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16.06.2018, 09:00
National Champions of Europe – Women Part 3: Central Europe
«Go back »Print Version


DOMESTIC LEAGUES: Most, Györ and Lublin take all the available trophies in Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, while Hypo extend their unbeatable series of 42 consecutive titles in Austria

»EHF CL Channel »2017-18 Women's News
»
 

National Champions of Europe – Women Part 3: Central Europe

Part three of the six-part national champions series looks at central Europe, including Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Poland.

CZECH REPUBLIC
Most take it all

There has been only one name that has appeared on all the trophies that a Czech club can win: Most. In 2018, coach Peter David’s team claimed their sixth Czech title, added their fifth Czech Cup and were the best Czecho-Slovakian club in the regular season of the WHIL.

It was a perfect season with plenty of silverware for the ‘Black Angels’, who won the EHF Challenge Cup 2012/13. Most lost only three games in the WHIL regular season, won both the national semi-final play-offs and recorded a 2:0 victory in the best-of-three final series.

The WHIL – or MOL Liga, as it is known in the region – regular season competition between Czech and Slovakian clubs was won by Most after four years of dominance from Iuventa Michalovce. For Most, 2018 was the second triumph after winning the competition in 2013.

The WHIL was dominated by Czech clubs in 2017/18, with Most winning it by a single point over their domestic final opponents Slavia Prague. The best Slovakian club, the champions from Michalovce, finished third.

Most also made their way to the EHF Cup Group Phase this season, but finished at the bottom of Group D.

SLOVAKIA
Unstoppable Iuventa

One could say it is easy to predict who will win the Slovakian title. In 2017/18, Iuventa Michalovce lifted the trophy for the eighth consecutive time; their 11th overall.

Despite changes in the club before the season – when they stopped participating in European cup competitions, changed their philosophy, and started giving more chances to the young players from their own academy – Iuventa cruised to a 3:0 win in the best-of-five final series versus their arch rivals HK Slovan Duslo Sala.

Jan Packa, who replaced Frantisek Urban in the role of head coach at the end of the WHIL league, won his fourth individual title with Michalovce.

Iuventa also claimed the Slovakian Cup but failed to defend their title in the Czecho-Slovakian WHIL league, where they finished third behind the winners from Most and Slavia Prague.

SLOVENIA
No troubles for Krim, again

The record-breakers from Ljubljana have struck again: RK Krim Mercator eased to their 23rd Slovenian title as they won all 22 matches – with an average margin of 14 goals per game.

Next season, they will have to do without Elizabeth Omoregie, who joins CSM Bucuresti – but even Omoregie’s departure will hardly affect Krim’s title-winning chances in the domestic league.

GERMANY
THC triumph represents Müller's 10th championship trophy

After SG Bietigheim took the crown in the previous season, Thüringer HC are back on the winners’ podium – for the seventh time in the last eight years. It was the 10th German championship title for Herbert Müller as a coach, after he also steered Nuremburg to three titles.

Defending champions Bietigheim were not real contenders this year, shaken by injury (Kim Naidzinavicius), pregnancy (Maura Visser) and internal problems, as they fired former German internationals Nina and Susann Müller in the middle of the season.

Thüringer HC were dominant, finishing eight points ahead of Bietigheim and 13 points in front of third-ranked Buxtehuder HC.

Before the start of the season, record champions HC Leipzig had lost their licence, announced bankruptcy and restarted in the third division.

AUSTRIA
Hypo win 42nd consecutive title

It is definitely the longest winning streak in European club handball: For the 42nd time in a row, Hypo Niederösterreich became Austrian women’s champion. But this season marked a milestone, as the team of coach Martin Matuschkowitz failed in their attempt to win the Austrian Cup, like in the previous season.

This year, Hypo did not even make it to the Cup semi-finals, as they lost the quarter-final against Stockerau 19:24.

In the regular season, the four-time EHF Champions League winners lost one match, against Graz, but finished five points ahead of Cup winners Stockerau. The two championship finals against Stockerau proved Hypo’s dominance, as the Vienna-based side won both duels, 33:22 and 31:24.

“We wanted to take revenge for the defeat in the Cup, and we managed to do so in a clear and successful way,” said team captain Mirela Dedic.

HUNGARY
Györ celebrate domestic and international trophies

Unstoppable: This one word could summarise Györi Audi ETO KC’s entire season. After their wins in the Hungarian Cup and the Women’s EHF Champions League, the last trophy was the Hungarian national championship. To finish their season victorious, Györ had to win against Békéscsaba ENKSE and count a better goal difference than FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria.

Ahead of the last round of the season, FTC were at the top with a better goal difference (+6). Györ were to play against Békéscsaba and, at the same time, FTC faced Vác. Only one thing mattered: Which team could win with the biggest goal difference?

At half-time, the FINAL4 winners were leading by 12 (20:8), while FTC were ahead by seven (19:12) – so it was still the FTC fans that were happier, but only by one goal.

In Györ, the Anita Görbicz, Nycke Groot and Kari Grismbö trio led the team to a 39:14 win. However, the other match was still on, with just under three minutes remaining.

FTC were one goal shy of the required goal difference and could not score in the dying seconds. The team ‘only’ won by 18 goals, 42:24, which meant that Györ could celebrate the title for the 14th time.

It was a bittersweet moment for Ambros Martin, the head coach of Györ. He finished his tenure with the club with the hat-trick in the city of bridges, before departing for Rostov for next season. As the last words in the interview after the final whistle, Martin said: “Thank you, I am sorry and I love you all!”

POLAND
20th national title for Lublin

MKS Perla Lublin celebrated their 20th Polish championship title as early as April, five rounds before the end of the season.

After winning the regular season (22 rounds), Lublin continued the glorious march to reclaim the trophy, after finishing fourth last season – the club’s worst result in 22 years. This year was the complete opposite, as it was the most successful for the team since 2000/01, with victories in the Polish Cup and EHF Challenge Cup alongside the championship title.

Second place in the league was taken by Metraco Zaglebie Lubin, while the bronze medal went to Energa AZS Koszalin.  

It was a fantastic season for standout stars such as Kinga Achruk, who came back to Poland after four years in Buducnost, and line player Joanna Drabik (joining Siofok KC this summer).


TEXT: Tomas Cuncik / Uros Volk / Michal Pomorski / Béla Müller / cg / ew
 
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