Itxako represents Navarra in CLArticle
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The Spanish region of Portland San Antonio will be represented by the EHF Cup winner in the next edition of the CL.

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Itxako represents Navarra in CL

The Spanish region of Navarra has always been known in the handball world as the region of Portland San Antonio. The successful men’s club won a Champions League title in 2001 with a legendary squad including players such as Buligan, Iakimovich and Richardson.

The EHF Cup Final in LeipzigAfter four consecutive seasons, the men’s team did not qualify for the CL and will play in the Cup Winners’ Cup under the new name Reyno de Navarra San Antonio.

The women’s team from the city of Estella, Itxako Navarra, will represent the region. The 2009/10 season will be the CL debut of the club. Itxako won the Spanish championship and the EHF Cup last season and the Champions League will be a new challenge for them.

Actually Itxako was drawn to one of the most difficult groups. Last year’s top teams, Győr and Oltchim Valcea will meet the Spanish side.

The coach of the team is Ambros Martin. He was also member of the legendary Portland San Antonio squad with a burning ambition to prove himself as a coach on the international level. After five seasons working with Itxako, he defeated the biggest Spanish clubs.

Ambros is proud of the great season behind them:

“We are ready for the Champions League. The four semi-finalists of the last EHF Cup will be in Champions League too as they won their national leagues.”

Itxako, Dinamo and Lepzig won the Spanish, Russian and German titles respectively, while Brasov came in second in Romania.

At the same time, Itxako did their best to reinforce the squad: Van der Wal, Patri Pinedo, Cristina Barrios, Amaya Azanza, Laura Craciun and Macarena Aguilar arrived, while Mihai, Callave, Medeiros, Araujo and Pedersen left the team.

The core of the team will remain unchanged: coach Ambros will cound on Andrea Barno, Nerea Pena, Silvia Navarro and Nery Carla Alberto.

TEXT: Fernando Urra Goni