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05.10.2013, 15:28
Steep climb for Romanian newcomers
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COUNTDOWN: Women’s EHF Champions League countdown, part 16: Handbal Club Municipal Baia Mare (ROU)
 

Steep climb for Romanian newcomers

Thanks to a frenetic audience, great team spirit and in three top new arrivals from former Women's EHF Champions League finalist Oltchim Valcea, HCM Baia Mare managed to celebrate an unexpectedly clear qualification for the group matches after beating both Danish sides Viborg and Holstebro in the tournament at home. Thanks to those results the team of coach Costica Buceschi have already reached their major international goal.

Exactly ten years after reaching the EHF Challenge Cup final against German side Borussia Dortmund, the dream to be part of the elite competition for the first time came true. Baia Mare finished second in the Romanian league and won the domestic cup – and now new challenges and goals lay ahead, including the hunt for a first Romanian championship title.

Sport director Daniel Kotecz expects tough matches against opponents like defending champions Györ, reigning Cup Winners' Cup champions Hypo and German side Thüringer HC.

“Since it’s our debut in the Champions League we are glad that we managed to qualify for the group matches. Unfortunately, we are part of the “group of death”.

"However, we will aim to get points in this group and maybe even qualify for the next stage or continue our journey in the Cup Winners' Cup. We hope to get victories, especially at home, where we have over 2,500 fans behind us,” said Kotecz.

"We have very strong opponents, but I hope to win all home matches. Györ are definitely the favourites of our group, I think they have a good chance to defend the trophy again. In my opinion Thüringer HC are more of a threat than Hypo, even though the Austrians have an exceptional player in Alexandra do Nascimento,” said team captain Claudia Cetateanu.

Three questions to coach Costica Buceschi:

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

Costica Buceschi: We want to make the most of playing in the Champions League for the first time. Our group includes three champions from three handball countries. Györ seem to be the favourite, but also other teams like Vardar or Krim have chances to win the trophy. Our opponent Thüringer HC have matured and experienced players and are one candidate for the semi-finals.

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

Costica Buceschi: For me participating in the Champions League is a new challenge. I hope to have a long journey in European Cups. I trust the
players, as many of them are very young and eager to get good international results.

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

Costica Buceschi: My favourites are Györ, as they have kept their important players and were also reinforced by Katarina Bulatovic and Bernadett Bodi. Coach Martin Ambros can count on continuity in training and financial support.

HCM Baia Mare (ROU)

Coach: Costica Buceschi (since 2011)
Newcomers (including former club): Paula Ungureanu (Oltchim Valcea), Adriana Nechita (Oltchim Valcea), Luciana Marin (Oltchim Valcea), Gabriella Szucs (HC Zalau), Ana Maria Tanasie (HC Zalau)
Left the club (including new club): Cristina Pop Sunea, Sorina Osan Popovici, Flavia Matei (pregnancy)

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

EHF Women’s Champions League records: winner of qualification tournament 3, Romanian runners-up
Participations (including 2013/2014 season): 1

Other EC records:

EHF Challenge Cup:
Finallist: 2002/03

Romanian champion: - (runners-up 1979, 2013)
Romanian Cup winner: 2013


TEXT: Björn Pazen / cor
 
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