league.