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09.09.2015, 14:50
New coach, same adventure for Baia Mare
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NEWS FEATURE: HCM Baia Mare is eyeing their third consecutive Women’s EHF Champions League Group Matches berth
 

New coach, same adventure for Baia Mare

For 53 years, HCM Baia Mare have never played in the European top flight. However, Oltchim Ramnicu Valcea’s demise in 2013 meant that Romania had witnessed an important change and Baia Mare were ready to step up to the next level.

The lessons were there to be learned it the first two seasons in the Women’s EHF Champions League, but Baia Mare enjoyed a bright start to the competition, coming just short of the FINAL4 in Budapest last season, after a tough battle with Dinamo-Sinara in the quarter-finals.

But the main topic of the summer in Baia Mare has been change. After the team lost the Romanian title to CSM Bucuresti, the management decided that coach Tone Tiselj was surplus to requirements. Aurelian Rosca, the former Oltchim assistant coach and the man who led Romania’s U18 team to the gold medal in the Youth World Championship in 2014, was the chosen replacement.

After five official games with Rosca, Baia Mare has yet to lose. The most impressive win was in the Romanian Supercup, 31:25, against CSM Bucuresti, on the champions’ home court.

“Rosca wanted to change our playing style into a faster one. We have some great and especially fast players and this can be our advantage. Personally I like this style of handball a lot,” said left back Lois Abbingh.

However, the Romanian side’s main objective is to qualify for the third time in a row in the Women’s EHF Champions League Group Matches.

“The wins don’t mean a thing, if we cannot qualify from this tournament. We are playing at home and I wanted to see our play get better after each game,” concluded Rosca, after Baia Mare won confortably on Tuesday, 36:25, against Rapid Bucuresti.

 

HCM BAIA MARE - Rapid Bucureşti 36-25.

Posted by HCM Baia Mare on Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Playing at home will be a huge boost for Baia Mare, as they try to emulate the performance of two seasons ago, when they beat Danish powerhouses Viborg HK and Team Tvis Holstebro, in order to qualify. 

“The only goal for us is to qualify for the group matches. Anything less will be disappointing. That doesn't mean it is going to be easy. It will be very tough but we will give everything to qualify for the main round in front of our own fans,” explained Abbingh, who is in her second season at Baia Mare.

“We don’t underestimate our first opponent, BNTU-BelAZ Minsk Region, but we’ve been looking for this tournament for some months now and we will give everything here,” continued the Dutch left back. 

Transfers of the likes of French star Allison Pineau, Croatian line-player Katarina Jezic and experienced goalkeeper Ionica Munteanu will surely help Baia Mare’s cause.

With a star-studded line-up, Esbjerg, 2014 Women’s EHF Cup runners-up, are potential opponents in the final. It would be an odd game for Abbingh, who would play against two of her best friends.

“Esbjerg has a very good team. But first our main focus is on Saturday against Minsk. I'm looking forward to meeting the Dutch girls, because it is always nice to meet them and play against them.

“It will be strange to play against Laura van Der Heijden because I was her teammate for four years in Oldenburg,” concluded the 23-year-old.


TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / cor
 
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