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03.10.2010, 09:50
Going for the final again
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EHF Women’s Champions League countdown, part 11: Oltchim Vâlcea (ROM)
 

Going for the final again

For the first time since 1989 a Romanian team reached a Champions League final last season, but there was no happy ending for Oltchim Vâlcea as they failed against Viborg HK. Now they’re reaching out for the title again near the Carpathian Mountains.

Oltchim can count on one of the largest squads of the whole CL as they have 22 players, including five (!) left backs. And it’s not only the quantity but quality that makes them favourites for the title again: nearly all players are representing their national teams – many of them the Romanian.

And Oltchim signed a new coach as well as a highly experienced and successful playmaker, Yeliz Özel. The Turkish player arrived to Vâlcea together with her former national team coach Péter Kovács, who is the successor of Radu Voina.

"I am very sorry that we have to part with Radu Voina. As a matter of fact I have nothing bad to say about him: he accomplished all the objectives of our team; he worked very hard and did a great job. He is the first ever coach I regret to part with since I am in Oltchim," club president Ioan Gavrilescu said.

On the other hand, Gavrilescu was highly satisfied after the ink dried on the Özel contract: "We wanted to sign her since 2008. Every year we started negotiations and now, after intense talks, we managed to sign her. I’m sure Özel will be a big plus for our team, especially after Narcisa Lecusanu finished her career."

And the Turkish international (30) mentioned her new coach as motivation: "Péter Kovács had a decisive role in my transfer since I know and I respect him a lot. I would like to win the Champions League with Oltchim after I reached the finals with my former club Kometal in 2005."

Thanks to this transfer and the great expectations from Kovács, hopes are high in Vâlcea: "We told Kovács that if he wanted to be our coach he had to agree to our objectives next season: to win the Romanian title and, most importantly, to reach the EHF Champions League Final. He immediately said yes, because these objectives are normal for a strong team such as Oltchim," Gavrilescu said.

Only two players left his squad: Olga Vashshuk and Rehina Skymkute.

Coach Péter Kovács shares the optimism of the President, especially after winning two major preparation tournaments in Germany and Hungary: "I found a strong team here; the girls are professional players. I told them that moments will come when they will hate me, but without hard work we can’t make good results. I’m satisfied with the defence of Oltchim, but still we have a lot of work. It’s very important to see the mistakes and fix them."

After the most succesful season in the history of the club, the new objectives are carved in stone: Oltchim took their 16th Romanian title, which is an absolute record in Romanian handball.

Key facts

Newcomer: Yeliz Özel (from Maliye Milli Piyango)

Left the club: Olga Vashchuk (to FKC Alcoa), Rehina Shymkute (to Rostov/Don)

Coach: Péter Kovács (since 2010, successor of Radu Voina)

Find more information here.


TEXT: Björn Pazen
 
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