Two-time champions Debrecen ready to make their mark againArticle
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WOMEN’S EHF CUP COUNTDOWN #6: DVSC Schaeffler (HUN): It has been 24 years since the Hungarian club won their last EHF Cup title, but the young Debrecen-based team are mixing it with the big teams again
»2019-20 Women's News

Two-time champions Debrecen ready to make their mark again

After missing out two years ago, DVSC Schaeffler have finally made their way to the group phase of the Women’s EHF Cup, a huge step for a squad filled mostly with young players.

In Hungary’s second-biggest city, building-up and developing youngsters is a well-known habit with many successful stories. With this efficient method, DVSC have advanced to the long-awaited group phase.

Three questions before the Women’s EHF Cup group phase:

- Are the youngsters ready to prove themselves at this level?

The average age in Debrecen is a little over 22. This means that many of their key players both in the starting line-up and on the bench are in their early twenties. Some of them are junior world champions and have already spent years in the top tournaments of Hungary facing clubs such as Győri Audi ETO KC, FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria and other tough sides. Still, international competition may be difficult for these future stars.

- What are the expectations?

“Our main goal is to stabilise the club’s position each year and be among the best 16 in the EHF Cup. As a two-time winners and one-time runners-up, we would like to be back among Europe’s elite.” Summarised club CEO Zsolt Ábrók.

- What could EHF Cup mean for the club?

Besides experience for the young team, this competition means much more to the club.

“Women’s handball is a very popular sport in Debrecen, with a famous history and tradition.

“On one hand it’s an honour to play in EHF Cup and show our skills in Europe, and on the other hand, it puts us in focus in the region and in the country, which gives us the opportunity to present our city and our sponsors to Europe. This helps us to stabilise our financial possibilities,” added Ábrók.

Under the spotlight: Anna Kovács

Kovács won the EHF Cup back in 2016 with Dunaújváros. Her experience and scoring skills mean a lot to this young unit. She is not only the best scorer in the team but among the top scorers in the Hungarian league with 61 goals after 10 rounds. The right back is always able the create situations where she can finish the job.


“I think this is one of the most evenly-balanced groups. Each team can win against the other. There are no big differences between the lines, so I guess all matches will be within one and three goals,” says Kovács.

Although the expectation from the management is to advance from group A, it will not be an easy task as DHK Banik Most, Kastamonu Belediyesi GSK and Thüringer HC await the Hungarian side.

What the numbers say

Eight players were born after 2000. Many of them are already playing a big role in Debrecen’s success.

DVSC Schaeffler (HUN)

Qualified for Women’s EHF Cup group phase: 
69:58 vs TSV Bayer 04 - Werkselfen (R2)
73:52 vs ZORK Jagodina (R3)

Newcomers: Karsten Elke (BM Bera Bera), Szabina Karnik (MTK Budapest), Petra Vámos (NEKA), Mirtill Petrus (youth team), Luca Poczetnyik (youth team)

Left the club: Anna Punko (unknown), Lotte Griegel (Nantes Atlantique Handball), Madalina Zamfirescu (SCM Ramnicu Valcea)

Coach: Vilmos Köstner (since 2018)

Team captain: Éva Vantara-Kelemen

European Cup records:

Women’s EHF Cup:
Winners (2): 1994/95, 1995/96
Finalists (1): 1993/94

Hungarian league: 1955, 1987
Hungarian cup: 1985, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991

TEXT: Bela Müller / cor