INTERVIEW: Constanta coach happy to avoid hosts Füchse in the semi-finals and ready to challenge the French in first finals appearance
Sundovski: “We can beat Montpellier”
HCM Constanța coach Zvonko Sundovski is confident that his team is up to the task at the first Men’s EHF Cup Finals in the Romanian side’s history. They take on Montpellier Agglomeration HB in the semi-finals on Saturday 17 May at 17:15, with the winner of Füchse Berlin vs Pick Szeged awaiting in the Sunday's final. All games will be available live on ehfTV.com.
eurohandball.com: Constanța started the season by being eliminated from the VELUX EHF Champions League’s qualifying tournament. How did this affect your team?
Zvonko Sundovski: After we failed to secure our presence in the group phase, it was our job to go as far as we could in the Men’s EHF Cup. It was not easy, but we played very well, we believed in ourselves and now we will play in Berlin in our first final tournament.
eurohandball.com: You did not have an easy journey to Berlin. Constanța was drawn in quite a tough group and had to beat Swedish powerhouse Lugi HF in the quarter-finals. How would you describe this European season?
Zvonko Sundovski: We were in a very tough group, but we managed good results against both Fuchse Berlin and Chambery Savoie Handball. It’s easy to observe that both teams played in the Champions League last year. We also had a tough draw against Lugi HF. Therefore, we had by no means an easy way to Berlin.
eurohandball.com: In the semi-final you will play against Montpellier Agglomeration HB. Is that the opponent you wanted?
Zvonko Sundovski: Personally, I would have wanted to play against Pick Szeged. But it would have been a coin toss, as all four teams are very good. Montpellier is a very, very good team, but I am quite happy with the draw, as I really wanted to avoid playing against Füchse Berlin.
eurohandball.com: You played against Berlin in the group stage, is that not an advantage?
Zvonko Sundovski: It works both ways. Fuchse is a very powerful team and let’s not forget: they are playing at home, with a packed hall and great supporters. That’s a huge advantage for them.
eurohandball.com: Constanța has been the pleasant surprise in this year’s Men EHF Cup. What is your main strength?
Zvonko Sundovski: I would say that the unity is the greatest advantage. Every player knows our system and every one of them knows what to do in each moment of the game. We are working a lot both in defence and attack.
Zvonko Sundovski: I am at Constanța for two years and now the hard work is beginning to have the results we wanted. In the first year, it was quite difficult, as the players took some time to learn my methods and my system. Now, everything is ok. When you work hard, it’s hard not to have results.
eurohandball.com: The EHF Cup Finals is one of your objectives alongside retaining your title in the Romanian championship. The games are packed in your schedule, is that a disadvantage?
Zvonko Sundovski: It’s very hard to play in two competitions. In Romania, we have a very strange system. We won the first round of the championship, nine points ahead of the second team. Then, we had to play a play-off series and now we have a 'Final 3', in which our points were reset. Therefore we have to be very careful and play to win every match.
It’s quite a lot for the team to process, but we are confident that we have chances both in Berlin and the Romanian championship.
TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / cor
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