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20.08.2017, 11:10
Top shooters left, big names arrived at Brest
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VELUX EHF Champions League countdown: HC Meshkov Brest (BLR). With a rebuilt team, the Belarusian champions are looking beyond the group stage again
 

Top shooters left, big names arrived at Brest

With a huge and international squad, Meshkov Brest aim for their third appearance in the Last 16 of the VELUX EHF Champions League. There have been many changes on the central positions but coach Sergey Bebeshko has experience with transitions.

Three questions before the new season:

- Can Brest cope with this huge transition?

Six key players, like top scorers Pavel Atman, Iman Jamali and Dainis Kristopans have left Brest. Several big name, including Konstantin Igropoulo, Petar Djordjic and Vid Poteko have arrived. The whole structure of the defence stronghold will be changed. Coach Sergey Bebeshko has often been in similar in situations at Minsk and Zaporozhye, so he knows what it is to be like ‘Bob the Builder’ once again.

- Belorussian or international?

In previous decades the national teams of Russia, Belarus or Ukraine mostly consisted of players from one leading club. Now the uprising Belarusian national team of Youri Chevtsov counts only a limited number of Brest players. Since Bebeshko’s predecessor Zeljko Babic took over, the team have become more and more international. Their prominent signings now prove Brest are a well-known address in European handball.

- Will the home strength lead Meshkov to their third straight Last 16 berth?

Last season Brest beat eventual champions Vardar, Rhein-Neckar Löwen and Szeged on home court and provided Flensburg with a brilliant challenge in the Last 16. Bebeshko and his team know that they have to gain the necessary points at home, but after last season’s results no team will underestimate them. The matches against Aalborg and Celje seem crucial but Brest might have the power to upset some of the big names again.

 

 

📣 СПАСИБО ЗА ИГРУ! Клубный гандбольный сезон 2016/17 завершен. По его окончании нашу команду покидают пять гандболистов основного состава. Сегодня мы говорим «СПАСИБО ЗА ИГРУ» Павлу АТЬМАНУ, Дайнису КРИШТОПАНСУ, Максиму БАБИЧЕВУ, Иману ДЖАМАЛИ и Владиславу ОСТРОУШКО. Администрация Брестского гандбольного клуба имени А.П. Мешкова, тренерский штаб, игроки и болельщики команды благодарят гандболистов за сотрудничество и желают им успехов в дальнейшей спортивной карьере. Подробнее о каждом гандболисте читайте в статье на нашем сайте. #БРЕСТ #Беларусь #гандбол #бгкмешкова #мешковбрест #спорт #handball #sport #Belarus #BGK #hcmeshkov #MBR #instabrest #brestgood #brestcity #Brest_by #meshkovbrest #wowbrest #brestonly #brestonelove #brest_news #fan #fans #belasport

Ein Beitrag geteilt von 🤾‍♂️HC Meshkov Brest (@meshkovbrest) am

 

Under spotlight: the goalkeepers

How many top goalkeepers do you need to be successful? Only one can play at the same time. After signing Ivan Matskevich from Steaua Bucuresti, Brest now have four top keepers to choose from. Last season Ivan Pesic shared the position with Vitali Charapenka while Rade Mijatovic rarely appeared between the posts. Matskevich further extends the quality on this position but at the same time reduces playing time for the rest.

Self-esteem

Meshkov are the reigning force in Belarus and are the clear favourite for winning all domestic trophies. Therefore, their focus will be on the SEHA Liga and the Champions League. “We are playing in a very tough group with many strong teams including PSG, Telekom Veszprém, Vive Kielce and top German teams SG Flensburg-Handewitt and THW Kiel. However, we want to be in the top five of the group,” says sports director Pavel Bashkin, who is looking forward to “playing at least 14 matches against the best teams.”

Team captain Dzmitry Nikulenkau hopes for an even longer stay in the Champions League: “It is highly important to our fans, the club and the city to be part of the VELUX EHF Champions League. First we want to make it to the Last 16, then we can look ahead. But even every game in the group phase will be really difficult.”

Fun fact

Brest’s Russian-born newcomer Konstantin Igropoulo is one of few players to have won all major European Cup competitions. In 2006 he won the EHF Cup Winners’ Cup with Chekhovskie Medvedi, in 2012 the VELUX EHF Champions League with FC Barcelona, and in 2015 the EHF Cup with Füchse Berlin.

What the numbers say

The probably biggest squad of all in the Champions League contains 26 players. Bebeshko’s options on all positions are immense. But for competing in two international competitions at the same time, you need to rotate.

HC Meshkov Brest (BLR)

Qualification for the VELUX EHF Champions League 2017/18 season: Belorussian champions

Newcomers: Petar Djordjic (SG Flensburg-Handewitt), Konstantin Igropulo (KIF Kolding), Pavel Horak (HC Erlangen), Alexander Shkurinskiy (SKIF Krasnodar), Vid Poteko (RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko), Ivan Matskevich (CSA Steaua Bucuresti), Artiom Selviasiuk (Mezőkövesdi KC), Aleh Astrashapkin (Csurgói KK)

Left the club: Alexander Tiumentsev (CSM Bucuresti), Pavel Atman (TSV Hannover-Burgdorf), Maxim Babichev (HC Motor Zaporozhye), Iman Jamali (Telekom Veszprém HC), Dainis Kristopans (HC Vardar), Vladislav Ostroushko (Kadetten Schaffhausen)

Coach: Sergey Bebeshko (since 2015)

Team captain: Dzmitry Nikulenkau

VELUX EHF Champions League records:

Participations (including 2017/2018 season): 9
Last 16 (2): 2015/16, 2016/17
Group Phase (5): 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2014/2015
Qualification (1): 2008/09

Other EC records:

Cup Winners’ Cup:
Quarter-final 2011/12

Others:

SEHA Liga:
Final 2014, 2015

Belarusian league:
9 titles (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)

Belarusian cup:
10 titles (2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)


TEXT: Björn Pazen / ew
 
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