«apr 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2627282930311
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30123456
«may 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
30123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031123
45678910
«jun 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
28293031123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
2526272829301
2345678
«jul 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2526272829301
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
303112345
«aug 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
303112345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
272829303112
3456789
«sep 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
272829303112
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
1234567
«oct 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930311234
567891011
«nov 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2930311234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293012
3456789
«dec 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
262728293012
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31123456
«jan 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
31123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031123
45678910
«feb 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
28293031123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728123
45678910
«mar 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
25262728123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
1234567
AlbaniaAndorraArmeniaAustriaAzerbaijanBelgiumBosnia HerzegovinaBelarusBulgariaCroatiaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkSpainEstoniaFaroe IslandsFinlandFranceGreat BritainGeorgiaGermanyGreeceHungaryIrelandIcelandIsraelItalyKosovoLatviaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMoldovaFYR MacedoniaMaltaMontenegroMonacoNetherlandsNorwayPolandPortugalRomaniaRussiaSloveniaSerbiaSwitzerlandSlovakiaSwedenTurkeyUkraine
 
EnglandScotland
Other EHF Sites 

02.09.2017, 17:20
A second-year boost for Nantes?
«Go back »Print Version


VELUX EHF Champions League club countdown: After their first appearance last season, HBC Nantes will now face top opponents in Group A in the Group Phase, and thanks to new arrival Kiril Lazarov, the French league runners-up want to upset the established order.
 

A second-year boost for Nantes?

After their first appearance last season, HBC Nantes will now face top opponents in Group A in the Group Phase, and thanks to new arrival Kiril Lazarov, the French league runners-up want to upset the established order.

Three questions before the new season

Can Nantes continue flying on the wings of success?


Over the previous five years HBC Nantes have formed a highly-competitive team including top signings such as Alberto Entrerrios (now assistant coach), Dominik Klein and now Kiril Lazarov. After making it to the final of the EHF Cup twice on home ground, their first Champions League season ended in a domestic Last 16 clash with eventual finalists PSG.

On home court, it was their most successful season ever, finishing second in the league and winning the French cup. The club now has the chance to rise further, facing top opponents such as Rhein-Neckar Löwen, FC Barcelona Lassa or defending champions HC Vardar. The knock-out stage is a realistic goal.

Do Nantes have the power to stand two top competitions in tandem?

The French league nowadays is among the top three national competitions in European club handball and the duels even with teams from the lower half of the ranking are more close and equal.

There is no chance to rest in those matches and to fully focus on the VELUX EHF Champions League so one of the most important things is rotation - and Nantes’ squad seems to be wide enough to stand the double heat.

Is the team ready for the new challenge?

The preparation was more than perfect: Nantes beat Veszprem, Berlin and several French and international teams in their pre-season. “We are something like world champions of test matches, but I am sure we can show the same level in the upcoming competitions,” said goalkeeper Cyril Dumoulin.

Under the spotlight: Kiril Lazarov

The Macedonian goal machine is eager to show that age does not matter at all. At 37-years-old, the two-time VELUX EHF Champions League top scorer is the new superstar at Nantes. With him, the attack of the French runners-up has boosted its quality.

The interesting fact will be whether coach Thierry Anti has to adapt his tactics to bring Lazarov in position to score, or if Lazarov will fit into the old tactics, mainly in terms of defence.

Self-esteem

Despite the new environment in group A, Nantes are full of confidence to at least repeat last season’s Champions League results.

“This is our first time in an A or B group,” said Nantes team captain Rock Feliho. “First, we’ll try to get out of the group-stage - last year we were in the Last 16 and I hope we’ll do it again this season and maybe going further.

“We face several teams which are candidates for the VELUX EHF FINAL4, but we are ambitious too.”

Club president Gael Pelletier hopes for the support from the stands. “All our opponents have more Champions League and FINAL4 experience than us. Every game will be a challenge for us, and our fantastic fans will hopefully appreciate those matches.”

Fun fact

Olivier Nyokas was the only Nantes player to become World Champion on home ground in January with France, but he is also joined by two players in the Nantes squad who also had the honour of winning the world championship at home:  Spaniard Eduardo Gurbindo (2013) and German Dominik Klein (2007).
 
What the numbers say

Not many teams in the VELUX EHF Champions League have the opportunity to play in front of more than 10,000 fans but Nantes have it, thanks to the XXL Arena, which was the preliminary round venue for the French team in their home World Championship in January.

For selected matches, HBC Nantes use this arena, including the upcoming group phase match against Barcelona. This arena was the setting for the record attendance of the French league (11,019), when Nantes beat PSG in December 2016.

HBC Nantes (FRA)

Qualification for the 2017/18 VELUX EHF Champions League season: runners-up in France
Newcomers: Kiril Lazarov, Julian Emonet, Rudolf Faluvégi
Left the club: Théo Derot, O’Brian Nyateu, Mahmoud Gharbi, Florian Delecroix (on loan)

Coach: Thierry Anti (since 2009)

Team captain: Rock Feliho
 
VELUX EHF Champions League records:
Participations (including 2017/18 season): 2
Last 16 (1): 2016/17

Other EC records:
EHF Cup records:
finalist 2012/13, 2015/16, quarter-final 2013/14
Round 3 2011/12

French league: -
French cup titles: 2017 (cup), 2015 (league cup)


TEXT: Bjorn Pazen/amc
 
Share
CONTACT FORM