Gregorio García: Ribarroja can qualifyArticle
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The coach of Cem. La Union Ribarroja talks about their chances in the Champions League group stage starting this weekend.

Gregorio García: Ribarroja can qualify

Eurohandball talks to Gregorio García, coach of Cementos La Union Ribarroja who is one of the greatest figures of Spanish handball. He talks about the level of readiness of his team and his expectations from the upcoming CL season.

Eurohandball: Ribarroja gained six consecutive victories in the Spanish Championship. Now the team stands with 12 points from 12 matches. Are you satisfied with your teams form at the moment?

Ribarroja will try again in the CLGregorio García: I’m very satisfied with the way my team play. We achieved all our objectives for this part of season. I believe that we are in the best possible form to begin the CL.

Eurohandball: Will all your players be ready for the first match in Koprivnica against Podravka Vegeta?

Gregorio García: We hope that the entire team will be ready for the match in Koprivnica. I hope that Patricia y Mª Cruz will recover and all the other players will be in top form.

Eurohandball: Last season CL Ribarroja finished 3rd in Group A. This season you are also in group A. Do you think you can go one step further this time?

Gregorio García: I have to say that our group is really strong with last year’s CL winner Slagelse and a CL semi-finalist, Győr. We are going to fight till our last breathe. I believe we can qualify for the main round despite the fact that Spanish women’s handball is in a crisis. My club is disadvantaged respect to the best clubs of Europe in media coverage, sponsoring and especially in budget. It’s very hard to build a powerful team when you don’t have all the things that other top European clubs have.

Eurohandball: Ribarroja will play against Slagelse, Podravka and Győr. What do you think about these teams and who are the two favourites for the main round?

Arslanagic will play in Croatia this weekend againGregorio García: Slagelse have a great coach and a tremendous experience in the CL. However, they are much weaker then last season. Anyway, there is Leganger who can always make a difference. Győr have many possibilities in all playing positions; they are fast and very aggressive. And of course I have to emphasise the role of Anita Görbicz who can literally win a match on her own. Podravka has changed a lot with their new coach; they have an extraordinary 3-2-1 defence and hey will surely be hard to beat on their court.

Eurohandball: Ribarroja will play the first game in Koprivnica against Podravka Vegeta. What do you think will decide the match?

Gregorio García: First of all, if we want to win in Koprivnica we have to be very brave. We must not allow the spectators to influence us. The most important thing will be a good performance in attack. We must not lose balls and we must be very concentrated in defence, especially in preventing their fast break goals.

TEXT: Ivan Ambros