Love is in the teamArticle
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Vâlcea’s middle back Yeliz Özel explains why Oltchim should be named as a favourite for this year’s title.

»EHF CL Channel »2010-11 Women's News

Love is in the team

It is Yeliz Özel’s first season in the squad of C.S. Oltchim Râmnicu Vâlcea, but she has already become one of the most respected and loved players in the Romanian side.

The Turkish playmaker talks to about her team’s upcoming games and Oltchim’s new trainer, Danish legend Anja Andersen. For almost a month Anja Andersen has been Oltchim’s coach. Did the team progress since then?

Yeliz Özel: Anja has helped us a lot in the last weeks, both mentally and physically. She has taught us things that we didn’t know we were capable of doing.

It was only this month that we learned how to enjoy handball, how to play handball smiling. That’s not easy, but we keep getting stronger and knowing each other better. You are facing Itxako Reyno de Navarra this week. In Spain, Oltchim was leading by six goals and still lost. How did you manage to lose that game?

Yeliz Özel: Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to focus on the game before the last moments, so Itxako punished us. A one goal loss is always a sad experience, especially after having been clearly in lead over a long period in the game.

I could say that this loss was a new experience for us and I think we learned a lot from the first match against the Spanish side. But rest assured, Oltchim will not lose like this again. Have you prepared anything special for the upcoming return match against Itxako Reyno de Navarra?

Yeliz Özel: The EHF Women’s Champions League is not a place to find weak teams. We are ready for any opponent and we are treating every team with respect. During this stage of the competition, every game is very important and we have to fight for each point.

Therefore, I wouldn’t say we prepared something special for Itxako. Oltchim is a good team, we will go out there and try to win the game. For us, every match is like a final. C.S. Oltchim Râmnicu Vâlcea is named as one of the favourites for winning the EHF Women’s Champions League this year. What is the main strength of your team?

Yeliz Özel: It is Anja Andersen who makes this team special. She is a fantastic coach, she knows how to work with us, and we have to reward her by playing great handball.

Another big advantage is that we are having a great atmosphere within the team. The best word to describe the atmosphere is love. We are learning how to love handball, the club and most importantly, the fans. They are there for us during every match, giving us the strength to overcome the difficult moments we encounter.

EHF Women’s Champions League, Main Round, Round 4
Sunday, 06 March 2011, 18:00 hrs (local time)
C.S. Oltchim Rm. Vâlcea (ROU) vs. Itxako Reyno De Navarra (ESP)

TEXT: Adrian Costeiu