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30.08.2015, 17:20
Belarusian champions switch from Babic to Bebeshko
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VELUX EHF Champions League club countdown: 17 days to go - HC Meshkov Brest (BLR)
 

Belarusian champions switch from Babic to Bebeshko

Minsk, Zaporozhye - and now back to where his coaching career started – Belarus. Since 2009 Sergej Bebeshko is constantly coaching participants of the VELUX EHF Champions League. For four years the 47-year-old former international (born in Kiev) was the key for success at Dinamo Minsk, then Bebeshko transferred to Motor Zaporozhye and now is back at the force of Belarusian handball in Brest.

The reason for his return is that his forerunner Zeljko Babic was appointed new national team coach of his home country Croatia, so the Meshkov job was vacant - and Bebeshko takes on this new role. In the previous season, Brest were part of the VELUX EHF Champions League group phase for the first time since 2007 and at the same time managed to make it to the final of the multi-national SEHA Liga, but failed came up short in the final tournament host MKB Veszprem.

Brest lost three experienced players to other participants of the VELUX EHF Champions League - Janko Bozovic (Metalurg), Ivan Karacic (Baia Mare), David Spiler (Metalurg) - but signed one star, who had started his international career under Bebeshko: Russian international Pavel Atman, who knows his new coach from Dinamo Minsk. Previously he played for Medvedi, Metalurg and then for a short time Qatari champions Al-Jaish.

In addition, Brest invested in height, in Latvian international Dainis Kristopans (from their group phase opponent Presov) who is 2,15 metres tall. Besides the Slovak champions, Brest face La Rioja, Medvedi, Porto and Vojvodina in group C - and are seen to be one of the favourites to finish in one of the top positions.

“It is our objective to reach the Last 16, it is a must for us,” says Bebeshko, who estimates the opponents “more or less as on an equal level with us.” Team captain Dzmitry Nikulenkau expects La Rioja to be the closest rival to finish on top, but: “We want to proceed to the next stage, and we think the rest of the teams are manageable.”

Meshkov Brest introduced a new logo for the new season, in which all domestic titles and again a good result in the SEHA Liga are the additional goals of the seven-time Belarusian champions.

HC Meshkov Brest (BLR)

Newcomers: Pavel Atman (Metalurg, Al-Jaish), Dainis Kristopans (Tatran, El Rajan), Alexander Tioumentsev (Wisla Plozk), Artsiom Kulak (Vitjaz, Minsk), Andrey Yurynok (Vitjaz, Minsk)

Left the club: Janko Bozovic (Metalurg), Ivan Karacic (Baia Mare), David Spiler (Metalurg)

Coach: Sergej Bebeshko (since 2015)

Opponents in the group phase: La Rioja, Medvedi, Porto, Vojvodina, Presov in group C

VELUX EHF Champions League record:

Participations (including 2015/16 season): 7

Group Matches (5): 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2014/15

Qualification (1): 2008/09

Other EC records:

Cup Winners’ Cup: quarter-final 2011/12

Belarusian champions: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2014, 2015

Belarusian cup: 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2014, 2015

Finalist of the SEHA Liga 2015


TEXT: Björn Pazen / bc
 
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