Celje and Velenje with great expectationsArticle
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Celje are happy to have a chance in Group 4, while Gorenje are looking forward to a visit of top teams and popular players.

Celje and Velenje with great expectations

Both Slovenian teams qualified for the Champions League Main Round. Celje Pivovarna Lasko was lucky with the draw, while Gorenje will face the best teams of Europe. Nevertheless they are very happy with Ciudad Real, Gummersbach and Montpellier.

Celje really happy about their groupThe Slovenian champions secured their place in the Main Round with two superb matches in the Zlatorog hall. No doubt, great matches are coming up in Celje once again as Barcelona, GOG and Pick Szeged have been drawn for the Slovenians.

"I cannot hide my happiness with the draw. We were given not the most difficult opponents, but they are still very attractive," said coach Slavko Ivezic.

Barcelona are Celje's old acquaintances (the Catalonians eliminated Celje on 4 occasions). "We do not have positive balance against Barcelona, but I think they lost their supremacy in the past years. It is not the same Barcelona that has beaten us in the past," added the coach.

Ivezic also knows that all the teams of Group 2 deserve respect: "We have to be careful. If we underestimate any of these teams, it can be a problem."

Old friends in Velenje

Pungartnik will play in Slovenia once againThe draw brought even more attractive teams for Gorenje. The “most expensive” team are coming to Velenje; Ciudad Real will arrive with Sergej Rutenka (he started his Slovenian career in this city) and Uros Zorman (Slovenian national player). In addition, two former Gorenje players, Momir Ilic and Vedran Zrnic, will play against their former team. This is still not the end: legendary Slovenian player, Roman Pungartnik, will play on home soil once again this year.

"I am happy that I will meet some old friends who I played together with in the past. I’m also satisfied that such clubs as Ciudad Real or Gummersbach come to our hall. This will be a superb handball festival," said Gorenje's player, Sebastjan Sovič.

Coach Ivica Obrvan did not think much about the draw: "We were aware that there are no easy opponents in the Main Round. I want my team to show their quality and leave a good impression. I hope we will earn some points."

Gorenje are considering the possibility to play the match against Ciudad Real in Celje as Rdeca dvoran would be too small for all the fans who want to see the handball stars.

TEXT: Maja Mastnak, Sportal