Krim hoping for an extra-special jubileeArticle
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COUNTDOWN: Women’s EHF Champions League countdown, part 6: RK Krim Mercator

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Krim hoping for an extra-special jubilee

Despite a number of severe injuries and the fact that it was the main task of coach Tone Tiselj to build-up a complete new team, Krim made it to the semi-finals of the Women’s EHF Champions League last season, before bowing out of competition at the hands of Larvik.

The squad has remained mostly the same over the summer. Some reinforcements arrived from abroad, mostly from the Romanian national team as well as Mentenegrin Anđela Bulatović from Budućnost.

On the other hand, some big names from the golden days of Krim’s two European triumphs in the early 2000’s have ended their career, they are Maryna Vergeliuk and Liudmila Bodnieva.

Expectations are high in the Slovenian capital – from a sporting and organisational point of view.

It is their clear goal to reach the first Women’s EHF FINAL4 tournament (if implemented), for which Ljubljana is also a potential venue.

A major success in this season would be the perfect start for the big jubilee year of 2014, when Krim celebrates their 30th anniversary.

Two key players suffered injuries at the beginning of the season (Jelena Grubišić and Carmen Martin), but Tone Tiselj is used to this situation and does in facet have a larger squad at his disposal compared to 2012/13.

In the group matches his team will face Sävehof, Metz and qualifier Leipzig, who boast former Krim right back Susann Müller in their team.

Club director Goran Dujić is highly optimistic regarding the first stage of this season.

“We have a very interesting group, but according to our history the first position in this group should be normal result for us,” says Dujić, a view that team captain Sergeja Stefanišin agrees with.

“Krim are the favourite of this group, but we will have to prove that on the court. We will take every game seriously and try to perform as well as possible.

We are waiting for the competition to start, because we are looking forward for the tough matches,” concludes the experienced goalkeeper.

Three questions to coach Tone Tiselj:

What are your expectations for the upcoming season of the Women’s EHF Champions League - concerning your objectives and your group opponents?

Tone Tiselj: Our goal is to perform at the highest level possible. We would like to continue our trend from the last season in which we have entered our first semi-finals after seven years.

Our group is maybe not the toughest one and the teams in this group are maybe not the favourites to win the Champions League, but in one single match, everyone can beat everyone. Our goal is to qualify for the main round.

What does the participation in the Women’s EHF Champions League mean to you and your club?

Tone Tiselj: Due to the fact that our national championship is not at a very high level, participating in this competition is our primary objective in every season. For me as a coach it will be big challenge to achieve a good result among so many great teams. We would like to participate as long as we possibly can.

What teams are your personal favourites to win the Women’s EHF Champions League season – and why?

Tone Tiselj: Györ as defending champions and FTC, including those players who recovered from injuries and some new ones added. Larvik and this year’s newcomer Vardar have a variety of great players and then Budućnost, the champions from two seasons ago.

RK Krim Mercator (SLO)

Coach: Tone Tiselj, since 2010
Newcomers (including former club): Oana Manea (Valcea), Talida Tolnai (Üsküdar B.S.K), Patricia Vizitiu (Üsküdar B.S.K), Anđela Bulatović (Budućnost), Neli Irman (Gen-I Zagorje), Miša Marinček (Žalec)
Left the club (including new club): Susann Müller (Leipzig), Gabriella Kain (retired), Liudmila Bodnieva (retired), Maryna Vergeliuk (retired), Alja Janković (Celjske mesnine)

Qualification for the 2013/2014 EHF Women’s Champions League season: Slovenian champions

EHF Women’s Champions League records:
Participations (including 2013/2014 season): 19
Winner: 2000/01, 2002/03
Finalist: 1998/99, 2003/04, 2005/06
Semi-finallist: 2012/13
Quarter-finals: 1995/96, 1996/97, 1997/98, 2004/05, 2006/07
Main Round: 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12
Group Phase/Champions League: 1999/00

Slovenian champion: 19 times (1995 – 2013)
Slovenian Cup winner: 19 times (1993 – 1997, 1999 –2013) 

TEXT: Björn Pazen / cor