Siofók striving to write history
Siofók striving to write history
While Hungarian sides Györi Audi ETO KC and FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria belong to the top table in the Women’s EHF Champions League, Siofók KC Hungary is another club with ambition.
“Participation in our first EHF Cup Group Phase means a lot for us, everyone is so excited. Siofok would like to appear on the European handball map in the next years,” says head coach Tor Odvar Moen.
Quality players joined in summer
Siofók have never won any titles – the team has been playing in the Hungarian top division only since 2009, and this is their just fourth season in Europe.
Yet the club have done a good job in bolstering the squad with quality players last summer. Russian playmaker Tatiana Khmyrova and Croatian left back Andrea Kobetic moved from Vardar, while Norwegian goalkeeper Silje Solberg joined from Paris.
Coach Moen is also in his first season at Siofok after moving from Larvik in the summer. The 53-year-old Norwegian signed a long-term contract with the club, where he is in charge of every aspect of handball.
In the Women’s EHF Cup qualification, his team easily beat GVM Europe-Vas in a Hungarian derby before eliminating strong Russian outfit Lada, a big signal of intent from Siofok.
A number of the big names played an important role in their national team's EHF EURO 2018 campaign. None more than club captain Estelle Nze Minko, who top scored for France en route to a home gold medal.
Aiming for the semi-finals
Now they face Herning, Metzingen and Sävehof in Group B and coach Moen is determined to do well.
“Our main goal is to go through and reach the semi-finals. I think we have the players to do it. Herning are very strong, they have some Norwegian players and play some really good handball. We will start against them and it will be crucial to win.
“Sävehof are very experienced, but as I know they have had some difficulties this season. Metzingen are the club I know the least, but German handball has been growing continuously in recent years. It is a tough and interesting group in a positive way.”
This year, Siofók have not just reinforced their squad, but improved their infrastructure. Their new ‘Kiss Szilard’ arena was opened in March and it will need to become a fortress for them if progression from the group is to become a reality.
Siofók KC Hungary (HUN)
Qualification for the EHF Cup 2018/19 Group Phase:
Round 2: 67:48 aggregate win against GVM Europe-Vac (HUN)
Round 3: 63:56 aggregate win against Handball Club Lada (RUS)
Newcomers: Andrea Kobetic (HC Vardar), Joanna Drabik (SPR Lublin SSA), Silje Solberg (Issy-Paris Hand), Mireya Gonzalez (Erd), Tatiana Khmyrova (HC Vardar)
Left the club: Erdősi Ildikó (DKKA), Ferenczy Fruzsina (DKKA), Szemerey Zsófi (FTC), Camilla Maibom (retired), Gercsó Nóra (Szent István)
Coach: Tor Odvar Moen (since 2018)
Team captain: Estelle Nze Minko
Opponents in the group phase: Herning-Ikast Handbold, TusSies Metzingen and IK Sävehof in Group B
Women’s EHF Champions League records: N/A
Women’s EHF Cup records:
Last 16: 2015/16
Round 3: 2012/13
Hungarian league: 0 titles
Hungarian cup: 0 titles
Photo: Németh András / Siofok
Read about the other Group B clubs featured in the Women's EHF Cup countdown series here:
#14 IK Sävehof