Davis makes Dragons believeArticle
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PREVIEW: FC Porto players convinced this season is the one ahead of Qualification Tournament 4.

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Davis makes Dragons believe

With a more experienced squad and the support of their fans, the Dragons believe this season will be the one. They are going against Elverum this Saturday at 14.00 local time in Porto, while the other group favourites Constanta have to defeat Volendam to reach the final.

“It’s about time for us to get there,” said Ricardo Moreira about the Portuguese champions. FC Porto have been struggling to reach the Group Phase of the VELUX EHF Champions League, but the captain thinks this will be the year.

“Over the past few seasons we always had a young team, but due to the latest acquisitions we now have a world champion and Champions League winner (David Davis, 36) and a EHF Cup finalist as well (Alvaro Ferrer, 31), who bring the kind of experience we needed just by being on the court with us. They know what is needed to be there and what to do once we’re in."

Ljubomir Obradović agrees with his player, and even though Ferrer is injured, “they make us believe even more and David will surely help his colleagues on Saturday”.

The Serbian coach cannot deny Constanta and FC Porto are favourites. “I think these two clubs have better chances, and besides, we are playing at home with the support of our fans,” he said.

However, Dragão Caixa was not enough to put them through in 2010/11 campaign.

“Playing at home it isn’t always a synonym of victories for us in this stage of the Champions League, once last time that happened we won one and drew two games, being thrown out in the last second.

"Still, we’ve achieved several important wins in our home and our fans will help us do it once again,” added the 31-year-old blue captain.

First step through Elverum

“It’s the typical Scandinavian school, with nicely developed technique and a solid tactical knowledge as well. They’re very fast and we will have to be completely focused throughout the 60 minutes to beat them” said Obradović of their semi-final opponents.  

In handball as in every sport the role of favourites is always proved at the final whistle, and Ricardo Moreira analyses this qualification tournament with that thought in consideration,

"In order to play the final on Sunday, we have to win on Saturday and it won’t be easy. They are quick in the counter-attack and have quality wingers, plus, they play hard," he said.    

The Dragons right wing believes Porto is ready for the VELUX EHF Champions League, after some lack of luck in previous seasons, and with a sincere smile on his face he ended. “I truly believe we will make it this year,” he stated.

It’s been seven years for the Netherlands

HV KRAS / Volendam are the first Dutch team to play the Qualification in seven years.

Mark Schmetz will lead the team in a difficult mission against Constanta

“They are a very experienced team who play this competition every year, which clearly makes them the favorites for this match. We know they have good individualities and a very aggressive defence," he said.

The Dutch coach still expects something out of this group despite the Portuguese and Romanian odds

"We are really looking forward to compete with Constanta, because although our goal is to win every match this will be a very difficult task for us. We will see how far we will make it."  

TEXT: Carlos Santos / br