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03.10.2013, 10:19
A dream come true for Bera Bera
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COUNTDOWN: Women’s EHF Champions League countdown, part 12: Balonmano Bera Bera (ESP)
 

A dream come true for Bera Bera

The 2012/13 season will go down in the history of Spanish side Balonmano Bera Bera from San Sebastián. The team of former coach Tatiana Garmendia Lopez (now manager) did not only become national champions for the first time, but also secured the domestic double with their third Spanish cup triumph.

The team from Basque region are debutants in the Women’s EHF Champions League, but have laid down some markers in other European Cup competitions.

Bera Bera hope to build a fortress in their Josean Gasca sports center in San Sebastián, as they will need to count on home points, if they are to have any hope of advancing ahead of the top teams in their group such as last season’s beaten finalist Larvik, new powerhouse Vardar Skopje and record Croatian champions Podravka.

Before their premiere season in the competition, Bera Bera changed their coach to Imanol Álvarez, as they try to defend both domestic trophies with nearly the same squad as in the season before.

Manager Tatiana Garmendia hopes that her team will gain international experience by competing against this level of opponent.

“In our first participation in the group matches the objective is humble. Larvik and Podravka are very experienced and Vardar are a great team,” admits Garmendia.

Team captain Matxalen Ziarsolo hopes for large interest from their fans for the matches on the international stage.

“The players have a great enthusiasm for the Champions League. Our group is very complicated with very strong opponents. Anyway, we will enjoy the best European competition, trying to play the way that characterises Bera Bera and motivate the fans to watch and support us,” says the 31-year-old left wing.



Three questions to coach Imanol Álvarez:

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

Imanol Álvarez: For Bera Bera it is almost impossible to qualify for the main round. So we can play without any kind of pressure and the only expectation we have is to become an uncomfortable and dangerous opponent for teams who underestimate us.

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

Imanol Álvarez: It means a dream coming true and a step forward in the history of the club, simply something to remember. After many years of working, the club managed to get among the best 16 teams in Europe.

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

Imanol Álvarez: My favourites are Györ and Larvik. However, there can always be other teams with a chance to go all the way, one of them may be WHC Vardar.

Balonmano Bera Bera (ESP)

Coach: Imanol Álvarez (since 2013, predecessor: Reyes Carrere)
Newcomers (including former club): Ana Isabel Martínez (Elche), Ana Temprano (Zuazo Barakaldo, Maitane Etxeberria (Bera Bera II)
Left the club (including new club): Darly Zoqbi (Fleury) , Eider Rubio, Libe Altuna (both end of career)

Qualification for the 2013/14 EHF Women’s Champions League season: Spanish champions

Women’s EHF Champions League records:
Participations (including 2013/14 season): 2
Qualification: 2012/13

Other EC records:
Cup Winners’ Cup:
Semi-finalist 2007/08
Quarter-finalist 1996/97, 2012/13

Spanish champion: 2013
Spanish Cup winner: 2007, 2009, 2013


TEXT: Björn Pazen / cor
 
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