Besiktas vows to fight until even their socks are torn apartArticle
«Go back

VELUX EHF Champions League countdown, part 22: Besiktas MOGAZ HT buzzing ahead of first appearance in the group phase

»EHF CL Channel »2014-15 Men's News

Besiktas vows to fight until even their socks are torn apart

The VELUX EHF Champions League Group Phase has not even started yet, but Besiktas MOGAZ HT have already made history. By winning the qualification tournament in Hasselt with a clear 34:25 final victory against Romanian side HCM Constanta they became the first Turkish team to make it past the qualification – after they themselves had unsuccessfully tried six times before.

“To be part of the Champions League is a big chance for us, albeit a tough one and a new challenge,” says club manager Berk Karahan and adds: “It’s also an opportunity to represent Turkish handball and the Turkish style of play. 

And there is an old saying in Turkish:  ‘The Eagles love to fly high’, so our confidence is high as the sky.”

Besiktas first put their name on the map of European top handball, when they qualified for EHF Cup Group Phase two seasons ago. Before the current season – and thanks to the support of their new sponsor MOGAZ – Besiktas signed some big names like Croatian wing player Ivan Nincevic and Chilean international Erwin Feuchtmann.

These two helped to make the dream of the group phase come true, and over the coming weeks Besiktas will be welcoming handball powerhouses such as FC Barcelona and defending champions SG Flensburg-Handewitt to their arena.

Plock, Alingsas and Kolding are Istanbul’s opponents other three opponent on their maiden voyage in the VELUX EHF Champions League.

“We want to go as far as we can. We know that our rivals are very strong and experienced in the Champions League but we are very encouraged to face them.

“On the court, the conditions are the same for all teams, each team plays with seven players,” says Karahan.

Team captain Ibrahim Demir is sure that “qualifying for and competing in the Champions League will bring us a new vision of handball.”

“We are very happy to be in the same group with the best teams in Europe.  Our main target is to fight until even our socks are torn apart.

“All my teammates have the same mind-set. After eleven years, Turkish handball is finally getting what it deserves.”

Three questions to coach Mufit Arin:

What are your expectations for the upcoming season of the VELUX EHF Champions League - regarding your objectives and group opponents?

Mufit Arin: The Champions League is a suitable platform to improve our level and to adapt a European style of handball. Our main goal is to increase the team’s experience. We will play in the toughest group of this season. Barça are a team of champions, Flensburg are the title holders. Danish side Kolding and Polish Wisla Plock are cornerstones of the Champions League. Swedish champions Alingsas have a young and dynamic core. Our mission is not easy, but fighting until the end matters for us as a team.

What does the participation in the VELUX EHF Champions League mean to you and your club?

Mufit Arin: Turkish handball is progressing and Turkish teams need big challenges to improve even more. Now we have an important occasion to feel the excitement of European top handball. Our main target is not to be a one-hit-wonder in the Champions League, but to repeat our wonderful achievement in the upcoming years.

Which teams are your personal favourites to reach the VELUX EHF FINAL4 and for winning the title this season – and why?

Mufit Arin: My favourite is always Beşiktaş Mogaz in all competitions but we need a long way to be named as a favourite team in the Champions League. In my opinion Barcelona, Kiel, Veszprem and PSG are the top candidates for the FINAL4. Their club structure and investments for handball could carry them to Cologne.

Besiktas MOGAZ HT (TUR)

Qualification for the 2014/2015 VELUX EHF Champions League season: Turkish champions, winner of qualification tournament 3

Newcomers: Ivan Nincevic (Dİnamo Minsk), Erwin Jan Feuchtmann Perez (Oderheu), Predrag Dacevic (Ademar Leon), Yunus Özmusul (İl Özel İdare), Volkan Caliskan (İl Özel İdare)

Left the club: Sevket Altug Tasdemir, Vladimir Zelic , Valeri Parshkov (end of career), Armi Part

Coach: Mufit Arin (since 2003)

VELUX EHF Champions League records:
Participations (including 2014/2015 season): 7
Qualification (6): 2005/06, 2007/08, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13

Other EC records:

EHF Cup:
Last 16 1998/99, 2005/06, 2010/11
Group Phase 2012/13

Challenge Cup:
Semi-final 2008/09
Quarter-final 2002/03

Turkish league champions: 19811980, 1981, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Turkish Cup winners: , 2001, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014
Super Cup winner: 1980, 1981, 1997 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012

TEXT: Björn Pazen / cor