Excitement and contentment dominate quotes of the week
Four teams made it to the DELO WOMEN’S EHF FINAL4 last weekend but four others stumbled in the quarter-final.
We now know the names of the teams that will appear on court in Budapest on 11/12 May: Györ, Rostov, Vipers and Metz. For them the season has been a long road and obviously players and coaches are happy about grabbing that coveted ticket at the end.
But the teams that lost were quick to accept their defeat and, in general, were happy about having reached the quarter-final stage of the competition.
Here are the five best quotes after the quarter-final:
5. Jan Pytlick, Odense HC coach
“Györi Audi ETO are just such a strong team and they played a very good game today. I am still proud of our team and that we made it this far in the tournament.”
The Danish side may not have won either of the two quarter-final games against Györ - and even lost by 12 on Saturday - but coach Pytlick still congratulated his players on qualifying for the later stages of the competition.
4. Emmanuel Mayonnade, Metz Handball coach
“I’m usually the one to always talk about the next game. But tonight, I told the girls I would close my eyes on everything and that they should enjoy the qualification.”
For the first time, Metz have qualified for the DELO WOMEN’S EHF FINAL4. It was party all around after the game against CSM Bucuresti in their home arena, and coach Mayonnade gave his players permission to celebrate the club’s milestone.
3. Ambros Martin, Rostov-Don coach
“We made it to the EHF FINAL4 not only because we beat Ferencváros but also because we played excellent handball.”
Rostov are going back to Budapest for the second straight time after a consistent season. Their Spanish coach was also happy about getting the ticket as his team has performed well all season long despite various injury setbacks.
2. Ole Gustav Gjekstad, Vipers Kristiansand coach
“It’s a dream to qualify for the EHF FINAL4. Maybe it wasn’t the first option at the beginning of the season. But there was an opportunity and we grabbed it. I’m sure we’ll have something to play for so that’s very exciting.”
There will be two newcomers at the DELO WOMEN’S EHF FINAL4 this season: apart from Metz, Vipers Kristiansand are also set to give their debut in Budapest. Appearing in only their second season in Europe’s top-flight club competition, the Norwegian side truly delivered and eased past Buducnost in the quarter-final. But coach Gjekstad doesn’t want to stop it here and aims for more…
1. Xenia Smits, Metz Handball left back
“I still can’t realise what we’ve just done. I’ll go to sleep tonight, and then wake up tomorrow morning, and maybe I’ll realise it then. Qualifying for the EHF FINAL4 is so huge!”
In the mixed zone after the second Metz win against CSM, the German left back was a little bit lost for words. It is the first time Smits will play at the DELO WOMEN’S EHF FINAL4, and she was understandably overwhelmed.