Historic occasion in Finland marks season start
The Finnish town of Riihimäki gets its first taste of top flight club handball on Wednesday evening as Spanish side Ademar Leon comes to town to take on Cocks, this season’s only debutants, in the VELUX EHF Champions League’s opening game.
Elsewhere in Group D, Dinamo Bucuresti and Elverum will put their hopes of challenging for a top two spot to the test.
Riihimäen Cocks (FIN) vs Abanca Ademar Leon (ESP)
Wednesday 12 September, 18:15 hrs local time, live on ehfTV.com
Cocks have been handed their first shot at the big time and Finland’s perennial champions will be no pushover against Ademar Leon - or the rest of Group D.
Cocks captain Teemu Tamminen was also part of the team’s first ever European campaign - in the Challenge Cup 2006/07.
Leon’s return to the top flight after a four-year absence was ended by eventual champions Montpellier in the play-offs last season.
Leon are eager to avoid a similar scenario like last year’s beginning to the campaign, when they lost three of their first four matches.
Dinamo Bucuresti vs Elverum Handball
Wednesday 12 September, 19:30 local time, live on ehfTV.com
Both group phase regulars, Elverum are heading for their fourth consecutive season and Dinamo Bucuresti are going for their third.
Both sides also shared the same group last season, with Elverum winning home and away in two high-scoring games (40:32 and 34:33).
Dinamo have lost influential Iranian brothers Sajad and Allahkaram Esteki to domestic rivals CSM Bucuresti, but have brought in eight new faces.
Elverum’s seven new additions lack European experience, but that has never deterred them in the past.