Baia Mare’s international team enjoys very own OlympicsArticle
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NEWS REPORT: Pre-season has begun for the Romanian champions and the heavily reinforced squad is beginning to gel

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Baia Mare’s international team enjoys very own Olympics

Romanian champions HCM Baia Mare have started their preparations for this season’s Women’s EHF Champions League with two training camps who took place in Romania and Austria at the end of July and the start of August.

Baia Mare has had a remarkable transfer campaign, bringing no less than 10 players in their already impressive roster.

The most important moves targeted two Brazilians: goalkeeper Barbara Arenhart and right wing Alexandra do Nascimento, both coming from Austrian champions, Hypo Niederösterreich.

Another highlight was the transfer of Norwegian left wing Camilla Herrem, from Byasen EH, who has already made her mark for Baia Mare in several friendly games against Romanian team HC Zalău and Hungarian side Debrecen.

Baia Mare has also imported several players from the Russian championship, signing left back Ekaterina Davydenko and line players Ksenia Makeeva and Anastasia Lobach.

Last, but not least, the Romanian champions convinced Lois Abbingh, a Dutch centre back, to sign a two-year contract, alongside the trandfers of Elena Gjorgjievska, from last year’s finalists Buducnost, young Ukrainian goalkeeper Iulia Dumanska and Bianca Tiron, one of the rising stars of Romanian handball.

Developing an understanding

As a team with 10 foreign players from many different nationalities, Baia Mare’s staff and players decided together that the team’s official language is to be Romanian, with the foreign players having already learnt some useful expressions in Romanian.

While coach Costică Buceschi could not hide his delight at the chance to coach a team that has big ambitions with these transfers, he also had to be assured that the players will act as one and understand the importance of the team.

Therefore, the staff prepared some teambuilding sessions for the players to bond. The most important ones were in Austria, taking place in Kaunertal, a small town near Solden.

The players were divided in teams and played a small version of the Olympic Games, with several sport disciplines like weightlifting, shot put, athletics, basketball and cycling.

By far, the most interesting activity was the shooting, which was won by the two Russians – Makeeva and Davydenko, who were cheered by their teammates.

However, that fun is over, and this weekend (15-17 August) Baia Mare will host one of the most important friendly tournaments of the summer, with six teams in the fold. Three of the teams will be playing in Europe’s elite competition (HCM Baia Mare, FTC Rail Cargo Budapest and RK Krim Ljubljana), while three will play in the EHF Cup (Astrahanochka Astrahan, Rostov HC and Iuventa Mihalovce) in what will be a perfect test of how the teams are looking this season.

TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / cor