More experience means more successArticle
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VELUX EHF Champions League club countdown: 11 days to go - Besiktas Mogaz HT (TUR)

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More experience means more success

It was a landmark in their club’s history despite it not ending successfully: After failing six straight times in the qualification for the VELUX EHF Champions League, Besiktas Mogaz made it to the Group Phase last season as the first ever Turkish team.

Beating Swedish side Alingsas they wrote further history with their first ever Group Phase win, and even though it was also their last one, Besiktas took huge experience from their highlighting international year.

For the 2015/16 season, they were even seeded among the top groups - and though the Turkish champions were drawn in Group A with more experienced squads like Veszprem, Kiel, PSG, Flensburg, Celje, Plock and Zagreb, they are aiming for the Last 16 qualification. To make it that far, Besiktas need to finish among the six best teams of the group.

After seven straight titles in the Turkish league, the team of Mufit Arin was strengthen by some international experienced players - but one already had to leave to his home country (Croatia) due to injury and family problems: Vedran Zrnic. Another newcomer, Serbian Darko Djukic, has substituted him.
The biggest loss for Besiktas was the transfer of former Chilean international Emil Feuchtmann, who signed for former German champions TBV Lemgo.

The biggest name among the new arrivals is Nemanja Pribak, Macedonian international, who arrives from Vardar Skopje.

“We want to have our own fate in our hands during this Champions League season,” is the optimistic motto of manager Berk Karahan, who hopes for a spot in the knock-out stage. “Facing such great clubs in Group A will be a great experience for us, but we will enter the court with the clear will to win every match,” Karahan says, adding: “We have new players for a new challenge and new targets. We will be better this season, as the last one was our first experience in this competition. Now we have to prove our abilities against strong clubs.”

For team captain Ibrahim Demir the increase in experience could be the key to future successes: “We learned a lot and we have new players. At first we want to get used to playing Champions League matches and with more experience comes more success.”

But Demir knows the high hurdles ahead in the Group Phase: “As every club we will fight to get into the Last 16, but we are in a group with some of the biggest handball clubs, so every match will be hard for us. But that does not mean that we simply let those matches slip from our hands before the starting whistle.”

Besiktas Mogaz HT (TUR)

Qualification for the 2015/2016 VELUX EHF Champions League season: Turkish champions

Newcomers:  Nemanja Pribak (Vardar Skopje), Miroslav Kocic (Vojvodina), Mehmet Demirezen (Ankara BSB Spor), Darko Djukic (Metalurg Skopje)

Left the club: Bulent Erkol (Trabzonspor), Oguzhan Buyuk (Bahcesehir SK), Viktor Ladyko (end of career), Erwin Jan Feuchtmann Perez (Lemgo),
Yunus Ozmusul (Bittenfeld)

Coach: Mufit Arin (since 2004)

Opponents in Group Phase: Kiel, Veszprem, PSG, Celje, Plock, Zagreb, Flensburg in group A

VELUX EHF Champions League records:

Participations (including 2015/16 season): 8
Group Phase (1): 2014/15Qualification (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

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

Turkish champions: 1980, 1981, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Turkish Cup winners: 1999, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015
Super Cup winner: 1980, 1981, 1997 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012

TEXT: Björn Pazen / bc