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30.01.2019, 12:00
Dreamers Cuenca making the most of first European adventure
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MEN'S EHF CUP GROUP PHASE COUNTDOWN #8: Spanish debutants Liberbank Cuenca are delighted to be in Europe, but have bigger plans than simply making up the numbers
 

Dreamers Cuenca making the most of first European adventure

2018 was the best year in the history of Spanish club Liberbank Cuenca. After finishing fifth in the ASOBAL League and qualifying for Europe for very first time, the dream did not end there as they progressed from Round 3 of the Men’s EHF Cup and prolonged their adventure into 2019.

European participation is a big achievement for the club and the city. They have record membership numbers at the club, the fans are fully behind the team and interest from children wanting to play has risen.

Team and fans together the recipe for historic achievement

Cuenca’s goals for this season is to be competitive in Europe and stay competitive in the top half of the Spanish league and return to Europe next season.

The key to getting this far was keep the core of the squad together for the past three seasons and have the backing of fans who always support their team.

Coach Lidio Jimenez leads the team for the fifth season and he speaks proudly about the effort of players to become a competitive team and belief in the club’s project.

“Playing in Europe gave us more reach, which makes it easier to sign new players and keep the young talented players we have,” explains Jimenez.

Enjoy and be competitive

“It is our first time, we want to enjoy playing in Europe, without forgetting we are in a competition. We do not stop dreaming and we will not discard anything, we want to keep dreaming and go as far as we can,” says coach Jimenez, who recognises his side had a bit of luck with the draw.

Firstly, in Round 3, where his side beat Belgian club Achilles Bocholt 71:54 on aggregate, and in the group phase they will face FC Porto, TTH Holsterbo and HC Dobrogea.

“Comparing with other teams, we have a more even group and more reason to dream, because we do not have German or French teams in our group.

“It is not going to be easy as we are the most modest club by far and our opponents have more experience, but we have ambition.”

The first goal is win all three home matches, where they will have the unconditional support of a full arena, while away matches will be about fighting for everything.

Holsterbo and Porto are the two favourite teams to win Group C, according to Jimenenz, while he believes THW Kiel and the rest of the German contingent are in the best position to win the competition.

Liberbank Cuenca

Qualification for the Men’s EHF Cup Group Phase: Round 3: 71:54 aggregate win against Achilles Bocholt (BEL)

Newcomers: Santiago Baronetto (Handball Dorrego), Lucas Dario Moscariello (BM Villa de Aranda), Angel Montoro (BM Logroño La Rioja), Kristian Eskericic (Willstatt/Schutterwald), Natan Antonio Suárez Díaz (SD Teucro)

Left the club: Rafael Lopez (retired), Marc Canyigueral (retired), Vuk Perovic (RK Pelister), Javier Fernandez (SRC Peña deportiva)

Coach: Lidio Jimenez Carrascosa – since 2014

Team captain: David Mendoza

Opponents in the group phase: HC Dubrogea Sud Constanta, TTH Holstebro, FC Porto Sofarma in Group C

EHF European Cup records:
First season in European competition

Spanish league: -

Spanish cup: -


TEXT: Laia Coll / cor
 
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