20201013 Trebnje Dobovicnik 2000Px
EHF European League

Can Zorman orchestrate an upset in group D?

Brian Campion

10 years on from their last EHF Cup qualification attempt, RK Trimo Trebnje have made it the EHF European League group phase in 2020/21.

With a real winner on the bench as head coach, the young Slovenian side will cherish collecting experience against some of top-drawer sides.

  • Slovenian legend and four-time CL winner Uros Zorman is the head coach
  • Their biggest signing this season was Darko Cingesar
  • The club are yet to win a title domestically or internationally
  • Drawn into the rock-hard group D alongside Rhein-Neckar Löwen

The burning question: Can Zorman steer Trebnje to an upset?

“It’s a big motivation to play against the teams which we could only watch on TV up until this point,” said RK Trimo Trebnje team captain Uros Udovic about playing in the all-new EHF European League this season.

“We respect all of them but we won’t give up without a fight. Our strategy is that we will be focused on ourselves and try to represent our town and country as best as possible,” Udovic continued.

Each and every game for Trebnje this season in the EHF European League looks like a very tall task.

And it will be Zorman’s task to make sure his side remain grounded and are not in awe of these ‘TV stars’.

Bringing in the likes of Gregor Potocnik and Darko Cingesar will give the side great experience and confidence.

Dino Hamidovic, who strengthened at the side the beginning of the 2019/20 season, has played 29 matches for RK Trimo Trebnje so far and recorded 148 goals.

The Bosnia and Herzegovina international will make for a strong rotation with Potocnik at left back.

Gal Cirar will be looking to keep up the good form he showed in qualification, the right-wing netting 15 over the three games.

While the side does have some interesting names, if they are to pose a serious threat to any of the teams in group D it will require a monumental team effort.

And who knows more about fighting against the odds than ex-Kielce player Uros Zorman?

Signature players

New blood: Gregor Potocnik

The news of Gregor Potocnik putting pen to paper will have delighted fans of Trebnje. The left back who signed from Hungarian side Csurgoi KK, found himself up against his old Hungarian rival in qualification when Balatonfüredi KSE were drawn against Trebnje.

The Slovenian international has a wealth of EHF Champions League experience with Celje and Zagreb as well of course EHF EURO court time.

Interestingly, it will be the first time that Potocnik and Cingesar play together on club level despite both men having worn the colours of HC PPD Zagreb and RK Gorenje Velenje in the past.

Big name: Darko Cingesar

Cingesar made the move back to Slovenia after four years abroad collection EHF Champions League experience with RK Zagreb, and Starligue and EHF Cup time with PAUC Handball.

A regular in the Slovenian national team, Cingesar will be a key voice in the changing room this season after playing in big club competitions and internationally at EHF EUROs and World Championships.

The creator: Marko Kotar

The 21-year-old playmaker, Kotar was a key figure in Slovenia’s U20 side lifting EHF EURO gold back in 2018.

And now he is starting to make his mark on a senior level, too. His solid performances in qualification, netting 10 goals, were vital for his side and now with Uros Zorman taking him under his wing, could Kotar be the next big playmaking talent we see emerge from Slovenia?

A night to remember...

In the 1999/00 season, Rokometni Klub Trebnje were beaten 40:36 by IL Runar Sandefjord in the first leg of the EHF City Cup Last 16.

After their high-scoring first leg win, the favourites IL Runar Sandefjord travelled to Slovenia on 20 November 1999 to secure their spot in the next round.

By half-time, despite losing half of their four-goal cushion (15:13), things looked all set up for the Norwegian side’s progression.

Hosts Trebnje had other plans and had an epic second half performance, 18:9. They won the return leg 33:22 and the tie 69:62 to make it to the quarter-final.

The side reaching this point was one of the major highlights in one of the club’s most successful seasons; their youth development, the backbone of the club, also found great success during this period.

Thanks to the good performances, the club was approached by sponsor Trimo in 2000, and thus the club changed its name to RK Trimo Trebnje which it keeps to this day.

Arrivals and departures

Arrivals: Darko Cingesar (free agent), Gregor Potocnik (KK Csurgoi), Ozgur Sarak (Besiktas) Luka Florjancic (MRD Dobova), Zan Grojzdek (RD Urbanscape Loka, Slovenia), Gasper Dular (RK Krsko, Slovenia), Jan Kamnikar (RD Rudar Trbovlje, Slovenia)

Departures: Adam Seferovic (MRD Dobova), Dean Sesic (MRD Dobova, on loan), Klemen Sasek (RK SVIS Ivancna Gorica), Amadej Jerlah (RK SVIS Ivancna Gorica, on loan), Jan Redek (RK Mokerc-KIG, on loan) Gasper Dular (RK Mokerc-KIG, on loan) Jan Horzen (RK Grosuplje, on loan)

Past achievements:

EHF Cup:
Last 16: 2006/07; Round 4: 2009/10

EHF City Cup:
Quarter-final: 1999/2000; Last 16: 1998/99

Slovenian league: - 
Slovenian cup: -

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