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25.08.2015, 17:30
Ukrainians ready to go toe to toe with any rival
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VELUX EHF Champions League club countdown: 22 days to go - HC MOTOR Zaporozhye (UKR)

»EHF CL Channel »
 

Ukrainians ready to go toe to toe with any rival

The current situation in Ukraine has made things far from easy for for Motor Zaporozhye, but the three-time domestic champions keep their heads held high for the new season in the VELUX EHF Champions League.

Motor’s newcomer Sergiy Shelmenko is even holding some very high hopes to make it to the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne: “As a player of Chekhovskie Medvedi I played in Cologne, so I am sure we can succeed with Motor as well.”

Besides Shelmenko, Boris Pukhovskiy from SKA Minsk is the biggest name among the five newcomers in Zaporozhye.

In addition, Motor have a new coach on their bench: Nikolai Stepanec, who replaces Sergej Bebeshko, who had resigned after missing the Last 16 of the previous Champions League season and now took over Belarussian champions and Champions League participant Meshkov Brest.

On the other hand, some well-known faces left Motor such as top shooter Sergyi Onufrienko, who joined French powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain, Inal Aflitulin made it to Motor’s group phase opponent Baia Mare (Romania), while Oleg Skopincev went the opposite way of Shelmenko, signing for the Chekhov bears.

Despite these losses, Stepanec is confident that “we are ready to fight with any rival of our group.”

Zaporozhye will face Metalurg, Skjern, Schaffhausen, Baia Mare and the winner of the qualification tournament in Group D. “All teams look to be quite equal,” according to Stepanec, adding: “It is great to be part of the VELUX EHF Champions League again.”

HC MOTOR Zaporozhye (UKR)
Qualification for the 2015/2016 VELUX EHF Champions League season: Ukrainian champions

Newcomers:  Gleb Kalarash (St. Petersburg HC), Sergiy Shelmenko (Chekhovskie Medvedi), Boris Pukhovskiy (SKA Minsk), Aidenas Malasinskas (Fraikin BM. Granollers), Serhi Orlovskiy (ZNTU-ZAS Zaporozhye)

 

Left the club: Egor Evdokimov (destination unknown), Oleg Skopincev (Chekhovskie Medvedi), Inal Aflitulin (HCM Baia Mare), Alex Pedan (destination unknown), Richard Stochl (destination unknown), Sergyi Onufrienko (Paris Saint-Germain Handball)

 

Coach: Nikolai Stepanec (since 2015, successor of Sergej Bebeshko, now Brest)

 

Opponents in the group phase: Metalurg, Skjern, Schaffhausen, Baia Mare, qualifier in Group D
 

VELUX EHF Champions League records:
Participations (including 2015/2016 season): 3
Last 16 (1): 2013/14
Group Phase (1): 2014/2015

Other achievements:
EHF Cup: Group Phase 2012/2013
Cup Winners’ Cup: Quarter-finalist 2011/2012

Ukrainian champions: 2012/2013, 2013/2014, 2014/2015
Ukrainian cup winner: 2012/2013, 2013/14


TEXT: Björn Pazen / cor
 
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