Feature: Black Angels in Czech handball heavenArticle
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DHK Baník Most can become the first Czech winner of a European Cup competition after a double-success in 1984.
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Feature: Black Angels in Czech handball heaven

Three years ago Most celebrated promotion to the Czech elite comfortably winning the first division, and now these players are fighting for the title in the Challenge Cup.

"We consider participation in the Challenge Cup Final as a reward for all the work we have done from the beginning of women‘s handball in Most. Our first major success dates back to 12th May 2010, when we gained the promotion to WHIL (Czecho-Slovakian top flight). Now, three years later, we have the chance to become the first Czech club to lift a European trophy since 1984. Excitement is not the right word. Our club is living a dream, we are very proud. We want this dream to continue after the final with Samobor,“ the club manager Radek Maděra says.

"The Black Angels are a phenomenon in Most as well as in the eyes of every handball fan in the Czech Republic. We are, by far, the most successful club in the country at the moment, in terms of European achievement and the whole country is with us in our matches.“

Many ask where the nickname ‘The Black Angels‘ comes from? Most is a town with a strong coal-mining tradition. The truth is the popular Czech music band Lucie composed a song about ‘bad girls‘ called Černí Andělé (Black Angels). That‘s the origins of ‘The Black Angels‘.

The Czech media refer to the finals against Samobor as the battle of the Black Angels against a last ‘demon‘ on the way to Challenge Cup glory. No wonder why, as Most can enter Czech handball heaven by winning three different competitions in one season, completing a golden hat-trick.

The last Czech side to lift a European trophy is the men‘s team of Dukla Praha back in 1984, when they won the European Champions‘ Cup. In the same year, Zlín‘s women‘s handball team reached the finals of the Cup Winners‘ Cup. Most can achieve Czech handball’s biggest success since then.

Playing in a cup final is something special, not only for the players, but also for the dedicated staff, working for the club. "Handball is our life, we feel responsibility and great determination. We can prove to ourselves how good we really are compared to the rest of Europe and we can make the people of Most and the whole country proud. Our  handball needs a boost like this. The impact on young players, on girls training hard and following their idols is huge and with matches like this, it increases even more,“ explains Maděra.

Tickets for the return leg of the final have been sold out in few hours. Match will be broadcasted by the Czech TV and will go live on radio as well.

"This season we were able to keep important factors on our side. We were lucky to go through the difficulties with relative ease. All the important players including the best scorer of the Challenge cup Hana Martínková were fit and nevertheless, team was led by a briliant, experienced coach in person of Dušan Poloz. Genius, who knows how to handle different scenarios during the season. We can not forget about the fans  - the atmosphere was the best in the whole country.“

Leaders of the team around Hana Martinková and Martina Vysloužilová, were the girls, who were brought up in the academy of DHK Baník Most. They were part of a great generation, that won the international tounament Prague cup in 2000, one of the most traditious youth tournaments across the world. This only proves how much they care about youth handball in Most.

Most means a bridge in Czech – DHK Baník Most can certainly be considered as a bridge between top European handball and this handball-mad northwestern town of some 60,000 inhabitants. "We have the best fans in the Czech Republic, the club supports youth teams in a great way. For our promising young players in the youth teams, this will be a unique opportunity to see a European Cup final in Most. It will give them enthusiasm and motivation to work on themselves even harder than they have done up till now.“

And what are the expectations in the club, after this whole fairytale will come to an end? "We hope our European story will catch attraction of our sponsors and potential new partners. Our aim is to continue in what we are doing well, and improve, what we have learned this season and build a strong European team, which can be competitive with the best ones in few years time,“ concludes Maděra.


TEXT: Tomáš Čunčík / br