PREVIEW: While Union Mios Biganos-Begles have won the Women's Challenge Cup before, their Polish opponents are debutants in the European competition.
Mios striving to copy 2011 triumph against debutants
When Union Mios Biganos-Begles meet Pogon Baltica Szczecin in the final of the Women's Challenge Cup on 3 and 10 May, the French team will be striving to copy their achievement from the 2010/11 season, when they won the tournament.
Their Polish opponents, though, surely want Biganos-Begles to fail with their attempt to repeat their triumph from four years ago and make their first appearance in a European competition a very special and successful one.
Head coach Adrian Struzik is proud of this historic achievement.
"We are very happy to play in the Challenge Cup final. For 14 years, no female Polish team has been in a final in a European Cup tournament. The last time was when Lublin won the EHF Cup in 2001.
"We have worked hard to get to the final. Now, we do everything to prepare well for these matches. We know that UMBB is a good team, and it’s not without reason that the team has reached the final. Now, the two upcoming weekends will decide which team is the better one," Adrian Struzik tells eurohandball.com ahead of the first match in Arena Szczecin on Sunday.
His adversary, Mios coach Manu Mayonnade says:
"The European Cup has been a breath of fresh air in our tough season, and we're aiming to maintain that.
"Winning such a trophy is not something that happens every season. We don't know much about our opponent, but we know they will want to make a big difference in the first game. When all of our players are fit, though, we can bother any team and luckily, the complete squad will be available on Sunday. We'll try to rely on our defence that has been doing great lately."
TEXT: Peter Bruun / Kevin Domas / me
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