Rejuvenated Buducnost targeting Budapest return
A long-time contender led by experienced coach Dragan Adzic, Buducnost are heading into their 25th DELO EHF Champions League season.
With a new mixture of experience and youth, Buducnost will try to reach the DELO EHF FINAL4 in European handball’s elite club competition.
- going into their jubilee 25th CL season, after winning competition in 2012 and 2015
- Dragan Adzic starts his 11th season on club’s bench, making him longest-serving head coach in CL
- Buducnost continue to be a mixture of young and experienced players
- head coach Dragan Adzic has led the club since 2010
- newcomers underline club’s ambitions as the likes of Allison Pineau, Andrea Lekic and Bárbara Arenhart are joining
Most important question: Are Buducnost strong enough to reach their objective – the DELO EHF FINAL4?
Buducnost is a famous name in women's handball. The 2012 and 2015 EHF Champions League winners, known for their perpetual style of handball, are aiming to get back on track. After missing the DELO EHF FINAL4 in 2018 and 2019, their plans were interrupted in 2020 by the global pandemic. In the new season they want to be among the four best teams, in Budapest.
''Last season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and it stopped our chances of getting to the final tournament. I hope the new one will start as planned. Our biggest motivation is to advance to the EHF FINAL4 in Budapest," said club captain Milena Raicevic.
Dragan Adzic, who has been head coach since 2010, will continue to work on his style of play with new faces in the club. Tough defence, fast breaks and positional attack will once again be the key ingredients, as they were in previous years. The arrival of Allison Pineau, Andrea Lekic and Bárbara Arenhart strengthens the experienced part of the team, while young players will provide their extra power.
In group B they will face SCM Ramnicu Valcea, Győri Audi ETO KC, HC Podravka Vegeta, BV Borussia 09 Dortmund, CSKA, Brest Bretagne Handball and Odense Håndbold. Buducnost’s opening match of the new DELO EHF Champions League season will be in Koprivnica, on 13 September, against Podravka Vegeta.
''We look forward to every match in the new competition system. All teams are strong and each match will be an interesting one. We are motivated to give our best against every opponent, as our objectives for this season are clear," said centre back Raicevic.
Under the spotlight: Jovanka Radicevic
Born and bred in Podgorica, the 33-year old right wing started playing handball at just 12 years old. In 2019, she came back to her hometown club after nine years abroad, during which she played for Győr, Vardar and CSM Bucuresti.
A leader by example who galvanises the whole team, Radicevic was the top scorer in the 2019/20 Champions League season, netting 97 times. Her personal qualities and goals earned her a spot in the All-Star team. Always on top, giving her best, pushing the limits and showing extreme passion, Radicevic is the one who boosts Buducnost.
How they rate themselves
Buducnost's roster has some significant changes: 10 players left the club, including Barbara Lazovic, Djurdjina Jaukovic, Anastasija Babovic and Matea Pletikosic.
Adzic and the club management found great replacements in stars like Andrea Lekic and Allison Pineau, along with the young and talented Valeriia Maslova and Itana Grbic.
Buducnost’s signings give them the confidence that they can be strong and good opponents against any team in the competition – and their aims are high.
''The club is trying to provide the players and the coaching staff with all conditions necessary for top results, so everything except the placement in the final tournament in Budapest, for me, would be a bad result. I just hope we will be able to have our fans in 'Moraca' hall,'' said club president Radmila Petrovic.
Did you know?
Dragan Adzic, the Montenegrin expert called “Mister women's handball,” has been faithful to Buducnost since 2001. After starting at the club as an assistant coach, Dragan Adzic took over in 2010 as head coach, which makes him the longest-serving head coach in the DELO EHF Champions League.
The two-time Champions League winners are the only representatives of Montenegro in the EHF Champions League.
What the numbers say
Currently sat on 258 games played, Buducnost will become the first-ever team to reach the milestone of 260 games played in the DELO EHF Champions League.
The landmark is a great way for Buducnost to celebrate their 25th season in the Champions League.
Newcomers and left the club
Newcomers: Andrea Lekic (CSM Bucuresti), Valeriia Maslova (Rostov Don), Allison Marie Pineau (Paris 92), Barbara Elisabeth Arenhart (Vaci NKSE), Itana Grbic (CSM Bucuresti)
Left the club: Barbara Lazovic (CSM Bucaresti), Djurdjina Jaukovic (Brest Bretagne Handball), Anastasija Babovic (Dunaujvarosi Kohasz KA), Ivana Godec (Iuventa Michalovce), Branka Konatar (RK Krim Mercator), Matea Pletikosic (RK Krim Mercator), Marina Rajcic (rest season), Emily Stang Sando (SG BBM Bietigheim), Sanja Vujovic (no club), Sanja Premovic (Iuventa Michalovce)
- EHF Champions League
Participations (including 2020/21 season): 25
Winners (2): 2011/12, 2014/15
Runners-up (1): 2013/14
Semi-finals (8): 1997/98, 1998/99, 1999/00, 2000/01, 2001/02, 2010/11, 2015/16, 2016/17
Quarter-final (5): 2002/03, 2003/04, 2017/18, 2018/19, 2019/20
Main Round (1): 2012/13
Last 16 (1): 1995/96
Group Matches (6): 1996/97, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2009/10
Cup Winners' Cup: Winners 2005/06, 2009/10
Montenegrin league: 31 titles (1985, 1989, 1990, 1992-2019)
Montenegrin cup: 24 titles