Kadetten Schaffhausen Fraikin BM. Granollers @ BBC Arena, Schaffhausen 21.09.2021 FUM0632
EHF European League

Star signing allows Kadetten to dream of the quarter-finals

EHF / Björn Pazen

Ahead of Kadetten Schaffhausen’s second straight season in the EHF European League Men, three key players from abroad left the club: Gabor Csaszar, Zarko Sesum and Angel Montoro.

However, after the arrival of Joan Cañellas, who guided Kadetten to victory in qualification round 2 against Fraikin BM. Granollers, the Swiss side are aiming to reach the knockout stage this season.

Main facts

  • Kadetten’s series of Swiss league titles was ended by Pfadi Winterthur, who won the play-off final series 3:0
  • Kadetten beat Vojvodina (Serbia) and Granollers (Spain) on aggregate in qualification to qualify for the group phase
  • after finishing as runners-up in group D of the EHF European League 2020/21, Kadetten were eliminated by Montpellier in the Last 16
  • since 2003/04, Kadetten have played in a European Cup every season. This is their 25th European campaign
  • team captain Dimitrji Küttel is back on track after cancer treatment

Most important question: How far can Cañellas carry Kadetten?

Having already beaten Grundfos Tatabanya and HC Eurofarm Pelister in the EHF European League group phase in 2020/21, Kadetten already know two of their opponents in group D quite well. However, USAM Nimes Gard and Sporting CP seem to be the biggest obstacles that can prevent Kadetten from finishing top of the group.

Kadetten’s main goal of reaching the knockout stage seems manageable. If Joan Cañellas continues like he did in the qualification rounds, he can emulate Gabor Csaszar’s goalscoring exploits. One position might be tricky, though, as strong left wing Sebastian Frimmel joined Szeged, where Cañellas played for the last three seasons.

Frimmel’s replacement is Swiss international Marvin Lier. If Kadetten finish among the top two in group D, even the dream of the quarter-finals can become reality.

How they rate themselves

For manager David Graubner, a former Kadetten player, the “primary goal” is to reach the Last 16 of the EHF European League.

Graubner said: “After the group phase, anything is possible. Of course we want to get the best out of that as well and, if possible, advance to the quarter-finals. It is essential for us to compete on this level to offer our fans, our sponsors and also our players great opponents and games on an international level.”

Team captain Dimitrji Küttel agrees with Graubner’s observations. He said: “Our biggest motivation is to be able to present ourselves on an international level and to compete with the best players. I see chances to qualify for the Last 16, and if we create a good position after the group phase, we can even aim for the quarter-finals.

Under the spotlight: Joan Cañellas

Joan Cañellas is probably the biggest signing for a Swiss club this century – and it is possibly only topped by former IHF World Player of the Year Jae Wong Kang, who played for Zurich and Winterthur.

Cañellas, a world and two-time EHF EURO champion with Spain and EHF Champions League winner with HC Vardar, has vast international experience from playing for clubs such as HSV Hamburg, THW Kiel and Pick Szeged.

Unfortunately, an injury in the last preparation match stopped Cañellas participating in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Cañellas proved that he is a top shooter when he became the top scorer of the EHF EURO 2014, but he also knows how to put his teammates in a perfect position. With 23 goals in qualification, the 35-year-old left back has already proved his significance for Kadetten.

What the numbers say

In 25 years of participating in European Cup competitions, Kadetten played in the EHF Champions League group phase 11 times. Twice they made it to the Last 16, in 2010/11 and 2011/12, and they were the first Swiss club to reach that stage.

But their biggest international success was making it to the EHF Cup final in 2009/10. Although Kadetten beat SG Flensburg-Handewitt in the semi-finals, they lost the two-legged final against TBV Lemgo.

Did you know?

Adalsteinn Eyjólfsson had only coached Icelandic and German teams before he arrived at Schaffhausen in the summer of 2020. The 44-year-old Icelandic coach started his coaching career in women’s handball at the age of 23 with UMF Stjarnan.

From 2015 to 2017, he steered TV Hüttenberg from the third division to the Bundesliga. In 2017, on the same night that he was fired in Hüttenberg, he signed for Erlangen – and from there he moved to Schaffhausen.

Arrivals and departures

Arrivals: Joan Cañellas (Pick Szeged), Ephrahim Jerry (Sporting Pelt), Marvin Lier (Pfadi Winterthur), Torben Matzken (TuS Ferndorf), Michael Kusio (BSV Bern)

Departures: Gabor Csaszar (GC Amicitia Zurich), Zarko Sesum (Retired), Marian Teubert (Vöslauer HC), Sebastian Frimmel (Pick-Szeged), Angel Montoro (Olympiakos SFP)

Past achievements

EHF Champions League:
Last 16 (2): 2010/11, 2011/12
Group phase (9): 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2012/13, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2019/20

EHF European League:
Last 16 (1): 2020/21

EHF Cup:
Runners-up (1): 2009/10

Cup Winners’ Cup:
Semi-finals (2): 2007/08, 2008/09
Quarter-finals (1): 2005/06

Swiss league: 11 titles (2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2018/19)
Swiss cup: 9 titles (1998/99, 2003/04, 2004/05, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2010/11, 2013/14, 2015/16, 2020/21)

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