Finally it’s a Final!Article
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Buducnost reflect on reaching their first EHF Women's Champions League Final.

»EHF CL Channel »2011-12 Women's News

Finally it’s a Final!

Unlike last season, when Larvik were better in both semi-final matches against Budućnost, this time the Montenegrian champions got their revenge on the former champions of Europe, and with interest.

After narrowly winning in Larvik to 22:20, in the second leg there was no doubt. The champions of Montenegro defeated the Norwegians, who inside the Morača Hall managed to score only 13 goals in 60 minutes - an impressive way for the home side to ensure their first EHF Women's Champions League Final.Bojana Popovic-300

“Thanks to everyone who followed us, and who all these years wanted to see Budućnost in the final,” said Budućnost coach Dragan Adžić.

“That day has come now, and not by accident. This team are the most dedicated girls we have ever had at this club. This final is a real reward for them. I am proud of all girls, all of them gave their best," he continued.

“They deserve to do what no generation has done before them - making a reputation for Budućnost in European women's handball as a tribute to all past generations of this club.

“But this final step was waiting to be made by such a close group like those girls. I'm glad we managed to beat Larvik, which is practically the national team of Norway, with a big goal difference in a decisive match. It was a rare victory, and everybody who watches handball knows that. Forcing Larvik to score only 13 goals, I am sure never happened.”

Adžić became the first coach in club’s history to lead the team in the final, and he added: “It’s a phenomenal feeling. The vast majority of the people didn’t believe that I could do it. So, I am grateful to them.”

Adžić said that Győri Audi ETO will start as favourites in the final. “They invested in the team more than anyone else, they get all the players the wanted to, our former player Jovanka Radičević among others, so they are favourites from the start.Dragan Adzic 300

“But we also have a quality team, I think no one has such a big quality roster like we do. So far we played our best in the EHF Women's Champions League and we will try to show more in the final”, concluded Adžić.

In front of 4,500 fans in the Morača Hall, Budućnost played an impressive game, especially in defence. The decisive moment of the second game came early in the second half, when the home team scored five and did not allow Larvik to score any more for a lead of 15:7, eventually winning 23-13.

Buducnost player Bojana Popović admitted that making the final was about time for her side.

“I think this season we deserved to play in the final," she said. "After many unsuccessful attempts, this generation has matured and throughout the Champions League we have shown that there is great quality – we may well have the best defence in Europe, with the fantastic Clara Woltering as goalkeeper.

“The door of the final is open now, we now have four weeks to get ready for it. It will be extremely difficult but we will live for this final,” said Popović, who has already won five EHF Women's Champions League titles; three with Slagelse and two with Viborg.

German Clara Woltering made 18 saves in the second game with Larvik, and she was again one of the most important players in the match and to add to the good news on Monday (9 April she extended her contract with Budućnost for one more season.

“It was really amazing in Morača Hall, especially in the first half. But we fought back in the game and it was really important," she said. “During the whole game we believed in ourselves and that was very important.

“We are very happy to be in the final. The atmosphere in the hall was so fantastic, and although all the time I was concentrated on the game, I saw that our fans made a really amazing atmosphere. They must take a good rest now, and after that concentrate on a final!” she added.

Katarina Bulatović won an EHF Women's Champions League title with Slagelse back in 2007, but had a much smaller role in the team than in Budućnost.

"It’s a fantastic feeling,” she said. “It’s not enough to say that we are very happy. We have been preparing for this entire season probably for years. We managed this season to finally enter the final.

“Thanks to our fans who made ​​a phenomenal atmosphere in the hall, they were our eighth player. I'm glad that we showed against Larvik for the first time that when we take the lead that we can “smash” the opponent, like we did on Sunday. It was not the case in previous years, but we proved that we are a true team.

“In the final everything is open. Maybe some people didn’t believe that we could get to the final, but we did it. I think our chances against Győri Audi ETO are 50:50, as both teams played well to the finals. I do not want anyone not to overestimate or to underestimate, but we will show our value in the final.”

TEXT: Saša Jončić