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31.01.2019, 19:40
Tatabánya ready to take the next step
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MEN’S EHF CUP COUNTDOWN #9: Grundfos Tatabánya KC are now known as Hungary’s third team, but this competition gives them an opportunity to step out of the shadows in Europe
 

Tatabánya ready to take the next step

Tatabánya’s blue tigers enjoyed their prime in the 70’s and 80’s, when they stood top of Hungarian handball on a number of occasions.

A setback followed the glorious period, but with the help of the many members from the successful era, the club has made strides in the right direction in recent years.

Grundfos Tatabánya KC have finished the domestic league with a bronze medal for the past four years, leaving them as four times in a row, results which has seen them emerge as the best hope to challenge perennial favourites Szeged and Veszprém.

Not surprisingly, the club is yet again in third position in the Hungarian league with the best defensive record in the whole competition, conceding and average of only 23 goals per game. Led by Vladan Matic, who won the championships in 2008 with Szeged, playing defence will be always the coach’s main focus.

Repeating for greatness

For the management of Tatabánya to reach the bronze medal for the fifth time in a row is a must, while Veszprém are their next cup opponents.

However, hopes for success remain in the EHF Cup and progressing from the group phase is their first goal.

“I think we can reach the quarter-finals. The squad of Hannover is the strongest in our group, but I believe in my players and we have a chance to win against RK Nexe and Rabotnik,” said Vladan Matic.

Not rookies anymore

“We have been in the same situation two years ago. In the group phase, we need to play at the highest level in more competitions and this could be harmful to our line-up.

“It is a great success for us that we reached this stage and this can be our time. We have to show our supporters, that the team is ready for the next step internationally,” adds Matic.

According to the Tatabánya coach, it is difficult to look beyond the German sides winning the competition, with THW Kiel and Füchse Berlin his favourites to bring home the trophy.

Grundfos Tatabánya KC

Qualification for the 2018/19 EHF Cup Group Phase:
Round 3: 58:45 aggregate win against OCI-LIONS (NED)

Newcomers: László Bartucz (Csurgói KK), Zsolt Schäffer (NEKA), Mátyás Győri (Telekom Veszprém HC), Bence Nagy (CYEB Budakalász), Uros Borzas (Telekom Veszprém HC on loan)

Left the club: Gergely Harsányi (retired), Szabolcs Szöllősi (Dabas KK). Iancu Ionut (CSM Bucuresti), Balázs Szöllősi (Balatonfüredi KSE)

Coach: Vladan Matic (since 2014)

Team captain: János Dénes

Opponents in the group matches: TSV Hannover-Burgdorf, HC Eurofarm Rabotnik, RK Nexe in Group B

EHF Cup records:
Quarter-finals (1): 2016/17
Last 16 (1): 2010/11
Round 3 (6): 2004/05, 2005/06, 2011/12, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2017/18
Round 2 (2): 2012/13, 2013/14

Hungarian league: four-time winners (1974, 1978, 1979, 1984)

Hungarian cup: two-time winners (1969, 1978)


TEXT: Béla Müller / cor
 
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