Özel: "To make our great fans happy”Article
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Oltchim´s playmaker confirms that the atmosphere within the team is great.

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Özel: "To make our great fans happy”

Two comfortable wins against RK Krim Mercator Ljubljana and Metz Handball have helped Oltchim Râmnicu Vâlcea climb to the top spot in EHF Champions League’s Group 2. 

Before the crucial match against Budućnost, ehfCL.com talked to Yeliz Özel, Oltchim’s playmaker and one of the most important players in the Romanian champions’ game-plan.

ehfCL.com: Oltchim have enjoyed a great start in this group. What was the secret behind the great displays against Krim and Metz?

Yeliz Özel: I have to say that these are EHF Champions League games, and there are no easy teams to defeat in this competition. 

We were a little afraid before the first match, against Krim, because they are a great side. Moreover, it was an away match, and therefore the pressure was on us to achieve a good result from the beginning of the group. After only five minutes into the game, I felt that we were going on the right path and told my team-mates that we can win. The result was great for us.

The game against Metz was easier, because we had a morale boost after our first win. We were confident, started the game in a perfect way, and managed to impose our game-plan. The fans were also great and they helped us to grab the two points.

ehfCL.com: After two wins, you will play against Budućnost, probably the strongest team of your three counterparts. Do you think Oltchim have the power to win this game?

Yeliz Özel: Make no mistake, this game will be very hard, maybe the hardest one up until this moment, but I think we can make it three wins in a row. 

The atmosphere within our team is great, we are united right now and we know we can rely on each other during tough moments in a game. 

ehfCL.com: This is your second season as an Oltchim player. Do you think that this year’s team is better than last season?

Yeliz Özel: I feel very good in Râmnicu Vâlcea. Oltchim is a great club, with a professional climate. After one and a half years, I can say that I’ve learnt a lot. 

During this season, my level of play has got better and better and I’m enjoying myself right now. As I said before, our team can win any given game if we can maintain this level of confidence. 

We started this season on a good note and I hope we will keep it this way until the final part of it.

ehfCL.com:  Do you consider Oltchim to have the strength and weaponry to be a legitimate EHF Champions League trophy contender?

Yeliz Özel: We are taking it step by step and there is a crucial game against Budućnost at the end of the week. We are only thinking about this game for the time being. The semi-finals and final are far-far away right now. 

However, I think that we can be contenders for the EHF Champions League trophy if we continue to play well, both at home and in away games. 

The Romanian National League can’t provide a decent preparation for us, therefore it’s mandatory for us to give all we’ve got in the EHF Champions League. I wish to win the trophy and make our great fans happy.

TEXT: Adrian Costeiu