14 nations, seven former champions and one new competition stageArticle
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FACTS AND FIGURES: All you need to know before the start of the Women’s EHF Champions League Group Matches

»EHF CL Channel »2014-15 Women's News

14 nations, seven former champions and one new competition stage

14 national champions from all over Europe had been seeded directly for the Group Matches of the Women’s EHF Champions League, and the last two open spots were taken by Podravka (Croatia) and Leipzig (Germany), the winners of the qualification tournaments. After the field of participants is completed, here are the most important facts and figures before the competition proper begins in October.

0 debutants are among those 16 teams, which will compete in the group matches.

1 new competition stage will be launched this season, the quarter-final, for which the four best ranked teams from the two main round groups will qualify.

1 club of those 16 group matches participants has the full set of EHF European Cup competitions trophies in their cabinet: Viborg HK, winners of the Champions League three times as well as the EHF Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup once each.

1 draw is all that is needed until the Women’s EHF FINAL4 in Budapest, the draw for the final event itself. The 12 teams in the main round will not need to be drawn and the quarter-final pairings are composed by the final ranking of the main round.

2 nations are represented by two teams each, Germany and Croatia. HC Leipzig and Podravka Vegeta were the winners of the qualification tournaments on Sunday. All other nations are only represented by their national champions. The only nations with two teams last season were Germany (again with Thüringer HC and Leipzig) and Hungary.

2 former Women’s EHF Champions League top scorers are on court in the 2014/15 season: Anita Görbicz (2014: 87 goals, 2012: 133) and Heidi Löke (2011: 99), both playing for defending champions Györ.

3 participants of the first Women’s EHF FINAL4 are part of the 2014/15 group matches: Defending champions Györ (Hungary), finalists Buducnost (Montenegro) and third ranked team of Vardar (FYR Macedonia). Midtjylland (Denmark, fourth ranked in May) failed in the qualification tournament, losing their semi-final against Radnicki (Serbia).

3 teams will, for the first time, proceed to the main round compared to two in previous years. Groups A and B will compose Group 1 of the main round, while groups C and D will compose Group 2. Teams will take the results of those matches against fellow qualifiers to the next stage.

7 former Women’s EHF Champions League winners, representing 14 titles are part of the 2014/15 group stage: Hypo (1994, 1995, 1998, 2000), Podravka (1996), Krim (2001, 2003), Viborg (2006, 2009, 2010), Larvik (2011), Buducnost (2012) and Györ (2013, 2014)

8 consecutive times since the 2006/07 season, Györ have at least qualified for the semi-finals of the Women’s EHF Champions League, twice (2013, 2014) the Hungarian champions finished atop the winners’ podium.

10 nations represent the previous winners of the Women’s EHF Champions League: Denmark (6 titles), Austria (4), Hungary (3), Slovenia (2), Norway, Montenegro, FYR Macedonia, Spain, Croatia and Russia (one title each).

13 clubs, which were part of the 2013/14 Women’s EHF Champions League Group Matches, are back again: Györ, Buducnost, Vardar, Hypo, Podravka, Metz, Thüringer HC, Leipzig, Larvik, Lublin, Baia Mare, Lublin and Sävehof. Midtjylland, Bera Bera and FTC are not present. Zagreb, Dinamo and Viborg are “newcomers” despite being anything but debutants.

14 different nations are part of the group matches, the same number as in the previous season. The only change in terms of nations: Russia (Dinamo) is in and Spain is out.

22 times (every year since the Women’s EHF Champions League started in 1993) Hypo Niederösterreich were and are again part of the competition. Buducnost play their 19th consecutive season in the top flight.

48 matches of the group phase will decide which 12 teams (three per group) will proceed to the main round.

116 matches (including qualification) will be played until the 2014/15 winner of the Women’s EHF Champions League will be confirmed. Eight qualification matches already took place, followed by each 48 matches in group phase and main round, eight quarter-final matches and  four matches at the EHF FINAL4 in Budapest next May.

TEXT: Björn Pazen / cor