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31.08.2018, 14:30
Next round in clash of Hungarian titans
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SEASON PREVIEW: Defending champions Szeged and the team they dethroned last season, Veszprém, are preparing for another heated title battle when the Hungarian league starts this weekend

»EHF CL Channel »2018-19 Men's News
»
 

Next round in clash of Hungarian titans

MOL-Pick Szeged have been chasing Telekom Veszprém HC for more than a decade. Last season, after 11 years, Szeged finally clinched the Hungarian national title again by defeating their rivals in a two-leg final in May.

Szeged have got even stronger this season, but Veszprém are still Veszprém, so the season looks gripping from the start on Friday (31 August).

Szeged and Veszprém very active on transfer market

Szeged reinforced their squad with Vardar’s Spanish players Jorge Maqueda and Joan Canellas. The ‘Tisza-coastal’ team got back their playmaker Dean Bombac, and also lured star goalkeeper Mirko Alilovic away from rivals Veszprém.

However, Veszprém were neither inert. In his second year in charge of the 25-time Hungarian champions, coach Ljubomir Vranjes is step-by-step rebuilding the team as he wishes to create a fast-reacting, Northern-style system.

Borut Mackovsek, René Toft Hansen and goalkeeper Árpád Sterbik, arguably the top transfer of the summer, have joined the team, and so did Kentin Mahé and Manuel Strlek, whose transfers were already announced a year ago.

The biggest surprise of the pre-season transfer period was the move by VELUX EHF Champions League All-star Team nominee Timuzsin Schuch. The defensive specialist and Gábor Ancsin have both left Veszprém for at Ferencvárosi TC.

Big names set top two apart from the rest

Szeged and Veszprém both have rosters which put them beyond any competition in Hungary.

Szeged’s squad includes some of Hungary’s best young players, like Richárd Bodó, Bence Bánhidi and Zsolt Balogh, who combined scored 67 percent of all Szeged goals in the Champions League last season. Other notable names include Dmitry Zhitnikov, Matej Gaber and Jonas Källmann.

Veszprém have done well to replace the players who left. The newcomers will probably perfectly fill that void. Hungarian players like Roland Mikler, Iman Jamali, Máté Lékai and László Nagy are the pillars, not just for the club but also in the national team.

The team is further completed with some well-known and internationally experienced players, like Dragan Gajic, Gasper Marguc, William Accambray, Andreas Nilsson and Momir Ilic.


TEXT: Béla Müller / ew
 
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