Men’s EHF Cup countdown - part 10: SC Magdeburg hope to reach the Finals for the first time since the EHF Cup is played in its new format
SCM coach Wiegert calls group phase “something special”
Once more, German side SC Magdeburg are the only former winners of the EHF Champions League in the upcoming EHF Cup Group Phase.
Furthermore, they have won the EHF Cup three times when it was still played in its old format – the last victory came exactly ten years ago and in the 2016/17 season they hope to reach the EHF Cup Finals for the first time.
SC Magdeburg’s best results to date in the new format are the quarter-finals in 2013 and 2016, but on both occasions they were eliminated by eventual winners Rhein-Neckar Löwen and Frisch Auf Göppingen respectively.
In this season’s Qualification Round 3, Croatian domestic championship runners-up RK Nexe were not a too high hurdle to clear and in Group C SC Magdeburg now face KIF Kolding Kobenhavn, Grundfos Tatabanya KC and Maccabi CASTRO Tel Aviv.
“We have a very demanding group and I expect exciting and balanced games. Kolding are very experienced in the international business for many years. Tatabanya are also a very good team. Tel Aviv are difficult to assess, but in the group stage all teams have a lot of quality,” says head coach Bennet Wiegert. “Our goal is to qualify for the next round.”
On a side note, Wiegert’s father Ingolf coached SC Magdeburg in the early 1990s while his son Bennet played for the club.
Overall, there are plenty of teams in Wiegert’s opinion who can make it to the EHF Cup Finals in May.
“It is very difficult to point out individual teams as main contenders. The French, Danish and German sides are certainly favourites.”
Ahead of the season, Magdeburg signed Norwegian Christian O´Sullivan, Danish Olympic champion Mads Christiansen and Swede Daniel Pettersson. On the other hand, experienced stars such as Michael Haaß, Andreas Rojewski and Jens Schöngarth left the German club.
“For us the participation in the group phase is the result of a successful season 2015/16 which was crowned by winning the German cup. For me is it a great experience and reaching the group phase is something special,” says Wiegert.
SC Magdeburg (GER)
Qualification for the 2016/2017 EHF Cup Group Phase: Round 3: 31:22, 30:27 against RK Nexe (CRO)
Newcomers: Christian O´Sullivan (IFK Kristianstad), Mads Christiansen (Bjerringbro-Silkeborg), Daniel Pettersson (Eskilstuna Guif)
Left the club: Michael Haaß (HC Erlangen), Andreas Rojewski (SC DHfK Leipzig), Jens Schöngarth (Frisch Auf Göppingen), Jure Natek (end of career)
Coach: Bennet Wiegert, since December 2015
Team captain: Fabian van Olphen
Opponents in the group phase: KIF Kolding Kobenhavn, Grundfos Tatabanya KC, Maccabi CASTRO Tel Aviv in Group C
Last 16: 2005/06
Other EC records
Winners: 1998/99, 2000/01, 2006/07
Last 16: 2008/09
EHF Cup Winners’ Cup
Champions Cup (predecessor of the EHF Champions League) winners: 1978, 1981
EHF Champions Trophy / IHF Gold Cup winners: 1981, 2001, 2002
German champions: 2001 (GDR league champions 1970, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1991)
German cup winners: 1996, 2016 (GDR cup winner 1970, 1977, 1978, 1984, 1990)
TEXT: Björn Pazen / ts
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