«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
«apr 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293012345
6789101112
«may 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
293012345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
272829303112
3456789
«jun 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
272829303112
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
1234567
«jul 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930311234
567891011
AlbaniaAndorraArmeniaAustriaAzerbaijanBelgiumBosnia HerzegovinaBelarusBulgariaCroatiaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkSpainEstoniaFaroe IslandsFinlandFranceGreat BritainGeorgiaGermanyGreeceHungaryIrelandIcelandIsraelItalyKosovoLatviaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMoldovaFYR MacedoniaMaltaMontenegroMonacoNetherlandsNorwayPolandPortugalRomaniaRussiaSloveniaSerbiaSwitzerlandSlovakiaSwedenTurkeyUkraine
 
EnglandScotland
Other EHF Sites 

23.09.2017, 10:00
All eyes on the title with Neagu on board
«Go back »Print Version


Women’s EHF Champions League countdown: 2016 champions CSM Bucuresti will fancy their chances of returning to Budapest for a third consecutive Women’s EHF FINAL4 after a number of impressive summer signings
 

All eyes on the title with Neagu on board

Celebrating the tenth anniversary of the City Sport Club (CSM) in the Romanian capital, the 2016 Champions League winners have heavily bolstered their squad, with current IHF World Handball Player of the Year Cristina Neagu the star attraction.

CSM Bucuresti is a sports club with a number of successful sections alongside handball and the new club president is former middle distance runner and Olympic champion Gabriela Szabo.

Three questions before the new season

Will they reach the top again?

When Bucharest made it to Budapest in 2016 as debutants by eliminating the previously unbeaten Rostov-Don, it was a major surprise, but the surprises did not end there.

Thanks to a historic performance from playmaker Bella Gullden, CSM beat Györ to take the trophy after the one and only penalty shootout in a Women’s EHF Champions League Final, a feat which the club hope to repeat this season.

“We have the best CSM squad ever,” says team captain Oana Manea. Mainly thanks to the transfer of Cristina Neagu the hopes and dreams in Romania are larger than ever.

The chances are good, but Györ, Rostov and Vardar have the same objective. “You cannot lower the bar, when you have won this competition once,” says manager Nicolae Luca.

How will new coach Helle Thomsen deal with dual tasks?

CSM needed three coaches last season to make it to Budapest, but already before interim solution Per Eriksson was signed, Bucuresti had announced the arrival of Dane Helle Thomsen for 2017/18.

Previously, she had coached FC Midtjylland and the Swedish team in parallel, so she has the experience to cope with the situation she is currently in, also coaching a world class Dutch national team.

What can be expected from the new Scandinavian arrivals?

Thomsen brought her former Swedish players Nathalie Hagman and Sabrina Jacobsen to Bucharest, who both arrive from Denmark.

Norwegian world and EURO champions Amanda Kurtovic and Marit Malm Frafjord, also 2012 Olympic champion, will also add significant class to the attack. The Scandinavian style of play will continue with Thomsen at the helm and these players should fit in nicely.

Under the spotlight: Cristina Neagu

No other player will have to deal with the weight of expectation Neagu will feel this season. The only female player to be named World Handball Player of the Year three times rose to become the star she is now with Buducnost Podgorica.

There will be plenty of pressure on her shoulders, but with the wealth of talent alongside her and a record of performing on the big occasions, it will be no surprise if the 29-year-old delivers a title to her new club.

Self-esteem

“It's a unique feeling to raise the trophy and we want to experience that again. So, it's not a secret that this season we want to win. This is the motivation behind all our summer transfers and the investments made,” manager Luca says, clearly underlining the CSM’s ambitions.

Bucharest are lucky with the draw - at least on paper. But as the manager mentions, “we have respect for all teams, though everyone will want to cause an upset against us.”

For Luca, the most important thing for CSM is “to be a role model for the Romanian people and especially the 1,000 young players in the club - and this gives us great satisfaction.

“The project of CSM Bucharest will develop, as our main financer, the Bucharest City Council and other sponsors and partners give us stability and confidence.

“We want to reach the FINAL4, and once we are there, anything can happen,” states Oana Manea, proving the desire the entire club has to reach Budapest for a third consecutive year.

Fun fact

Isabelle Gullden’s 15 goals in the 2016 decider against against Györ was a record for a final of the competition. Thanks to that incredible performance, the Swedish international became overall top scorer with 104 goals for the season.

What the numbers say

CSM were the first Romanian side to win the competition in 2016. In 2010, Oltchim Valcea had made it to the finals, but lost against Viborg.

Besides those who won in 2016, Neagu (2015) and Mehmedovic (2012, 2015) lifted the coveted trophy with Buducnost.

CSM Bucuresti (ROU)

Qualification for the 2017/18 Women’s EHF Champions League season: Romanian champions

Newcomers: Cristina Neagu (Buducnost), Marit Malm Frafjord, Amanda Kurtovic (both Larvik), Sabina Jacobsen (FC Midtjylland), Nathalie Hagman (Nykobing),  Aneta Udristiou (HC Dunarea Braila)

Left the club: Cristina Varzaru (retired), Aurelia Bradeanu (retired), Carmen Martin, Linnea Torstensson (both Nice), Cristina Nan (HC Dunarea Braila), Simone Bohme (Siofok)

Coach:  Helle Thomsen (since 2017)

Team captain: Oana Manea

Women’s EHF Champions League records:

Participations (including 2017/18 season): 3
Winners (1): 2015/16

Semi-finalists (1): 2016/17 (third place)

Other EC records:

EHF Cup
Last 16: 2011/12

Romanian league:  3 titles (2015, 2016, 2017)

Romanian Cup:  2 times (2016, 2017)


TEXT: Björn Pazen / cor
 
Share
CONTACT FORM