31.01.2014, 05:00
Full of commitment, passion and skill

EHF Cup countdown, part 9: Sporting CP (POR)


Full of commitment, passion and skill

Nearly since the start of European Cup competitions in the 1992/93 season, Sporting CP from the Portuguese capital Lisbon is a constant participant in European Cup competitions and even made it once to the EHF Champions League.

Since Porto are representing the Portuguese handball in Champions League, Sporting made it to the Group Phase of the EHF Cup after eliminating Volendam (Netherlands) and Porec (Croatia) in the qualification stages.

The squad, nearly fully Portuguese with the exception of Cuban Frankis Carol Marzo, is mostly built upon the successful youth programme of Sporting under the leadership of the new club president Bruno de Carvalho.

The Portuguese runners-up aim to leave Porto behind in the domestic league and finish on top for the first time since their last trophy in 2006. In the EHF Cup Group Phase they will face Skjern, Montpellier and Zomimak.

Manager Jorge de Sousa hopes for an improvement of his team by taking part in this competition: “Our participation at this stage of the competition is focused on giving our best to represent Sporting and Portuguese handball. All are committed to show their skills and take the opportunity to compete on a higher level. Every opponent wants to reach the next stage and we try to be strong enough going game by game with maximum commitment.”

For team captain Ricardo Dias the participation means a further step of development: “We want to get experience in this type of competition, we hope to win our home games and show our opponents the value of our team.”

Three questions to coach Frederico Santos:

What are your expectations for the Group Phase of the EHF Cup - concerning your objectives and your group opponents?

Frederico Santos: The Group Phase of the EHF Cup is a great opportunity to increase the experience of our team on a higher level of competition. We will try to give our best in every game and win our home games.

What does the participation in the Group Phase of the EHF Cup mean to you and your club?

Frederico Santos:  It is a great opportunity to compete with some of the strongest teams in Europe, so participating in the Group Phase is a great challenge for us and we will try to be strong. Additionally this is a good chance to continue our project with Portuguese players.

What teams are your personal favourites to reach the EHF Cup Finals?

Frederico Santos: Füchse Berlin, TSV Hannover, Pick Szeged and Montpellier.

Sporting CP (POR)

The road to the Group Phase:

Round 2: Sporting CP – Kras Volendam 30:18, 32:35
Round 3: Sporting CP – RK Porec 24:24, 30:25

Newcomers: Ricardo Candeias (SL Benfica), Edmilson Araújo, Manuel Mendonça, Ricardo Pereira, João Ligeiro and Bernardo Sousa (all from CP junior team)

Left the club: João Pinto, Daniel Muresan, Novica Rudovic, Frederico Malhão, Hugo Figueira, Yailan Hechavarria

Coach: Frederico Santos (since 2012)

Biggest successes in EHF European Cup competitions:

VELUX EHF Champions League

Group Matches 2001/02

EHF Cup

Quarter-finals: 2000/01
Last 16: 1994/95
Last 32: 1996/97
Round 1: 2012/13

EHF Cup Winners’ Cup

Quarter-final: 2003/04
Last 16: 1997/98
Last 32: 1998/99
Round 3: 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07

EHF Challenge Cup

Winner: 2009/10
Semi-final: 2011/12
Last 16: 2010/11

Portuguese champions:  1952, 1956, 1961, 1966, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1986, 2001, 2005, 2006

Portuguese cup winners: 1972, 1973, 1975, 1981, 1983, 1988, 1989, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2012, 2013

TEXT: Björn Pazen / cor


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