Brumen: "I want to win trophies with Gorenje, too"Article
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INTERVIEW: Gorenje's Matjaz Brumen matched his personal best by scoring eight goals against Dinamo last weekend. The 34-year-old right wing tells why his hunger for success has not been stilled yet

»EHF CL Channel »2017-18 Men's News

Brumen: "I want to win trophies with Gorenje, too"

Gorenje Velenje continued their strong start to the VELUX EHF Champions League season on Saturday when they edged Dinamo Bucuresti 27:26 for their second victory from as many games in Group C.

Matjaz Brumen starred for the Slovenian team by netting eight times in Bucharest, equalling his own high-scoring record in a Champions League game. It raised his career tally for the competition to 299 goals.

The 1.90-metre tall right wing player has scored goals for five different clubs in the past 15 years.

He won the Champions League with Celje Pivovarna Laško in 2004, a year after playing the semi-final with Prule 67. Later he came close to reaching the VELUX EHF FINAL4 at the LANXESS arena with both Cimos Koper and Vardar. Last year you returned to Slovenia, planning to end your rich handball career?

Matjaz Brumen: Yes, I must admit that it crossed my mind. Soon the time will come, but I am sure I still can play on high level.  My first season in Velenje was a bit disappointing from the beginning but this year it looks much better. That gives you a big push, you find that extra energy in you, and you just don’t think about what will happen in a couple of years. Does scoring a lot of goals also help?

Matjaz Brumen: Of course it does. I had a different role when I was at Vardar. Defence was more important and of course I played less in the attack.  But it makes no difference in the end if the team’s results are not what you expected. It is a bit tragic that I left Skopje on the eve of their best season. I could have stayed. I had a contract for one more year. But you never know what would have happened. (Laughing:) Maybe Vardar had not won it if I was still in the team. Gorenje Velenje are the fifth club in your career. Prule, Celje, Koper and Vardar all were, or are, on Champions League level, too. That is no coincidence?

Matjaz Brumen: I always wanted to play at a club with ambitions. I was still a teenager when I already played in a Champions League Semi-final, with Prule. When I came to Celje, I knew that some fans thought that reaching the semi-finals would be no success anymore. And we somehow did it. That year we were riding on the biggest success of the national team (silver at EHF EURO 2004). Everybody was at its best, Rutenka, Vugrinec, Perić, then Zorman joined from Ademar Leon. We played in a new and louder hall (Zlatorog).  And the team was not as full of big names as in previous years. I had a similar experience also in Koper. We were so close to knocking Atletico Madrid out of the FINAL4 in 2013. I am really sad that the team fell apart due to money issues. And I just knew how big Vardar could get when I signed the contract. Now I want to get some success at Gorenje Velenje, too. At the EHF EURO 2004 you were no part of the team because of a disciplinary punishment for a minor doping violation (marihuana). No silver medal for you, but you eventually played at the Olympics in Athens.

Matjaz Brumen: That stupidity costed me a lot. I missed out on a huge thing. I never thought it could happen to me, I was young and thoughtless. I know it was very wrong, and unfortunately I cannot turn back times. How can you describe your experience of returning to Slovenia, joining a club that you competed against in your earlier playing years?

Matjaz Brumen: Last year was not good. But things look better now, especially in the VELUX EHF Champions League. This two wins have given us a huge boost. Comparing it to the early years… I think young players are not as 100 percent dedicated to the sport as we were. There are so many other things that they think about. I believe we even trained harder before. Now the training is of course more effective, because you have more matches to play. This weekend Gorenje Velenje can go top of Group C. On Sunday you will host Skjern, the only other team in the group which have won their first two games.

Matjaz Brumen: That would be amazing. We know we can still improve our game. The new coach has brought some defensive changes so it is not easy to score against Velenje. We will try to make things hard for the Danes also.

TEXT: Uroš Volk / ew