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20.09.2013, 16:57
Champions relishing the hunt for more titles
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Women’s EHF Champions League countdown, part 1: Győri Audi ETO KC
 

Champions relishing the hunt for more titles

For nearly a decade they were the hunters, now Győri Audi ETO KC are the hunted for the first time.

After breaking their final spell in the 2013 edition against Larvik HK and winning the Champions League for the first time, Györ are again one major favourites for winning the competition.

Only two players left the successful team - Jovanka Radicevic and Andrea Lekic, both to Vardar Skopje, but on the other hand Györ made one of the most remarkable transfers of the summer: 2012 Champions League winner Katarina Bulatovic (Montenegro) arrived at Györ from Romanian side Oltchim Valcea – and fully strengthened the squad of coach Ambros Martin as a successor to Lekic.

The rest remained the same – including top star Anita Görbicz, who hopes to recover from a broken finger occurred in a test match, to be fit for the first match of the season.

Györ have tough group matches ahead, including current Cup Winners’ Cup champion Hypo Niederösterreich, the EHF Champions League record winner.

Additionally German champions Thüringer HC and improved Romanian debutants Baia Mare are their opponents.

But Györ are confident to set the hurdle high for this season, as winning the Hungarian championship and cup are their domestic goals topped by the hopes to reach the final again.

Club president Erno Kelecsenyi is optimistic to go as far as in May2013: “Our last season was excellent, the club reached its biggest success ever.

“We were working hard to keep most of the team together, only two players left. I believe the squad is at least as strong as or maybe stronger than it was last year. The aims remain the same: win everything in Hungary, and reach the final of the Champions League,” says Kelecsenyi.

Team captain Anita Görbicz accepts the new role as the hunted, too.

“The last season was the best in our lives. We won everything possible. This year will be a bit different, because now we are the team that everybody wants to beat.

“We learned how to win last year, and we want to use this knowledge during this season. I really hope that we could manage to repeat our performance, but the road is very long until that, the most important thing is always the next game,” admits Görbicz.

Although the team remained nearly the same, the venue will be a new one in the future. A brand new hall is being built next to the recent Magvassy Hall, which will have a capacity of 5,000 spectators and will be one of the venues of the Women’s EHF EURO 2014.

Three questions to coach Ambros Martin:

What are your expectations for the upcoming season of the Women’s EHF Champions League - concerning your objectives and your group opponents?

Ambros Martin: The club and the fans had waited for a very long time to win the Champions League; this means for me that repeating it will be more difficult than winning it for the first time.

However, we know the way to win and we will fight for it. We respect our opponents, Baia Mare are debutants, but Hypo and THC are good clubs with experienced players. We respect Baia Mare, because they have beaten two very good Danish clubs in qualification.

What does the participation in the Women’s EHF Champions League mean to you and your club?

Ambros Martin: We are really happy to play on the highest level of club handball; this is a big honour for everybody. Everybody will focus on us, because we are the title holders now, but this only makes us more motivated.

What teams are your personal favourites to win the Women’s EHF Champions League season – and why?

Ambros Martin: Krim are a very good team, they were very close to making it to the final last season and they have very good new signings, I think this season they have a good chance.

Buducnost have also very good new players and the rest of their team remained the same. Vardar have very good quality players, Larvik maybe have the most experience and FTC also can be a favourite because the level of the Hungarian handball. There are a lot of good teams.



Györi Audi ETO KC (HUN)

Coach: Ambros Martin, since July 2012
Newcomers (including former club): Katarina Bulatovic (Oltchim Valcea), Bernadett Bognar-Bodi ( Dunaujvaros)
Left the club (including new club): Jovanka Radicevic, Andrea Lekic (both Vardar Skopje)

Qualification for the 2013/2014 EHF Women’s Champions League season: Hungarian champions

EHF Women’s Champions League records:
Participations (including 2013/2014 season):  11
Winner: 2012/13
Finalist: 2008/09, 2011/12
Semi-finalist: 2006/07, 2007/08, 2009/10, 2010/11
Group Phase: 2000/01, 2005/06
Qualification: 2004/05

Other EC records:

Cup Winners Cup:
Finalist 2005/06
Semi-finalist 2002/03

EHF Cup:
Finalist 1998/99, 2001/02, 2003/04, 2004/05

Hungarian champion: 1957, 1959, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Hungarian Cup winner: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013


TEXT: Björn Pazen / cor
 
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