Romanian side HC Zalău are the first club side to reach an EHF European Cup Final this season and their coach tells us all about it.
Great ambitions for HC Zalău
HC Zalău has enjoyed its biggest performance in the club’s history, having qualified for the Women’s EHF Cup Final after eliminating Spanish side C.B. Mar Alicante in the semi-finals. Zalău’s manager, Gheorghe Tadici talked to eurohandball.com about his team’s success.
eurohandball.com: Your team has qualified for the Women’s EHF Cup Final. What does this success mean for the Zalău community and for your team?
Gheorghe Tadici: Our club has enjoyed success over the years, but it’s a fantastic performance, the biggest one up until now. We managed to create a team with a young core, while the addition of two very experienced players has boosted us further.
This final is clearly an important performance for us and for our town, especially with our small budget. We are very satisfied with our European achievements and by “we”, I mean the players, the management and the local authorities, our financial source for seven years now.
eurohandball.com: With ‘bigger’ teams competing in the Women’s EHF Cup, what were Zalău’s secrets that helped secured a place in the final?
Gheorghe Tadici: I’d make a short summary and say that tenacity and hard work were the keys that helped us qualify to the final. The girls really showed that they wanted to achieve such a great result and I believe that we deserve to be here.
We also had a great audience, very noisy, very passionate and that helped the girls during the most difficult moments.
eurohandball.com: Zalău had some hard matches on the way to the final. What was the most difficult moment?
Gheorghe Tadici: Off the top of my head, I would say that the games against HBC Nimes were the most problematic ones, but under no circumstances would I overlook the semi-final against C.B. Mar Alicante. We managed to win the first game against the Spanish side and relaxed a bit, maybe too much in my opinion, a thing that was not normal for this stage of the competition.
eurohandball.com: It is only normal for you to be thinking about the opponent in the big final, but who are your favourites to win the second semi-final?
Gheorghe Tadici: Lada has a huge advantage going into the second game, because they won at home with a five-goal difference, conceding only 16 goals. I think they have to be favourites because of this and that they have a lot of experienced players, who were both part of the Russian national team in final tournaments and teams who are a constant presence in the European cup competitions.
It will be a great final whoever we get, but we also have an advantage as we have experienced players, but I can say that the last two matches will be exciting and very balanced.
eurohandball.com: Are Zalău able to win the EHF Women’s Cup Final?
Gheorghe Tadici: I am an optimist and cannot change the way I think. It’s normal to want to win and that’s why we qualified for the final. It would be a great result for Romanian handball, because very few teams from our country have gone this far in Europe. Of course, there is one exception, C.S. Oltchim Rm. Vâlcea, who played two finals in the last five years and we want to join them in the winners club.
TEXT: Adrian Costeiu
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