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03.10.2015, 17:34
Despite coming and going, the goals remain high
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Women’s EHF Champions League club countdown: 13 days to go - HCM Baia Mare (ROU)
 

Despite coming and going, the goals remain high

16 players departed, 14 newcomers arrived and to complete the full transition of HCM Baia Mare, the coach and the president also have changed.

During their second appearance in the Women's EHF Champions League, the Romanian side just missed a place in the MVM EHF FINAL4 2015 with a quarter-final defeat against Dinamo.

After the club lost their league finals against CSM Bucuresti, it was time for the winds of change to blow.

Coach Tone Tiselj was replaced by Aurelian Rosca, the former Oltchim assistant coach and the man who led Romania’s national team to the gold medal in the 2014 U18 World Championship.

Their new president is Mircea Mecea and the face of the team has changed completely.

Norwegian Olympic, world and EHF EURO champion Camilla Herrem, Brazilian world champion Barbara Arenhart (both to Denmark) and Romanian talent Eliza Buceschi (to German champions Thüringer HC) have left however other big names such as former IHF Player of the Year, Allison Pineau and Croatian Katarina Jezic have arrived.

The new squad worked well during their pre-season despite the injuries of Paula Ungureanu and Elena Gjeorgjievska.

Under the fresh leadership of Rosca, Baia Mare remain unbeaten in preparation.

With a glorious 31:25 win in the Super Cup in Bucharest, they are on top of the league and clinched a place in the Champions League Group Matches by winning their respective qualification tournament on home ground, gaining clear and efficient victories against BNTU-BelAZ Minsk Reg and Esbjerg.

 

Now, higher hurdles are waiting for HCM Baia Mare.

Arriving from the qualification and pot 4, the Romanian side faces 2015 finalist Larvik, Russian champions Rostov (including former Baia Mare players Davydenko and Makeeva) and two times Champions League winners Krim in Group A.

Baia Mara have set their standards high after a brilliant start with the new squad.

“We are aiming for at least for the same performance as last year if not, more,” says club manager Liviu Bala.

“Our opponents in the group matches are great teams with significant experience. We respect them, but we are certainly not afraid of them.”

In Bala’s opinion, being part of the Champions League for the third straight season is a significant part of the development process in his club.

“In the past two years we have taken a step forward each time, achieving more every season. This is strong proof that things are going well at HCM Baia Mare and that we want not only to be number one in Romania but to achieve European performance as well.”

Team captain Valentina Ardean Elisei is well aware of what is coming ahead: “At this level in EHF Champions League, every team is a very strong opponent. That’s why we must be 100 per cent concentrated in each game and train very seriously. We want to play quality handball, get points and go as far as possible.”

HCM Baia Mare (ROU)

Qualification for the 2015/16 EHF Women’s Champions League season: Romanian runners-ups, winner of qualification tournament 2

Newcomers: Alison Pineau (HBC Nimes), Katarina Jezic (HC Lokomotiva Zagreb), Patricia Vizitiu (CSM Bucuresti), Gabriela Preda (HCM Roman), Ionica Munteanu (SCM Craiova), Gabriela Perianu (HC Dunarea Braila), Yuliya Dumanska (CS Marta Baia Mare), Andrada Maior Pasca (back after on loan to HC Zalau), Bianca Tiron (back after on loan to SCM Craiova), Ana Maria Tanasie (back after on loan to SCM Craiova), Madalina Zamfirescu (back after on loan to SCM Craiova), Cynthia Tomescu (back after on loan to SCM Craiova)

Left the club: Eliza Buceschi (Thüringer HC), Ksenia Makeeva (Rostov Don), Ekaterina Davydenko (Rostov Don), Barbara Arenhart (Nykobing Falster HK), Camilla Herrem (Team Tvis Holstebro), Anastasia Lobach (unknown),  Aneta Pirvut (on loan to HC Dunarea Braila), Geta Dinis Vartic (CSM Bistrita), Claudia Cetateanu (CSM Bistrita), Adina Tamas (on loan to CSM Bistrita), Alexandra Ciunt (on loan to CSM Bistrita), Madalina Puscas (Kisvarda)

Coach: Aurelian Rosca (since 2015, successor of Tone Tiselj)

Team captain: Valentina Ardean-Elisei

Opponents in the group matches: Larvik, RK Krim Mercator, Rostov-Don in Group A

EHF Women’s Champions League records:
Participations (including 2015/2016 season): 3
Quarter-finals: 2014/15
Group Matches: 2013/14

Other EC records:

EHF Challenge Cup:
Finallist: 2002/03

Romanian champion: 2014 (runners-up 1979, 2013, 2015)

Romanian cup winner: 2013, 2014


TEXT: Björn Pazen / ec
 
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