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EHF Women’s Champions League countdown, part 16: DVSC-Korvex Debrecen (HUN)

»EHF CL Channel »2010-11 Women's News

Three matches, three victories – and then the Group Phase of the Champions League: Hungarian runners-up DVSC-Korvex from Debrecen celebrated a very successful weekend in Lublin, Poland in September. Thanks to their victory in the Qualification Tournament against Vejen (Denmark), host Lublin and Zajecar (Serbia), the Hungarians secured their place in Group B along with opponents from Itxako, Leipzig and Hypo-NÖ. It’s the first ever participation in the Champions League for the Debrecen team after several years in various European Cup competitions. Three times in the 1990’s the club reached the finals of the EHF Cup, and twice (in 1995 and 1996) they took the trophy.

In the previous three years Debrecen played in the Cup Winners Cup, but didn’t progress further than the last sixteen. But thanks to their second-place finish in the Hungarian League last season (below champion Györ), the team was able to qualify for the Champions League now.

The squad hasn’t changed that much, as left-handed back Anett Sopronyi is the only new player, and just two players left. However, the coach is new: Vilmos Köstner is the successor to Botond Bakó, who has moved to a men’s first division club in Hungary.

Top player of the East-Hungarian team is the back, Anita Bulath, who scored 16 goals at the Qualification Tournament, and with her enthusiastic performance, Debrecen secured a place among the best 16 clubs in Europe. There are, however, no real stars at the club, and Köstner tries to have a balanced team as real unit on the court, where every player can replace another.

Besides Bulath, Valéria Szabó also plays for the national team, and there are several players who are part of the Hungarian “B” national team, such as the backs Anett Sopronyi and Annamária Bogdanovics, goalkeeper Àgnes Triffa, pivot Rita Borbás, the two wingers Gabriella Juhász and Viktória Csáki, and also playmaker Barbara Bognár. This means that coach Köstner has several experienced players at his disposal, and also has some highly talented juniors, such as Dóra Hornyák and Anita Kazai, who are highly rated among the Debrecen players.

An interesting fact is that club’s main owner András Gellén has the philosophy of only using Hungarian players for his team, and so the team now has no foreign players.

Gellén is the man behind the success of Debrecen-Korvex - the businessman initiated a plan in May 2009, and since then, he has followed it with 100% commitment. He demands the same from his players and coach, too. “We’re in a well-balanced group in the CL. We aim to win all of our home games.” – the manager commented. Debrecen has a very good chance on home soil, as they will get the backing of their loud and supportive fans. “Our goal now is to reach the Main Round and I think we’ve got good possibilities.” – said Gellén, who has set this year’s target high.

In the domestic league, Debrecen again hopes to qualify for next season’s CL, but the current CL start for Korvex will be a tough one as one of their most experienced players, Renáta Mörtel, is injured.

Key facts:

Newcomers: Anett Sopronyi (from Hódmezővásárhely)

Left the club: Ivana Lovric (destination unknown), Babett Szalai (to Siófok KC)

Coach: Vilmos Köstner since 2010

Find more information here.

TEXT: Björn Pazen / Mák Hegedüs