Men’s EHF Cup countdown - part 9: Hungarian side Grundfos Tatabanya KC has reached the EHF Cup Group Phase for the first time and head coach Vladan Matic is proud of what the team has already achieved
Matic tells his players to remain realistic
Three seasons in a row, from 2013 to 2015, Hungarian side Grundfos Tatabanya KC failed to reach the group phase of the EHF Cup.
This season, in the club’s ninth appearance in the competition overall, things finally worked out and the club made it among the last 16 for the first time.
In the third round of qualification the four-time Hungarian champions had no problems beating Maccabi Srugo Rishon Lezion twice (35:23, 28:26).
In Group C they now face Maccabi CASTRO Tel Aviv, former EHF Cup and EHF Champions League winners SC Magdeburg and KIF Kolding Kobenhavn.
At the beginning of the season the team of head coach Vladan Matic, a former Serbian international and Serbian national team coach, underwent some huge changes.
Twelve players including Ridard Bodo, Adam Borbely and Rade Mijatovic left, ten new ones, including the experienced Ferenc Ilyes and Ballasz Szöllösi, arrived.
“We will do our best and we will proudly present Hungary in the EHF Cup,” says Matic. “In the group phase we want to gain as much international experience as possible.
“Making it to the EHF Cup Finals is a dream, of course, but we have to remain realistic. There are many teams with much more international experience. However, we train hard and we will do our best to surprise our group phase opponents.”
For their home matches, Tatabanya face a challenge as they have to play them in Györ’s Audi Arena which is about 65 kilometres west of Tatabanya. Playing our home games in a different hall in a different city will be difficult,” says Matic.
However, the coach is proud of what his team has already achieved. “This is the first time we reached the group phase and we are very proud to represent Hungary in the EHF Cup.
“We have ten new players this season, not a lot of international experience and therefore it is a big success to be a part of the group phase.”
Like many other coaches, Matic regards the German clubs but also Saint-Raphael Var Handball from France as the main favourites to make it to the EHF Cup Finals.
HC Grundfos Tatabanya KC (HUN)
Qualification for the 2016/2017 EHF Cup Group Phase: 35:23, 28:26 against Maccabi Srugo Rishon Lezion (ISR)
Newcomers: Milos Bozovic (Gorenje Velenje), Demis Cosmin Grigoras (CH Poli Timisoara), Csaba Leimeter (PLER Budapest), Adrián Sipos (Stiinta Municipal Dedeman Bacau), Ferenc Ilyés (MOL-Pick Szeged), Vladimir Vranjes (MOL-Pick Szeged), Márton Székely (Csurgói KK), Michael Tóth (Váci KSE), Balázs Szöllősi (Balatonfüredi KSE), Szabolcs Nagy (PLER Budapest)
Left the club: Ákos Lele (B.Braun Gyöngyös), Ivo Diaz (end of career), Dávid Katzirz (Balmazújvárosi KK), Ádám Borbély (Telekom Veszprém), Richárd Bodó (MOL-Pick Szeged), Marko Krsmancic (Besiktas Mogaz HT), Marcell Gábor (Neka), Martin Mazak (CYEB Budakalász), Nikola Crnoglavac (HCM Constanta), Péter Vaskó (Mezőkövesdi KK), Szabolcs Törő (TUS Helmlingen), Rade Mijatovic (HC Meshkov Brest)
Coach: Vladan Matic (since 2014)
Team captain: János Dénes
Opponents in the group phase: KIF Kolding Kobenhavn, SC Magdeburg, Maccabi CASTRO Tel Aviv in Group C
Last 16: 2010/11
Qualification: 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16
Hungarian champions: 1974, 1978, 1979, 1984
Hungarian cup winners: 1969, 1978
TEXT: Björn Pazen / ts
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