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12.10.2016, 11:00◄ last page     

Women’s EHF Champions League countdown: 2 days to go – Györi Audi ETO KC (HUN) are eager to get back into the EHF FINAL4 yet again

Hungry Györ want to get back on the throne

If you form the letter ‘V’ with all players on your official team picture, everybody sees you are out for the victory.

Györ are aiming for the highest after losing the most thrilling EHF Champions League finale ever on penalties against Bucuresti in May. Omen or not, their Hungarian countrymen from Veszprem did the same three weeks later. Omen or not, Györ and Veszprem set themselves the season target to make it to the next FINAL4 again.

In the previous 10 years Györ have been a nine-time semi-finalist, five-time finalists and two-time winners (2013, 2014) of the Women’s EHF Champions League.

And they boosted their exceptional squad by the biggest transfer of the year, signing Rio top scorer and bronze medallist Nora Mörk for the right back position. She will replace fellow Norwegian Linn Sulland.

Three more players, including Aniko Kovacsics (now FTC), left the squad of coach Ambros Martin. It still is composed of pure world class.

Under the helm of the new president, Csaba Bartha, Györ again dream of making it to the final destination, the Papp Laszlo Arena in Budapest.

For the group matches, former EHF Champions League top scorer Zsuzsanna Tomori is supposed to return after she had torn her cruciate ligament during the IHF World Championship 2015.

“It is a clear objective for the team to be among the best teams of Europe. The club board set the FINAL4 as a target for the team. It will be not easy at all but we are capable of doing it,” says Bartha

The group matches do not only include re-matches of the 2016 final against Bucuresti, but also high hurdles like boosted Russian side Rostov and 2014 FINAL4 participant Midtjylland.

“We have the strongest group right now. All the games will be really exciting, I am sure,” says Bartha. “Bucharest are the defending champions. Rostov have a really strong team, and they are having a very big plus now as many of their players won the Rio gold medal with the Russian team. Midtjylland are a very stable team, it is never easy to play against them.”

Team captain Anita Görbicz, who cried bitter tears after the dramatic loss in the 2016 final, underlines the motto of the whole team for the new season.

“We have an excellent team, and all the players are hungry for the success,” she says. “We want to win all the games, if we do so, all our nicest dreams will come true. All the games will be thrilling, as this is an extremely strong group. Bucharest we know really well, a strong opponent with a lot of excellent players. Rostov are also a very strong team. And Midtyjlland are a typical representative of the Scandinavian handball school.”

The fans and the club are looking forward to another chapter of Györ history as new president Bartha says: “It is a really big honour to play among the best, and as a two-time winner we really know how fantastic it is to be on the throne.”

Györi Audi ETO KC (HUN)

Qualification for the Women’s EHF Champions League 2016/17 season: Hungarian champions
Newcomers: Nora Mörk (Larvik), Szidonia Puhalak (Mosonmagyarovar)
Left the club: Linn Sulland (Vipers KH), Ida Alstad  (back from loan to Byasen), Szimonetta Planeta (on loan to Thüringer HC), Aniko Kovacsics (Ferencvaros/FTC)
Coach: Ambros Martín (since 2012)
Team captain: Anita Görbicz
Opponents in group matches: Bucuresti, Midtjylland, Rostov in Group C

Women’s EHF Champions League record:

Participations (including 2016/17 season): 14
Winner (2): 2012/13, 2013/14
Finalist (3): 2008/09, 2011/12, 2015/16
Semi-finalist (4): 2006/07, 2007/08, 2009/10, 2010/11
Quarter-finalist (1): 2014/15
Group phase (2): 2000/01, 2005/06
Qualification (1): 2004/05

Other EC records:

Cup Winners Cup:
Finalist (1): 2005/06
Semi-finalist (1): 2002/03

EHF Cup:
Finalist (4): 1998/99, 2001/02, 2003/04, 2004/05

Hungarian league:  12 titles (1957, 1959, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016)
Hungarian cup: 12 titles (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)

TEXT: Björn Pazen / ew

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