Obrvan back to his best and with clear goalsArticle
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EHF Cup club countdown, part 6: Chambery Savoie Handball (FRA)
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Obrvan back to his best and with clear goals

Nine straight years from the 2005/06 to the 2013/14 season, Chambery Savoie had been part of the European Cup competitions - mostly the EHF Champions League.

After a year absence from the international stage, the team of Croatian born coach Ivica Obrvan is back - and how! In qualification for the group phase of the EHF Cup the team from the Alps eliminated defending EHF Cup champions Füchse Berlin and caused the biggest surprise in this competition so far.

After the 2013/14 season, when they came up short against Berlin in the EHF Cup Group Phase, making it to the knock-out stage is the goal of the nine-time French runners-up and 2001 champions. And in Group D they come up against Ystad, CSM Bucuresti and Anaitasuna, Chambery will be favourites to top the group.

Only one of the famous Gille brothers - team captain Benjamin - is still on court for Chambery after Bertrande finished his career last season with Guillaume being assistant coach.

Chambery have a huge number of French talents in their squad, who were part of the U21 and U19 World Champions of 2015, like Melvyn Richardson, son of former handball legend Jackson Richardson. And they are all cheered on by Chambery’s new mountain-typical mascot “Alpy le Yéti”.

Three questions to coach Ivica Obrvan:

What are your expectations for the group phase of the EHF Cup - regarding your objectives and your group opponents?
Ivica Obrvan: Our main objective is to qualify for the quarter-final. We don’t know much about our opponents, but I think our games against Bucuresti will be very intense. I am sure we have the quality to finish first in our group.

What does the participation in the group phase of the EHF Cup mean to you and your club?
Ivica Obrvan: Chambery Savoie Handball’s priority for every season is to qualify for the EHF Cup. Thanks to the games ahead, our players - especially the youngsters - will gain international experience.

What teams are your personal favourites to reach the EHF Cup Finals?
Ivica Obrvan: It is hard to name just four teams, so here are my six favourites: SC Magdeburg, Dinamo Bucaresti, HBC Nantes, Frisch Auf Göppingen, Saint Raphaël, and, I hope Chambery Savoie Handball

Chambery Savoie Handball (FRA)

Newcomers: Joao Pedro Francisco Da Silva (Ademar Leon), Johannes Marescot (Valence), Danilo Brestovac (Skopje), Alexandre Tritta, Queido Traore (both Chambery Youth Centre)

Left the club: Bertrand Gille (end of career)

Coach: Ivica Obrvan, since 2014
Team captain: Benjamin Gille

Qualification for the EHF Cup Group Phase: Round 2: 35:12, 31:28 against Sporta Hlohovec, Round 3: 31:31, 34:30 against Füchse Berlin

Past achievements

VELUX EHF Champions League records:
Last 16: 2003/04, 2006/07, 2010/11
Main Round:  2008/09
Group Phase: 2001/02, 2009/10, 2011/12, 2012/13

EHF Cup records:
Quarter-final: 2007/08
Group Phase 2013/14
Last 16: 1998/99
Last 32: 1999/00
Round 3: 2000/01

EHF Cup Winners’ Cup records:
Quarter-final: 2002/03
Last 16: 2005/06

French champions: 2001 (runners-up: 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)
French cup winners: 2002 (finallist: 2005, 2009, 2011)
Trophée des champions: 2013

TEXT: Björn Pazen / bc