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31.01.2014, 16:42
Next stop: Budapest
«Go back »Print Version


NEWS REPORT: Tricky challenge on the horizon for Györ as they look to defend their title in less than ideal circumstances
 

Next stop: Budapest

Győri Audi-ETO KC re-launch their European campaign as their players came back from the World Championship with mixed feelings. Coach Ambros Martin will have to channel energy from both happiness (as Eduarda Amorim became world champion) and frustration (Norway failed to reach the final while Hungary were stuck in eighth place) to the common goal of reaching the first Women’s EHF FINAL4 in Budapest.

Inordinate news

This has been a quite vivid winter break for Győri Audi-ETO KC with both good and bad news coming to the defending champions’ way. The re-united squad started the year with an important win against domestic rivals Ferencváros (whom they lost to in the first round) thus maintaining their 100 % home record, which is almost 10 years long now.

However, home means something else now, as due to the construction of their new arena the team was forced to move to the local university’s hall.

As for the bad news, Martin lost his young left wing to injury, Ivett Szepesi will be out for the rest of the season and on top of that Montenegrin portals keep suggesting Katarina Bulatovic will not stay in Győr for the second season of her 1+1 year contract.

There are quite a few Hungarian players, whose contracts are expiring and it seems defensive pillar Raphaelle Tervel will wave goodbye to handball at the end of this season.

Quest to defend the title

The struggle to retain Europe’s elite title starts in Győr’s main round group with style as first they play host to last year’s semi-finalist Buducnost at home, which is followed by an even tougher encounter with last year’s finalist Larvik away.

“Everybody is out to get us. Yes, the pole position is ours but we cannot afford to think our previous victories guarantee anything.

“However, our aim is to be the fourth team in handball history to win two EHF Champions League trophies,” said Ambros Martin.

Győr’s massive squad’s highest spirit belongs to Brazilian star Eduardo Amorim, who won all competitions (Hungarian title and cup, Champions League, World Championship) she entered.

“It’s been fantastic, I am so proud of all the silverware we have won so far, but celebrations are over now. We have the toughest group I have ever seen in the Champions League, to reach the FINAL4 we need to be compact, aggressive and play our best handball,” said the Brazilian left back.

Fierce competition

Players and staff are both aware of the threat this main round poses, but as Amorim puts it, Győr have the advantage of mutual understanding on the court based on the players’ years they have spent together.

“It is impossible to predict this group, or even a match. All our opponents have their own strengths, but Ambros [Martin] is working on finding and exploiting their weaknesses.

“At the end of the day it’s us players, who have to fight for our goals and I do believe one of the spots in the Budapest belongs to us. I can’t wait to be there,” concluded Amorim.


TEXT: Bence Mártha / cor
 
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