Besancon excited to reach group phaseArticle
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Women’s EHF Cup countdown #4: Even though E.S Besancon Feminin have already reached their goal for the current European season, the French side hope to gain more European experience and progress to the quarter-finals.
»2018-19 Women's News

Besancon excited to reach group phase

E.S Besancon Feminin returned to European club competition last season after an eight-year absence. The French team had hoped to reach the Women’s EHF Cup group phase, but they were eliminated by Handball Club Lada in the Qualification Round 3.

Besancon wanted to achieve more this season, and they have already succeeded. The team coached by Raphaëlle Tervel qualified for the group phase, which was their main goal for the current European season, after beating Fredrikstad Ballklubb and MKS Perla Lublin in the EHF Cup qualification.

Every match will be important

However, they do not want to now relax and become complacent. “We are always focused on helping the team to progress match by match and do things better every day. Now that we are in the group phase every match will be important, and if we manage to finish in the top two of the group, it will be great.” said the 39-year-old coach Raphaëlle Tervel, who won the World Championship in 2003 with France in her playing days.

She is perfectly aware that Besancon have been drawn into a tough Group C, so it will take a huge effort to advance to the quarter-final. “It will be complicated as we will face strong and experienced teams: Larvik who are coming from the Champions League, Viborg with their numerous international players and Kuban have a very experienced coach,” said Tervel.

Chance to get more experience

Besancon had the most successful period in the club's history in the early 2000s when the team won a number of domestic competitions, which included French league titles in 2001 and 2003, and reached the Cup Winners’ Cup final in 2003.

Now they are excited to play on the European stage again. “First of all, reaching the group stage means that our team is continuing to progress. We will also have six more tough matches; very interesting for our young team which lacks international experience. The entire club is excited to be a part of this competition stage, knowing that all handball fans in Besancon have been waiting for more European matches every year since reaching the Cup Winners’ Cup final in 2003,” said Raphaëlle Tervel.

For Besancon’s coach, the main favourites to win the Women's EHF Cup are Hungary’s Siófok KC, Romania’s SCM Craiova as well as the four Danish and two German clubs.


E.S.Besancon Feminin (FRA)

Qualification for the EHF Cup 2018/19 Group Phase:

Round 2: 53:49 aggregate win against Fredrikstad Ballklubb (NOR).

Round 3: 53:50 aggregate win against MKS Perla Lublin (POL)

Newcomers: Lara Gonzalez Ortega (Team Esbjerg), Lindsay Burlet (Brest Bretagne Handball), Monika Rajnohova (Le Havre), Erika Rajnohova (Trencin)

Left the club: Ine Karlsen Stangvik (Molde)

Coach: Raphaëlle Tervel (since 2014)

Team captain: Alice Lévêque

Opponents in the group matches: Kuban, Viborg HK and Larvik HK in Group C

Women’s EHF Champions League records:
Quarter-finals: 1998/99
Group matches: 2001/02
Qualification: 2003/04

Women’s EHF Cup records:
Quarter-finals: 1999/2000
Last 16: 2003/04
Qualification: 2017/18

Other European Cup records:
Cup Winners’ Cup: Finalist 2002/03
French league: 4 titles (1988, 1998, 2001, 2003)
French cup: 4 titles (2001, 2002, 2003, 2005)

Read about the other Group C clubs featured in the Women's EHF Cup countdown series here:

#8 Larvik HK
#9 Viborg HK
#12 Kuban

TEXT: Sergey Nikolaev / jw