Major changes at ConstanțaArticle
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Romanian champions have been working hard to get the new look side ready for Europe

»EHF CL Channel »2013-14 Men's News

Major changes at Constanța

Romanian champions HCM Constanța are well underway with preparations for the upcoming season, which will see the team playing in the VELUX EHF Champions League’s qualification tournament against Porto, Elverum and KRAS/Volendam.

After the Romanian Federation included a new regulation, stating that only three foreign players can be on the court at the same time in the Romanian championship, Constanța management began their foreign player offload.

Right back Javier Humet left for Ivry Handball, while the other Spanish player, pivot Alberto Val Sancho is now a free agent after he had previously signed with BM Atletico Madrid, a team that has folded.

Constanța’s officials informed centre back Dalibor Cutura, pivot Milutin Dragicevic and left wing Pedrag Vujadinovic to find new teams, as they are no longer in the team’s plans for the upcoming season.

Home recruits

On the other hand, the Romanian side has managed to bring in four Romanian players. Both Marius Novanc (Știința Bacău) and Bogdan Șoldănescu (CS Universitatea Suceava) make their comebacks for the “sailors”, after previous spells with the team.

Goalkeeper Alexandru Bucătaru and left back Ramon Șomlea will join Constanța from the Romanian Excellence Center for young players in Sighișoara.

”There are fewer transfers compared to previous years, but the Romanian players we have brought in are very good and we want to win the title.

“Of course, our objective is to have a good European campaign,” said team captain, Laurențiu Toma.

The Romanian champions have already played seven friendly games in the first part of August, winning five, drawing one and losing one.

Zvonko Șundovski’s has been preparing his team in Slovenia, playing four friendly games in Catez and winning all of them.

The first victory came against RK Sevnica, fifth placed team in last season’s Slovenian championship, 26:23. Then, the Romanian champions won against RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko, the Slovenian runner-up, 25:24.

Constanța recorded two other wins in the last days of their preparation stage, 30:19 against MRK Krka, and 28:26 against EHF Cup participants RK Maribor Branik.

Another level in Struga

However, Constanta were not at their best in the international tournament organised in Struga, FYR Macedonia. Their first game against Macedonian champions, RK Metalurg Skopje ended in a 26:33 defeat and drew the second against US Ivry Handball 21:21.

These results left the Romanian champions with only fifth place to play for, against French second division team HC Versailles. Constanța recorded a win, 33:16 and placed fifth in Struga.

HCM Constanța will play their semi-final of Group 4 of the VELUX EHF Champions League qualification on 31 August, against Dutch side HV KRAS/Volendam.

If they progress, the winner of FC Porto Vitalis vs Elverum Handball Herrer will stand in the way of a place in the Group Phase.

TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / cor