Women's EHF Cup countdown: Part 7: Alba Fehervar KC (HUN)
Alba eager to accept challenges in a new environment
Under different names, the club now called 'Alba Fehervar KC,' was highly successful in international women’s handball. The team’s biggest achievement was winning the EHF in 2005 as Cornexi-Alcoa Székesfehérvár, followed by making it to the EHF Cup semi-final nine years later as Köfem Klub, then Fehervar KC.
Since the start of this season, it is not only the new name ‘Alba,’ but also some new players, who are famous on the international stage. The 2013 Brazilian World Champion, Daniela Piedade and former French international, Claudine Mendy, joined the team of head coach, Rita Dely, who took over Alba in February. In addition, Alba relies on the only Japanese player, who is part of this competition, Ishitate Mayuko.
The qualification stage was imprinted by two neighbouring duels with Romanian-side, Roman and Slovak champions, Michalovce, in which Fehervar won both matches in style after an easy-going start against Gdynia from Poland.
“Now, as we have fulfilled our primary goal of the qualification, it is time to set new objectives,” says Rita Deli. Her team will face Krasnodar, Leipzig and Brest in Group B. “We will meet great opponents in our group and we would like to prove against all of them that we are worthy members of this stage of the EHF Cup. These matches, as well as the tough competition in the Hungarian League, require the very best of our team, but we like challenges and are looking forward to them,” adds Deli, full of optimism.
In general, the club feels honoured to be among the best 16 teams of this newly merged competition. “Playing in European Cup competitions is always something special in the life of our club - especially, since we won the EHF Cup in 2005 and reached the semi-final in 2014. This spring, we would like experience something similar to the moments we lived during our runs in those years.” Deli and her team will try everything to proceed to the knock-out stage.
Although, her prediction for the competition favourites are quite different. “If we look at the team rosters, Rostov-Don seem to have the strongest line-up of individuals; they were contenders even in the Champions League. However, team chemistry plays a huge part in success in handball and that cannot be easily predicted. So, in the upcoming matches we will see which teams are capable of staying alive until May.”
Alba Fehervar KC (HUN)
Qualification for the 2016/2017 EHF Cup Group Phase: Round 1: 28:17, 27:17 against Vistal Gdynia (POL), Round 2: 27:25, 28:24 against HCM Roman (ROU), Round 3: 28:23, 27:19 against Iuventa Michalovce (SVK)
Newcomers: Daniela Piedade (Siofok KC), Jelena Lavko (Craiova), Claudine Mendy (Metz), Orsolya Pelczeder (Vaci NKSE), Eszter Vajk (Kozarmisleny), Sara Tornoczky (NEKA)
Left the club: Mira Emberovics (Dortmund), Viktoria Csaki (DVSC), Anita Herr (Vasas), Helga Hrabovszky (Haladas), Yuki Tanabe (Hokkoku Bank), Szabina Tapai (retired)
Coach: Rita Deli (since February 2016)
Team captain: Orsolya Herr
Opponents in the group matches: Krasnodar, Leipzig and Brest in Group B
Other EC records:
TEXT: Björn Pazen/tm
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