Countdown, part 11: Hypo NÖ
After being eliminated during the Group Matches of the EHF Champions League in the past, Austrian champions Hypo Niederösterreich are hoping for better luck this season.
The Austrian outfit, who have many Brazilians in their squad, have played in the EHF Champions League for every one of the competition's 20-year history.
Four times the Women’s EHF Champions League winner and six times a finalist, Hypo nowadays count on a strong group of players from Brazil. Four newcomers from the South American country have signed for this season, and despite three others - including top star Daniela Piedade - having left, the club still have eight Brazilians on their books.
Gorica Aćimović returned from Krim to Hypo and is one of four Austrian players in the squad, which is coached by Hungarian András Németh who started his second season at the record winners of the Champions League. The new Hypo manager is Márk Hegedüs, and one of the newcomers - Karol de Souza – is out until October after she had broken her hand.
After failing to reach the Main Round in the previous three seasons, Hypo hope to survive the Group Matches this season, as player Ana Paula Rodrigues confirms: "Our group is as tough as last season, no one is to be underestimated. Our goal is to reach the Main Round and to be part of the Champions League in 2013, especially after our early exit last season."
Manager Hegedüs is also focused on this objective: "With this new team we are aiming to reach the Main Round," he said.
Three questions to coach András Németh:
ehfcl.com: What are your expectations for the upcoming season of the Women’s EHF Champions League?
András Németh: To do better than last season and to reach the Main Round of the Champions League.
ehfcl.com: What does participating in the Women’s EHF Champions League mean to you and your club?
András Németh: It is the main club tournament for our club and in this prestigious league HYPO NÖ aim to perform as well as possible.
ehfcl.com: What teams are your personal favourites to win the Women’s EHF Champions League season – and why?
András Németh: It could be either Oltchim - if their financial situation gets back to normal - or Györi AUDI ETO, last year's finalist.
HYPO NÖ (AUT)
Qualification for the Women’s EHF Champions League 2012/13 season: Austrian champions
Coach: András Németh (since 2011/12)
Newcomers: Julia Mauler (HYPO NÖ II), Gorica Aćimović (Krim Ljubljana), Karol de Souza (Siófok), Mayara de Moura (Mios Biganos), Dara Diniz (Bera Bera), Mirela Dedic (HYPO NÖ II), Deonise Cavaleiro (Itxako)
Left the club: Francise De Morales Cararo (pregnancy), Sabrina Stumvoll (HYPO NÖ 2), Daniela De Oliveira Piedade (Krim Ljubljana), Nina Stumvoll (HYPO NÖ 2), Silvia Pinheiro (Toulon), Viktória Rédei Soós (Györi Audi ETO), Martina Goričanec (HYPO NÖ 2), Samira Da Silva Rocha (Zvezda Zvenigorod)
Women’s EHF Champions League records:
Participations (including 2012/2013 season): 20
Winners: 1993/94, 1994/95, 1997/98, 1999/2000
Finalists: 1995/96, 2007/08
Semi-finalists: 1996/97, 1998/99, 2004/05, 2006/07, 2008/09
Group Matches/Champions League: 2000/01, 2001/02, 2002/03, 2003/04, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12
Other EC records:
Cup Winners´ Cup:
Austrian champions: 36 times
Austrian Cup winners: 25 times
Find more information about Hypo Niederösterreich HERE
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TEXT: Björn Pazen