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28.08.2018, 11:20
New teams, same favourites in SEHA league
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SEASON PREVIEW: The regional competition for South-East European clubs will feature three newcomers when the 2018/19 season gets underway on Tuesday

»EHF CL Channel »2018-19 Men's News
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New teams, same favourites in SEHA league

Handball fans had to wait a long time before finally finding out which 10 teams will participate in the eighth season of the SEHA-Gazprom League.

While this time Telekom Veszprém HC are skipping the annual competition for club teams in South-East Europe, Slovenian sides Celje Pivovarna Lasko and Gorenje Velenje have also pulled out, leaving a few open spots that needed to be filled.

The league starts Tuesday (28 August) and all matches will be streamed live on ehfTV.com again.

Seven contenders from last year are competing again, and five of those teams will also feature in the VELUX EHF Champions League this season: reigning SEHA league champions Vardar and their Macedonian rivals Metalurg, PPD Zagreb from Croatia, Slovakian champions Tatran Presov, and Meshkov Brest from Belarus. The two other teams are Nexe from Croatia and Serbian champions Vojvodina.

Izvidac return, Zeleznicar and Steaua give debut

While the national champions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Izvidac, return to the league after one season, the two other newcomers are true debutants. One of them is CSA Steaua Bucuresti, the first Romanian club ever to participate in the SEHA league.

“It is a new challenge for everyone, a new experience for our club,” CSA general manager Vasile Stinga told seha-liga.com.

Led by Veselin Vujovic, Serbian side Zeleznicar Nis 1949 are the third new team to take part. The club has a long tradition and is now hoping to relive the old glory days.

Title contenders remain the same

It will be interesting to see what impact the newcomers to the league will have this season. Also, as many coaches and rosters have changed in the offseason, predictions are tough to make.

However, three of the four contenders in last season’s finals tournament - Vardar, Zagreb, and Brest - are widely regarded as favourites to reach that stage again, probably with the addition of Steaua.

The debutants from Bucharest throw off the competition when they host Presov on Tuesday at 17:15 hrs CET (live on ehfTV). The other match on the opening day of the SEHE league will see Zeleznicar taking on Vojvodina at 19:00 hrs CET (live on ehfTV).


TEXT: Jelena Bagarić / ew
 
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