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28.01.2019, 18:00
Balatonfüred long for European experience
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MEN’S EHF CUP COUNTDOWN #6: Playing in their sixth EHF Cup season, Balatonfüred are mainly working with young players who have been raised at the club’s own academy
 

Balatonfüred long for European experience

Since Balatonfüredi KSE joined the Hungarian first league in 2007, they never finished worse than 10th. And in the last five seasons, the team has been ever present in the top six.

The consistency is based on their successful academy system. Teaching and training underage players, then let them further evolve at bigger teams.

It’s the strategy of the club’s management, which barely buys any player. From many Hungarian talents, Tamás Iváncsik and Bence Bánhídi are just two examples of players who started at the Lake Balaton’s shore.

Learning to be better

The top-two spots in the Hungarian top flight are usually occupied by the two powerhouses, Szeged and Veszprém. But Balatonfüredi KSE is usually close to the fire.

The expectations of the club’s management for the 2018/19 season have been strict but doable: finishing in the top four of the domestic league, and fighting until the last breath in the Men’s EHF Cup in order to learn and get as much experience as possible.

This is the way of building the team believes in. And it provides a perfect opportunity for young players to evolve and get a familiar with international handball.

“We are in the toughest group as last year’s two finalists and Logrono, with also a great squad, are our opponents,” said István Csoknyai, head coach of Balatonfüred and co-head coach of the men’s national team.

“Our goal is to play in our style and collect more and more points after each round. Although, we know that this is going to be hard,” he added.

Home alone 

Balatonfüred has a legion of great fans, but they will have to travel to attend the EHF Cup home games of their favourites. Balatonfüred will have to play in the Veszprém Aréna, 20 kilometers away, as their own arena at the lake does not match the criteria for hosting European Cup games.

“It is great to be in the group phase and face excellent line-ups. We hope that playing in Veszprém will help us, as many of our supporters will join and cheer as they always do,” Csoknyai said.

As for the main title contenders, he believed “there is a huge chance that the German clubs can continue their success in this tournament.”

“THW Kiel, TSV Hannover-Burgdorf and Füchse Berlin, one of them can bring the trophy home,” he added.

Balatonfüredi KSE (HUN)

Qualification for the Men’s EHF Cup Group Phase 2018/19: Round 3: 66:62 aggregate win against HCB Karvina (CZE)

Newcomers: Da Silva Ferreira Uellington (Csurgói KK), Balázs Szöllősi (Grundfos Tatabánya KC), Bence Zdolik (returning after injury)

Left the club: Kasparek Stanislav (MOL-Pick Szeged), Dávid Debreczeni (FTC), Milán Varsandán (HE-DO B.Braun Gyöngyös)

Coach: István Csoknyai (since 2014)

Team captain: Nándor Fazekas

Opponents in the group matches: Füchse Berlin, BM Logrono La Rioja, Saint-Raphael Var Handball

EHF Cup records:
Group Phase (1): 2014/15
Qualification Round 3 (1): 2017/18
Round 3: 2011/12

Other European Cup records:

Challenge Cup:
Last 16 (1): 2010/11

Hungarian league: -

Hungarian cup: -


TEXT: Béla Müller / ew
 
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