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27.11.2015, 12:10
Five reasons why Kielce will reach the VELUX EHF FINAL4
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FIRST-HAND INSIGHT: KS Vive Tauron Kielce have only won half of their matches so far this season, but Magda Pluszewska assures us that hope is not lost for the Polish champions
 

Five reasons why Kielce will reach the VELUX EHF FINAL4

Some people are disappointed of the current shape of KS Vive Tauron Kielce. The team that stunned everyone last season by winning every match in the group phase, now appears to be a shadow of that picture.

However, if you have already struck out the Polish Champions from the list of potential participants of this season’s VELUX EHF FINAL 4 tournament, you do not know, how mistaken you are. Let me explain it to you then. Check out the five reasons, why Kielce will make it to Cologne.

1. None of the recent FINAL4 participants won their first match of the season

The statistics of the opening games were appalling! Only Veszprem managed not to lose their first duel with Plock (27:27) and the rest of teams gambled away their matches. It is impossible that none of the best four European teams could be present at LNXESS arena next year, which is yet to happen.

So if we look at this through the lens of probability theory (ok, maybe with a pinch of superstition), it gives equal chances to Veszprem, Barcelona, Kiel and Kielce to be in Cologne again.

And can you imagine the FINAL 4 without Barca this time? Yeah, exactly. So why should we assume so that Kielce will not be there?

2. Kielce remain unbeatable in the domestic league

Maybe this fact seems not to have a lot in common with the FINAL 4, but it is just a delusion. After 13 matches played so far, Talant Dujshebaev’s charges are taking the first place in the table with only one draw, which happened accidentally against Pogon Szczecin at the very beginning of the season.

The Polish champions have been winning their recent matches with their usual average of 10 goals. It gives the team huge mental comfort and calm in preparation for Europe.

However, as you could observe, the season on the European floor is not perfect for Kielce. They are only fourth right now what may be a little surprise for the fans and players themselves. But I think that it is a proper balance. The players do not break their backs in order to win at all costs, which is not equivalent to a lack of engagement.

The roller-coaster of scores may be a very useful lesson for Kielce. It seems they have finally understood that the Champions League is not a sprint but a long-distance run and it is a proper dispose of power that decides about the final result.

3. Zorman does not replace the goalkeeper anymore

Do you remember the FINAL 4 semi-final game Kielce against Barcelona in the end of 2012/2013 season? Despite a rather visible advantage of the Catalans throughout the whole game, Kielce kept themselves in the hunt for victory, almost until the end. Actually until the moment then coach Bogdan Wenta decided to withdraw Slawomir Szmal from the goal and designated Uros Zorman as the seventh attacking player.

The idea itself was reasonable. The team had nothing to lose and each additional player could have had an essential meaning in shuffling Barcelona’s defence. But Zorman?! The player who always has got the most of everyone to say? Of course, after each action that didn’t work, the Slovene had thousands things to do instead of running to the sideline to bring on the goalkeeper.

I cannot even remember how many goals Kielce lost because of that move and I do not even want to know how many nerves it cost the poor coach. I only remember that everyone was mad at both Zut and Wenta. Actually, when I think back on this now, it is really funny!

Anyway, nowadays it is rather Tobias Reichmann, who takes over the goalkeeper position in such situations and in my opinion there is no better choice than him. The German winger is very fast and agile and first of all really disciplined what creates a measurable added value for the team.

4. Vision of a new hall is hanging somewhere in the air

As the president of Vive Tauron Kielce Bertus Servaas said before the season started, he has a brave plan of building a new arena in the town. Some consider the idea not only as brave but naïve as well, because previous attempts to convince the Ministry of Sport came to naught.

How determined the Dutchman is, we have all been watching for several years of converting the solid Polish club into the mighty European brand. This year he has already made a first step on the path by creating a big show in Krakow’s Tauron Arena in the end of August, where his Vive played against PSG in front of a capacity crowd of 15,000.

The reaction of wonderment was echoing for a long time and the calculation assumptions made by the club proved that there is a real need to build a bigger hall, which would not gleam the observer’s eyes with the emptiness at Polish league matches.

This year gives Bertus at least two more chances to make his dream come true. The first one is using the handball boom in the country thanks to the Men’s EHF EURO 2016. It was already a hard stroke for Kielce that they are not present of the host-cities map of the tournament.

The second one is of course moving forward in the VELUX EHF Champions League. Actually, I am almost sure that if Kielce does not make it to the FINAL 4, the vision of a new hall will need to fly away for at least another year.

5. Kielce have already lost a few matches

Each time Kielce won everything in the first stage, they made it to Cologne, but they did not manage to do it to the final. They always dropped out in the semi-finals.

So my theory is that this time they will not only reach the FINAL 4, but also stand on the court in the last match of the weekend in Cologne. Everyone in Kielce desires it so much. You know, it is like with a woman. If you are so close that you can smell her skin, feel the ends of her hair strands on your cheeks and look her deep in the eyes, but for some strange reason of cruel fate you cannot touch her lips… argh!

As they say, it could be third time lucky. Whoever they are, I am sure they are right.

Magda Pluszewska has been the Polish EHF correspondent for the third season. She has bachelor degrees in Economics and Journalism and is doing her best to become a master of Economics and Sports Management at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow.

She definitely prefers men to women thus she hasn't missed any major men's handball event since World Championship in Spain 2013. Since June she is leading the official blog of the Men's EHF EURO 2016 where she is giving you the backstage info about the tournament.

Always late, always smiling and having time for anything apart from what she should be doing. With her stubbornness and self-confidence it’s hard to convince her that she’s not right, especially in cases of handball.


TEXT: Magda Pluszewska / cor
 
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