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01.07.2016, 15:00◄ last page     

NEWS REPORT: A merciless draw in Glostrup has put five big names together in Group A.

Familiar faces for Kielce, while other powerhouses collide in Group A

The reigning trophy holders Vive Tauron Kielce will start their VELUX EHF Champions League title defence in Group B together with several familiar faces from last year’s campaign.

The group phase draw in Glostrup, Denmark, has pitted them against Rhein-Neckar Löwen, Vardar, Szeged and Kristianstad, who they met also in the previous season, and against Brest who they eliminated in the Last 16. The remaining two teams in Group B are Zagreb and Celje.

“We would like to be in Cologne one more time this season and we would like to become the first team to win there twice in a row,” Pawel Papaj from Kielce vowed.

The 2016/17 group phase draw, which was carried by Jean Brihault, EHF President, Michael Wiederer, EHF Secretary General and Line Jörgensen, the Danish right back of the women’s defending champions CSM Bucuresti, has also created an enormous concentration of the competition’s heavyweights in Group A.

Last season’s runners-up from Veszprem will fight for the top spot against four other heavy favourites –Barcelona, PSG, Flensburg and Kiel joined by three more formidable opponents - Bjerringbro-Silkeborg, Plock and Schaffhausen.

“This is by far the most difficult group in the Champions League history,” said Nikola Eklemovic, former Veszprem’s fan favourite and the new club’s manager in his reaction after the draw.

“A tough group, but we will definitely sell a lot of tickets,” added Thorsten Storm, THW Kiel’s manager.

The last two participants will battle out the group pahse tickets on 3-4 September in qualification tournaments. The first round of the group matches is scheduled for 21-25 September.

Photo: Courtesy of Claus Andersen, Bodhi Visuals

TEXT: EHF / br

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