Jurecki wants to return to NantesArticle
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One visit to the city in the west of France is not enough for the SC Magdeburg line player

Jurecki wants to return to Nantes

Two weeks after the 27:20 away victory against HBC Nantes, SC Magdeburg can this weekend make a major step towards winning Group D of the EHF Cup.

On Saturday the winners of the EHF Champions League in 2002 welcome the French team for the re-match.

And Magdeburg's experienced line player Bartosz Jurecki (34) is confident that his team will record its fourth win in its fourth group match.

Jurecki joined SC Magdeburg in 2006, with the following year becoming the most successful in his career as he won the EHF Cup with Magdeburg as well as the world championship silver medal with the Polish national team in 2007.

Ever since no silverware has been added to Magdeburg's trophy cabinet - a situation that Jurecki would be very willing to change as he tells eurohandball.com in this exclusive interview.

eurohandball.com: Is the re-match against HBC Nantes going to be the decision about which team comes out on top of Group D?

Bartosz Jurecki: It is a very important game for us. Two weeks ago we played incredibly strong in both attack and defence and returned home with a surprisingly clear result. On Saturday we want to continue playing like this.

If we win, we will have eight points (after four matches) on our account which – in my opinion – means that there is a 90 per cent chance that we will top the group. Another success against Nantes would be very important for our team, for the club and for the fans – as we rank far behind of what we hoped for in the German national league (Magdeburg currently ranks 10th).

eurohandball.com: Can you explain the different performances in the EHF Cup and in the Bundesliga?

Bartosz Jurecki: That's a good question for which we do not know the answer. We give it all we have, we fight until the end – and then we lose our matches as clearly as we did with nine goals against Kiel (23:32 on 3 March). In contrast to that, we play much better in the EHF Cup – it is a pity for our fans that we cannot show the same performing level in both competitions.

eurohandball.com: Do you like the new EHF Cup playing system including the group phase?

Bartosz Jurecki: It is harder, but it means much more attraction for players and fans. The EHF Cup is something like a small VELUX EHF Champions League now.

eurohandball.com: Are there times when you are already thinking about the EHF Cup Finals in Nantes?

Bartosz Jurecki: At first we think about winning the group, then we have to wait and see what opponent we get in the quarter-finals. And we all know that there are only incredibly tough teams to get. Once we know which one we'll face, we will start looking further ahead.

eurohandball.com: Two weeks ago you and your team already played in the arena in Nantes, where the EHF Cup Finals will be played on 19 and 20 May. Would you like to return?

Bartosz Jurecki: The arena was brilliant, I really liked it there. And our fans said that the city is very nice, too – unfortunately we did not see that much of Nantes. So I am really looking forward to seeing Nantes again.

TEXT: Björn Pazen / ts