Woltering: "To do our homework"Article
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Budućnost goalkeeper Clara Woltering sees great potential for her side in the EHF Champions League.

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Woltering: "To do our homework"

It came as hot news for insiders last summer when goalkeeper Clara Woltering became the first-ever German player to sign for Montenegro´s champions ZRK Budućnost, a team with great ambition and high hopes in the elite tournament of the EHF Champions League.

With some incredible and crazy saves the 28-year-old has been a fantastic last line of defence for her team throughout the season so far, and Woltering achieves a remarkable saving efficiency in every match.

The German international talked to ehfCL.com about her first playing experience abroad, the work with coach Dragan Adžić, and the EHF Champions League experience in general. 

ehfCL.com: Budućnost celebrated two victories in the Main Round so far, so the team has the maximum four points in the account. How do you reflect on those matches?

Clara Woltering: Luckily we’ve made a good start, although in both games we had several fluctuations. However, we raised our game plan enough to decide those games in our favour. We certainly have the potential to play better!

ehfCL.com: In your last game against Krim, the team had massive problems in the first half, but then in the second period, great improvement was shown and your side controlled the rest of the match right through to the final buzzer. What happened, and what did coach Dragan Adžić tell the team in the cabins?

Clara Woltering: During the half-time break I´m never in the locker room, so I can’t say what he told my team-mates. I think however that everyone knew that we had to be more agile and aggressive with our defensive game to start quick counter attacks and score some 'easy' goals. This worked well with our improved defence. 

ehfCL.com: Last weekend news reports spoke of massive amounts of snow in Montenegro´s capital. What’s the situation at the moment?

Clara Woltering: The situation has improved a little, although the weather forecasters expect more snow in the coming days. Some of the streets were blocked, and in the coming days I will go to the arena on foot, not by car...

ehfCL.com: You´re playing a quality season so far in your first Montenegro year. How do you feel, and are you well integrated to the team?

Clara Woltering: The team warmly welcomed me immediately after my arrival in Podgorica, and despite some language problems, they have accepted me well. 

I feel good in Montenegro and I receive great backing to help my self-confidence. Obviously the good defence helps me in goal enormously.

ehfCL.com: This coming weekend you will face Oltchim, the strongest team in the group. In this game against the Romanian champions, will the clash be about first place in the group or about the next possible victory?

Clara Woltering: It’s too early to talk about first place in the group. We still have four tough clashes ahead, and anything is still possible. Right now my full concentration is on our next match.

ehfCL.com: How is the work going with coach Adžić and your goalkeeper coach Vlatko Đonovic?

Clara Woltering: The co-operation is going better and better day-by-day, as now we know each other very well and everyone knows about the qualities and competencies of the other.

Obviously the adjustment was tough in the beginning, as I’d played at the same club in Leverkusen for 11 years and this is a very long period. I think that every spell abroad presents challenges for a sportswoman.

ehfCL.com: In your parallel group everything is still open, as Győr, Larvik and Itxako are battling for the semi-final spots. Which team do you expect to arrive in the semis and where would you prefer to travel to for Budućnost´s semi-final?

Clara Woltering: Each team is very classy, and therefore, I expect a tight head-to-head battle between them. 

I have no influence over which club we’ll meet in the semi-final. Firstly, we need to see to our own business and end up in one of the first two places in the group.

TEXT: Márk Hegedüs