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05.10.2018, 13:50
Adzic and Martin top list of Women’s Champions League tacticians
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FIRST-HAND INSIGHT: Which Women’s EHF Champions League team is led most effectively? What are the features of the best coaches in the competition? We take a look at who stands out on the bench
 

Adzic and Martin top list of Women’s Champions League tacticians

Coaches, their approach, game plans and integration of players have been the decisive factor for any team’s success in the Women’s EHF Champions League. In today’s handball, it is often the case that a coach cannot only be a coach. Modern times have brought so many more requirements to the coaching job than ‘simply’ team preparation and tactical aspects.

And then, there is a matter of consistency. How many greats of yesteryear can you remember? Only a handful. Why? Because they were revolutionary. Innovators, who dared to change handball as we know it.

With a plethora of handball masterminds at the helm of the Women’s EHF Champions League teams, it is hard to choose between the styles and approaches to decide who is best. Defence versus attack, discipline against flamboyance, speed and strength.

However, we have decided the criteria for the very best are the ones who encompass more than one or two elements – the coaches who leave their mark on the game and continue to do so amid the fast-changing trends and times. With that in mind, we have picked five distinct coaching systems and their masterminds, who have become synonymous with their philosophy.

5. Uros Bregar, RK Krim Mercator

Approaching his third season at the helm of the Slovenian champion, Uros Bregar has managed to leave his mark through patience and knowledge. His coaching system, based on rational, long-term thinking, has yielded positive results and most of all, progress.

Krim are always a blend of youth, experience and ambition. But it is also a top priority to have a few extraordinary talents emerge every season.

Tactically, their game is excitingly flamboyant and free flowing, but disciplined, making it the best place for a young player to develop. Results-wise, it is all about consistency. Not many Women’ EHF Champions League teams can brag of nine main round berths in the past decade.

4. Gabor Elek, FTC Rail-Cargo Hungaria

The Hungarian runners-up have reached new heights with Gabor Elek. However, the experienced tactician certainly has his sights set on bigger and better things with FTC, following more than a decade leading the club.

Moreover, the often-overlooked magnitude of Elek’s work lies in the fact that FTC have become one of the most consistent teams in the Women’s EHF Champions League. Exuberance, cohesion, work rate and flawless transition are at the core of Elek’s system, which has been proven time and time again.

Given his eye for detail, as well as under-the-radar signings that fit that very system, Elek has all the credentials to hang with the masterminds of the game.

3. Gabor Danyi, Györi Audi ETO KC
 
Györ were lucky to find a long-term solution to Ambros Martin’s departure among their own staff. After playing an important role in the four Women’s EHF Champions League titles won during Martin’s tenure, Gabor Danyi has emerged as the man with a plan.

As a protégé of Martin’s, Danyi’s game plan was always going to be based on solid defence and lighting fast breaks, with the organised back court/line player coordination providing solidity and supplying the efficient wings at the core of the simple, yet effective system.

At the dawn of his appointment, Danyi hinted at the minor tweaks to be implemented to instill his own vision of the team. In fact, Györ’s game was never in need of a major shake-up, and with this roster at his disposal, Danyi’s patient approach might be exactly what the trophy defenders need to stay competitive.

Gyor_Danyi_565

2. Ambros Martin, Rostov-Don

Ambros Martin has taken a brave step in his career. Hence, we reward him with second place in our ranking. After writing history with Györ, his next stop is ambitious Rostov, with a lot of work ahead to reach the level he was known for at the helm of the Hungarian powerhouse.

Just like all the best things in life, Martin’s approach is simple. One of his main virtues is the ability to select the right roles for players to implement his vision. Furthermore, simplicity and a good selection of players allows the biggest strength in Martin’s approach to shine through: It is the ability to seamlessly shift, change, and adapt to virtually any situation and opponent.

1. Dragan Adzic, Buducnost

The dedication of the long-serving Buducnost tactician Dragan Adzic has taken the coaching role to the next level. Adzic’s progressive, proactive thinking surpasses many of his contemporaries, having brought groundbreaking innovations to the game of handball.

Adzic developed a whole new school of thought through his coaching and club management approach. He has led Buducnost through glory and successful reconstruction, whilst remaining authentic and competitive.

The signature, low-scoring, disciplined, defensive-minded approach has vastly expanded. Looking at this season’s modern Buducnost, there is greater tactical variety, versatility and the untapped potential of their youngsters is apparent, suggesting the club is on the verge of making big things happen, yet again.


TEXT: Nemanja Savic / cg
 
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