FINAL PREVIEW: Neither team in the Women's EHF Challenge Cup Final have ever reached a European final before.
A new experience
Unchartered territory awaits Turkish side Kastamonu B. Genclik and their Spanish opponents Rocasa Gran Canaria, when they meet in the two-legged Women’s EHF Challenge Cup Final.
Kastamonu B. Genclik SK (TUR) vs. Rocasa Gran Canaria ACE (ESP)
It will be no surprise if the players on both sides are a bit more nervous than usual, when the first leg of the Women’s EHF Challenge Cup Final throws-off on Saturday evening in the Haldun Alagas Sport Complex in Istanbul, Turkey.
For both teams it is the first time in history that they stand in a final of a European cup tournament, with a new name being engraved on the trophy.
So far, the Spanish visitors have the best results as they have reached the last 16 of the Women’s EHF Cup the past two years.
Kastamonu’s finest European achievement until now has been reaching the fourth round of the EHF Challenge Cup back in the 2009-10 season but still, Gran Canaria coach Paco Guzman expects a difficult job in Turkey.
“For us, it is very important to get a good result in Istanbul in order to still have options in our home game in Gran Canaria,” he said. “However, our team is very tired at the moment due to many matches in the Spanish league and in this tournament.
“We will play the best we know, though, and try to stop the best players from Kastamonu.”
For Kastamonu, playing the Challenge Cup final is simply a dream come true.
“You need to chase your dreams,” said their Head Coach Osman Kalyoncu. “Two years ago, I had big dreams, now I have seen some of them become reality.”
TEXT: Peter Bruun/amc
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