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02.10.2015, 19:20
FINAL4 neighbours with a long road ahead
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Women’s EHF Champions League club countdown: 14 days to go - FTC Hungaria Rail Cargo (HUN)
 

FINAL4 neighbours with a long road ahead

None of the 16 participants of the EHF Women’s Champions League season have a shorter journey to Papp Laszlo Arena - the venue of the Women’s Champions League FINAL4 in May 2016 - than Budapest-based FTC Hungaria Rail Cargo.

Regardless, the route to the pinnacle event is long.

FTC had a successful run against Audi ETO Györ in the Hungarian league in the previous season beating them in the final series.

Under their former name Herz Budapest the Ferencvaros club made it to the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2001.

In the previous season, FTC came up short in the Champions League qualification against Leipzig one season after they nearly made it to the semi-finals.

But now, the team of head coach Gabor Elek has lost its strongest weapon in attack, as the former Champions League top scorer Zsuzsana Tomori made her way to their rivals Györ.

In addition, Orszolya Verten ended her career before the start of the season.

Former Györ player Dora Hornyak chose the opposite direction, after playing for Vac for a season, she now bolsters the FTC squad.

In the 2015/16 season the Hungarian champions will face Thüringer HC, Podravka and Fleury in Group B - and it’s their goal to proceed to the main round:

“We will do our utmost to compete with the best teams,” says FTC manager Laszlo Bognar.

Being part of the EHF Champions League again means: “a step forward as now we are among the best European teams.”

The squad consists of almost all Hungarian players except Serbian goalkeeper Katarina Tomasevic and Spanish playmaker Nerea Pena.

In their roster they have a large number of Hungarian internationals such as team captain Zita Szucsanszki, Monika Kovacsicz, Szandra Zacsik or Piroska Szamoransky.

Szucsanszki hopes for even more than mearly proceeding to the main round:

“We hope to be among the best eight teams in Europe, which means proceeding to the quarter-finals. But we expect some tight games in the group matches en route to those latter stages.”

FTC Hungaria Rail Cargo (HUN)

Newcomers: Klara Szekeres (Erd) Nadine Schatzl (Erd ) Hornyak Dora (Impress Center - Vac)

Left the club: Tomori Zsuzsa (Györi Audi ETO KC) Toth Melinda (MTK Budapest)  Viktoria Soos (Impress Center - Vac) Kocsis Agnes (Vasas), Verten Orsolya (retired)

Coach: Gabor Elek, since 2008

Team captain: Zita Szucsanszki

Opponents in the group matches: Thüringer HC, Podravka, Fleury in Group B

Qualification for the 2015/16 EHF Women’s Champions League season: Hungarian champions

EHF Women’s Champions League records:

Participations (including 2015/16 season): 16
Finalist: 2001/02
Semi-finalist: 1996/97, 2000/01
Quarter-finalist: 1999/00, 2002/03, 2003/04
Group Matches/Champions League: 1994/95, 1995/96, 1997/98, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2012/13, 2013/14
Qualification: 2009/10, 2014/15

Other EC records:

EHF Cup:
Winner: 2005/06
Semi-finalist: 2004/05

Cup Winners’ Cup:
Winner 2010/11, 2011/12
Semi-finalist: 2006/07, 2014/15
Quarter-finalist: 2013/14
Last 16: 1998/99

Hungarian champion: 1966, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2007, 2015

Hungarian cup winner: 1955, 1967, 1970, 1972, 1977, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2003


TEXT: Björn Pazen / bc
 
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