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04.04.2017, 22:10◄ last page     

NEWS REPORT: Györ’s Nora Mørk and Veszprém’s Momir Ilic were voted as the best players of the continent in March: the Norwegian right back overcame emotional hardships while the Serbian proved he is still a big game guy.

Hungary-based world stars are voted EHF Players of March

Two Hungarian residents, who play for true contenders of men’s and women’s Champions League: meet our players of March, Nora Mørk of Györ and Momir Ilic of Veszprém.

Mørk had an emotional game in Larvik, where she played a vital role in Györ’s narrow victory with her six goals, while Ilic remained true to his reputation as a big game guy. The Serbian marksman shone in Flensburg as his nine-goal tally secured third spot in Group A for Veszprém.

Let the fun begin

"It is a great honour to be voted player of the month when there are so many world class talents in the competition,” Nora Mørk told eurohandball.com upon learning about the outcome of the vote of EHF’s panel of international correspondents.

"I personally feel that March was ok for me, but nothing extreme. While there was Katarina Bulatovic, who was splendid the entire month but I take it as an acknowledgement for our team’s hard work that I was voted the best.”

The left handed superstar had some superb games before (her 11 goal tally against Bucuresti was the most important because "that was the first time I really felt at home playing for Györ”) but the Hungarian powerhouse’s trip to Larvik was very special for the 26-year-old, who spent seven years with the northern giants.

"Yes, it was mentally challenging, and I had mixed feelings but just like my teammates I gave my all and I was happy to get away with a win in Larvik,” claimed Mørk.

The Norwegian right back is excited about what is coming in the next weeks. "This is the part of the season we have all been waiting for. All the hard work, the energy you put into preparation will pay off in the last two months of the season. So I say: let the fun begin!”

"The pressure is obviously mounting on us but we are professional athletes who live for these matches. I am ready to give my all for Györ,” said Mørk, who admitted to be a little disappointed in the wake of Györ’s defeat against Ferencváros in the Hungarian cup final.

Besides Mørk, who replaced Amanda Kurtovic, another Norwegian right back as the reigning EHF Player of the Month, four other players made it to the shortlist: Montenegrin right back of Buducnost Katarina Bulatovic, Swedish centre back of CSM Bucuresti Isabelle Gullden, Slovenian right back of Metz Handball Ana Gros and Hungarian goalkeeper of FTC-Rail Cargo Budapest Blanka Biro.

It’s nice to score but only the team counts

There were yet again several reasons for Veszprém fans to sing the re-written 2 Unlimited song for Momo Ilic, who finished as runner-up in the top scorer’s list of the group phase.

The Serbian "bombardier" finished with 84 goals and gave his best performances when it really mattered.

Ilic found the back of the net eight times agains PSG, seven against Kiel and in the last round nine against Flensburg.

"Probably that was my personal best game this season but I don’t count goals, I count victories instead and victories are achieved by a team, not individuals," Ilic told eurohandball.com.

"We had difficult times this season but we have been constantly improving and against Zagreb we reached the level our amazing fans demand from us. It was a real joy to watch the team play like that and I believe there is still room to improve. We are on the right track.”

The Serbian left back admitted he expected Kielce to be Veszprém’s opponent in the quarter-final but he was not surprised that Montpellier beat the title holders.

"This is Europe’s elite competition, those who make it to the last 16 are all very strong sides. Montpellier, a former champion of the competition, play fine handball and I am absolutely sure we have to give our all to beat them.”

"Champions League has been becoming stronger and stronger every year. There are about 12 teams of almost equal strength competing for the four spots in Cologne, which makes all games extremely balanced.

"Differences between teams are so negligible that small details decide these clashes, especially in the quarter-final, where no second chances are given.”

Other nominees who made it to the shortlist were the Swedish goalkeeper of SG FLensburg-Handewitt Mattias Andersson, Hungarian playmaker of Kadetten Schaffhausen Gabor Csaszar, Spanish line player of Vive Tauron Kielce Julen Aguinagalde and Slovenian right back of Montpellier HB Jure Dolenec.

TEXT: Bence Mártha / br

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