EHF Cup countdown, part 4: Csurgoi Kezilabda Klub (HUN)
Big adventure for a small club
For the first time ever Csurgoi Kezilabda Klub have qualified for any EHF European Cup competition in this season and they waste no time to make it directly to the EHF Cup Group Phase.
Csurgo, backed by internationally well-known newcomers like Spaniard Alberto Aquirrezabalaga, Belarusian Barys Pukhouski or rising Polish goalkeeping star Piotr Wyszomirski, eliminated big names on their way to the Group Phase like Spanish side Aragon or Turkish champions Besiktas.
The winners’ way should not be left in the next stage, though Csurgo have already reached their main goal by the qualification for the group phase – now they additionally hope to finish on the third rank in the Hungarian league to make it to the European Cup competitions also next season.
Manager Peter Erdelyi explains the humble objectives of his club: “It is our first season in European Cup, so we are fully satisfied with what we have reached already. We achieved our goal, but as we are here, we will fight for the quarter-final ticket.”
Team captain Gabor Herbert is also pleased with the previous performances of his team in the EHF Cup.
“We won against solid teams in the two qualification rounds at home and away as well, we have several players with international experience, so we want to reach the next round,” he said.
Thanks to the domestic and international success of Csurgoi Kezilabda Klub, the Hungarian state invested in the sports complex to provide the club with a bigger capacity for their matches in the EHF Cup Group Phase.
Three questions to coach Imre Vilmos:
What are your expectations for the EHF Cup Group Phase - concerning your objectives and your group opponents?
Imre Vilmos: Our opponents are part of the best championships in Europe, so it will be difficult to finish second in the group. In my opinion Hannover are supposed to finish on top, we will fight with Leon and Lugi for the second spot.
What does the participation in the EHF Cup Group Phase mean to you and your club?
Imre Vilmos: For this new and small club it means to show ourselves that we are here, we have arrived on the handball map of Europe. For me personally it is a new challenge, as with my previous teams I have participated in EHF Cup, but not in this group system.
What teams are your personal favourites to reach the EHF Cup Finals?
Imre Vilmos: Several teams can reach the final tournament, best chances I expect for teams from Denmark, Spain, France, Germany and Hungary, as their domestic championships are very strong. Additionally those teams which failed in the qualification for the Champions League are among the favourites, so at least six to seven teams have real chances to go all the way.
Csurgoi KK (HUN)
The road to the group phase:
Newcomers: Akos Lele, Balint Pordan (Tatabanya-Carbonex KC), Barys Pukhouski (SKA Minsk), Alberto Aquirrezabalaga Garcia (Trimo Trebnje), Tibor Gazdag (Gyöngyösi Kezilabda Klub), Kosta Savic (Aix Provence)
Coach: Imre Vilmos (since 30 September 2012)
TEXT: Björn Pazen / br
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