Countdown, Part 2: Györi Audi ETO KCArticle
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For six straight years they reached the semi-finals of the Women’s EHF Champions League, and twice made it to the final (2009 and 2012). Now Györi Audi ETO KC is aiming once again to make it to the finals of this top competition.

»EHF CL Channel »2012-13 Women's News


For six straight years they reached the semi-finals of the Women’s EHF Champions League, and twice made it to the final (2009 and 2012). Now Győri Audi ETO KC is aiming once again to make it to the finals of this top competition.

With Győr coach Karl-Erik Böhn stepping down to focus just on the Hungarian national team, the club signed a coach who knows how to reach a Women’s EHF Champions League final: Spanish Ambros Martin, who led his former team Itxako to the 2011 final against Larvik.

One year later, Győr was close to winning the ultimate prize, but just missed out on away goals against Budućnost Podgorica in the final.

The Hungarian champions and cup winners have signed two experienced players: Raphaelle Tervel joins her former and current coach from Itxako, and Orsolya Herr succeeds legendary goalkeeper Katalin Pálinger, who has retired. Meanwhile, Ana Gros has left to join Thüringer HC (Germany) and Orsolya Vérten now plays for Győr’s domestic top rivals Ferencváros.

Two of their players have missed pre-season training - Ágnes Hornyák is pregnant and Serbian Andrea Lekić had some back problems – but she is fit and ready to play now.

So the ambitions are high again, and club president Ernő Kelecsényi said: “I think our biggest success is that the main part of the team stayed together. We have a new coach, who is really ambitious and he has a very good understanding of the players.

“With him and with the new players our aim cannot be less than reaching the Champions League final again, and if we are there we want to win it. I really hope that this year we finally reach our dreams.”

Former world handball player of the year and last season’s top scorer in the Women’s EHF Champions League, Anita Görbicz, shares those hopes: “Year by year I said that this is the season when we will fulfil our dreams. Unfortunately until now we were not able to win the Champions League.

“With the new coach we are playing a slightly different style of handball, but we really understand what Ambros is asking from us. I think the key to success is to believe in ourselves and train hard. All of us are looking forward to the start of the Champions League very much.”

Three questions to coach Ambros Martin:
What are your expectations for the upcoming season of the Women’s EHF Champions League?

Ambros Martin: We will try to compete, although the other teams in our group are very good. Ljubljana is very strong and Podravka can spring surprises on everybody. And Cluj is another top team which has joined us from very difficult qualifying tournament. We must reach the Main Round, and of course we want to reach the Final at the end. But the season is just at the beginning so a lot of things can happen until May.

What does participating in the Women’s EHF Champions League mean to you and your club?
Ambros Martin: This is the competition in which only the best teams participate. Playing in the Champions League is the biggest dream for any handball player at any club. We really want to play our best in every match, and reach the Final this year. My players are very motivated to make this season a big one.

What teams are your personal favourites to win the Women’s EHF Champions League season – and why?
Ambros Martin: Oltchim Vâlcea are very strong, they have a lot of quality players with a good coach and I hope they will be able to play at the Champions League. We and other teams like Viborg and Ljubljana also have a good chance of reaching the Final. The teams are very equal, small differences will decide in the end, so I don’t have a favourite for the winner.

Qualification for the Women’s
EHF Champions League 2012/2013 season: Hungarian champions
Newcomers: Raphaelle Tervel (Itxako), Viktória Rédei-Soós (Hypo Niederösterreich), Ivett Szepesi (Siófok), Orsolya Herr (Siófok), Dóra Hornyák (Veszprém)
Left the club: Ana Gros (Thüringer HC), Orsolya Vérten (Ferencváros), Katalin Pálinger (end of career)
Coach: Ambros Martin (since July 2012, successor of Karl-Erik Böhn)

Women’s EHF Champions League records:
Participations (including 2012/2013 season): 
Finalist: 2008/09, 2011/12
Semi-finalist: 2006/07, 2007/08, 2009/10, 2010/11
Group Phase: 2000/01, 2005/06
Qualification: 2004/05

Other EC records:

Cup Winners´ Cup:
Semi-finalists: 2002/03

EHF Cup:
1998/99, 2001/02, 2003/04, 2004/05

Hungarian champions:  9 times  (1957, 1959, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)
Hungarian Cup winners: 8 times (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)

Further information
Find more information about Györi Audi ETO KC HERE
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TEXT: Björn Pazen