Record winner with new philosophyArticle
«Go back

EHF Women’s Champions League countdown, part 8: Hypo Niederösterreich (AUT)

»EHF CL Channel »2010-11 Women's News

Record winner with new philosophy

A long and highly successful era ended last season: After building and leading Hypo Niederösterreich for nearly three decades, Gunnar Prokop resigned from all positions at the EHF Women’s Champions League record winner.

Eight titles - including the forerunner Champions Cup - are on the resume of "Mr. Hypo".

After four major transfers of international top class players were cancelled this summer, the club from Maria Enzersdorf had to create a new team, and to start with a new philosophy of promoting young talents under the supervision of the new manager Dieter Heger.

Those youngsters include Mirela Dedic, Yvonne Riesenhuber, Stefanie Kaiser, Martina Goricanec and Karla Ivancok, and are players who will get more responsibility and playing time during the upcoming CL campaign.

Alois Ecker is also new on the board as managing director. This reflects that changes have been undertaken on several levels at the Austrian club.

Martin Matuschkowitz is the club’s new coach, and with him also his wife Alla has returned the Austrian team. The second newcomer is Katharina Doppler, who arrived from the German second division club Greven.

Brazilian international Idalina Borges Mesquita and Austrian goalkeeper Petra Blazek have left for Germany (both to Thüringer HC), while Korean Seong Ok Oh has returned to her home country of South Korea.

As Hypo Niederösterreich was aiming high in the seasons before, their objectives have become smaller: "We want to reach the Main Round of the EHF Champions League," Heger said: "We also want to be a finalist in the international WRHL league."

It won’t be an easy task as four players, among them both goalkeepers, Olga Sanko and Terese Pedersen, are out with hand/finger injuries prior to the start of the EHF Champions League. The club recently had to call in retired goalkeeper Natascha Rusnatchenko to stand between the posts.

Also French international Marion Limal and Brazilian pivot Dani Piedade are out recovering from their injuries.

Despite the injured players, on the domestic front Hypo remain in a class of its own. Winning both the Austrian league and the cup are just normal happenings for the club.

Regarding the EHF Champions League, Manager Heger feels that "Itxako is the strongest team in our group. Also HC Leipzig is good."

Key facts

Newcomers: Alla Matuschkowitz (from UHLZ Perchtoldsdorf), Katharina Doppler (from SC Greven, GER)

Left the club: Idalina Borges Mesquita, Petra Blazek (both to Thüringer HC, GER), Seong Ok Oh (returned to South Korea)

Coach: Martin Matuschkowitz (AUT, since 2010)

Find more information here.

TEXT: Björn Pazen / Márk Hegedüs