Banik Most proud part of prestigious competitionArticle
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DELO WOMEN’S EHF Champions League Countdown #8: DHK Banik Most (CZE). After winning the qualification tournament they hosted in September, the Czech champions are set for their debut in Europe’s top flight
»2019-20 Women's News

Banik Most proud part of prestigious competition

It was easily the biggest achievement in the Czech club’s history: in early September, DHK Banik Most hosted and won the qualification tournament for the DELO WOMEN’S EHF Champions League 2019/20 to enter Europe’s top-flight competition for the first time.

Now the Czech champions, nicknamed ‘Black Angels,’ are hoping to become the surprise pack of the group matches, though they will face experienced opposition in group D.

Three questions before the new season:

- What is the impact of new coach Jiri Tancos on the team?

Qualifying for the Champions League was also the biggest success in the career of their new head coach, Jiri Tancos. The experienced coach, who returned to Most after 28 years, having worked most of the time as a coach in Germany, joined the club alongside assistant coach Ondrej Vaclavek in the summer of 2019. It is only the second women’s team in Tancos’ career, but it had not prevented him from leading Most past Rocasa Gran Canaria (28:21) in the semi-final and Kastamonu Beledeyesi GSK (35:33) in the final.

- What have Most achieved before in Europe?

Most are proudly looking forward to their European adventure in the sport's most prestigious club competition. They won the Challenge Cup in the past (2013) but have had only moderate success in the EHF Cup. Last season, they failed to make the group phase as they went out in the third round of qualification. And now they are suddenly here: on Europe’s top level in women’s club handball.

- Can the ‘Black Angels’ become the dark horse of group D?

Qualifiers Most have been added to group D, where they will face experienced sides RK Krim Mercator and IK Sävehof, but also, and above all, defending champions Györi Audi ETO KC. “For most of the players it is a dream come true meeting Györ and enjoying the atmosphere in their arena,” Most team captain Lucia Mikulcik says. “Krim and Sävehof are both great teams and we feel that those will be our opponents we will fight with to advance from the group.”

Under the spotlight: Dominika Zachová

The 23-year-old right wing is one of the most experienced players in the squad. Zachová was born and grew in Plzen, where she started playing handball at the age of seven. She joined Most in 2014 and has been an important force for the club ever since. The Czech international has already played in all European Cups - except for the Champions League. Apart from performing with Most, she will also have to deliver off the court: in January she has the exams of her university education in public administration.


While advancing to the main round is the obvious target of all 16 teams starting in the group matches, Most are pretty relaxed about their debut Champions League season. “We are not considered as favourites, which does take pressure off our shoulders,” says team captain Mikulcik. While Most will likely face an uphill task against their opponents, each with many Champions League seasons under their belt, they will try to stage a surprise here and there. An advantage is that their squad remained completely intact from last season.

What the numbers say

One. That’s the total number of squad changes for Most before going into their first ever DELO WOMEN’S EHF Champions League season. While no one left the club, the squad got reinforcement from talented, 17-year-old right back Marie Poláková, a Czech youth international.

Fun fact

New competition? New arena! Most will be proudly playing in the Sportovni Hala this season and the fans will love it.

DHK Banik Most (CZE)

Qualification for the DELO WOMEN’S EHF Champions League 2019/20 season: Czech champions, won four-team qualification tournament

Left the club: -

Newcomers: Marie Poláková, Eva Bezpalcova (Salud Tenerife)

Coach: Jiri Tancos (since July 2019)

Team captain: Lucia Mikulcik

Women’s EHF Champions League records:

Participations (including 2019/20 season): 1


EHF Cup:
Group Phase: 2017/18
Last 16: 2013/14

Challenge Cup:
Winners: 2012/13
Quarter-finals: 2011/12

Czech league:
7 titles (2013-2019)

Czech-Slovakian league WHIL:
2 titles (2013, 2018)

Czech cup:
5 titles

TEXT: Tomas Cuncik, Eric Willemsen / ehf