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04.10.2013, 16:04
FTC braced for battle in Hungary and Europe
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COUNTDOWN: Women’s EHF Champions League countdown, part 15: FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria (HUN)
 

FTC braced for battle in Hungary and Europe

They hope to be on the right track this season: FTC or “Fradi” just missed out on the semi-finals last season, but after some improvement, even their opponents estimate the Hungarian runners-up as one of the main contenders of the competition.

After beating Lokomotiva Zagreb and their domestic rivals from Erd in the qualification tournament on home ground, FTC will face 2011 champions Buducnost, Midtjylland and Lublin in the group matches.

After last season’s top scorer Zsuzsanna Tomori recovered from a surgery, “Fradi” additionally signed another quality option in the left back position: German international Laura Steinbach.

Steinbach is only one of three foreign players in the nearly all-Hungarian squad aside Belarusian Alena Abramovich and Spanish Nerea Pena.

Managing director Beatrix Kökény is looking forward despite some challenges.

“We were happy to organise the qualification tournament and to proceed. I would like the team to march ahead into the main round although our group is very hard,” admits Kökény.

Team captain Zita Szucsánszki shares those hopes: “It was obligatory for us to win the qualification tournament and we did it. We got into a very difficult group but we would like to get into the Main Round as we did last year.”

Three questions to coach Gábor Elek:

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

Gábor Elek: We are in a very difficult group, we will have very strong opponents but our aim is to get into the main round.

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

Gábor Elek: It means that we belong to the best teams in Europe.

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

Gábor Elek: There are some very strong teams this year – perhaps Győr will defend their title.

FTC Hungaria Rail Cargo (HUN)

Coach: Gábor Elek, since 2008
Newcomers (including former club): Laura Steinbach (Bayer Leverkusen), Melinda Szikora (Fehérvár KC), Rea Mészáros (Váci NKSE)
Left the club (including new club): Melinda Pastrovics, Dóra Deáki, Bettina Dajka, Viktória Lukács (all to Siófok KC)

Qualification for the 2013/2014 EHF Women’s Champions League season: Winner of qualification tournament 3, runners-up in Hungary

EHF Women’s Champions League records:
Participations (including 2013/2014 season): 14
Finalist: 2001/02
Semi-finalist: 1996/97, 2000/01
Quarter-finalist: 1999/2000, 2002/03, 2003/04
Group Matches/Champions League: 1994/95, 1995/96, 1997/98, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2012/13
Qualification: 2009/10

Other EC records:

EHF Cup:
Winner: 2005/06
Semi-finalist: 2004/05
Cup Winners’ Cup:
Winner 2010/11, 2011/12
Semi-finalist: 2006/07

Hungarian champion: 1966, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2007
Hungarian cup winner: 1955, 1967, 1970, 1972, 1977, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2003


TEXT: Björn Pazen / cor
 
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