Podravka happy to Last European Effort

After a three-year absence, HC Podravka Vegeta played at the Women’s EHF Champions League Group Matches this season, however, the side finished bottom of their group and will now continue their European effort in Form D of this Women’s EHF Cup.

In the summertime, the club earned a number of new players together with a new trainer Zlatko Saracevic, hoping to do well in the top flight. After a good focus on three points in as many matches, Podravka lost their final few matches and missed the chance to succeed to the most important round. Finishing par with Thüringer H-C on three points, they wound up supporting the German team as a result of an poor head-to-head album.

Focusing on another challenge

Despite the obvious disappointment, the Saracevic currently focuses on the next challenge:”The Women’s EHF Cup can also be one of the most respectable elite club competitions in Europe. After the group matches of the Champions League, then we’re glad to have an opportunity to last the entire year in European competition. We have a chance to receive more experience for all of us, especially for younger players.”

The 24-time Croatian champions H-C Podravka Vegeta happen to be attracted into a powerful group with protecting EHF Cup winners SCM Craiova together with former Women’s EHF Champions League participants Nykøbing Falster Håndbold – NFH and Super Amara Bera Bera.

“Our opponents are strong and respectable teams, and every game will probably be hard. We will try to finish among the best two teams in the group, also if we perform it, then we’ll go step by step,” said Saracevic.

Meeting Craiova again

Notably, Podravka have already met SCM Craiova this season in the Women’s EHF Champions League Qualification Tournament. The side narrowly won (22:21) and progressed to the group matches, however they remain wary of the Romanian team.

“SCM Craiova and Siófok KC are the strongest teams at the EHF Cup,” Saracevic said when asked in regards to the favorites to get the competition.

Qualification for its EHF Cup 2018/19 Group Period: 4th set in Group C of this Women’s EHF Champions League.
Newcomers: Maria Holesova (IUVENTA Michalovce), Karyna Yezhykava (DVSC-TVP Debrecen), Natalia Chigirinova (Astrakhanochka), Jovana Risovic (Kecskemeti KSE), Selena Milosević (Maccabi Rishonu), Dejana Milosavljevic (ZRK Koka), Nikolina Zadravec (ZRK Bjelovar)

Left the bar : Ivana Kapitanoviс (Metz Handball), Dora Krsnik (RK Krim Merkator), Ivana Dezic (SPR Pogon Baltica Szczecin), Marijeta Vidak (SCM Gloria Buzau), Elena Nemaskalo (retired), Ana Toth (RK Tresnjevka), Magdalena Horvat, Lara Pavlović (both ZRK Bjelovar)

Coach: Zlatko Saracevic

Opponents in the group stage: SCM Craiova, Nykøbing Falster Håndbold – NFH and Super Amara Bera Bera Ingroup D

Women’s EHF Champions League documents :
Winner (1): 1995/96
Runners-up (1): 1994/95
Semi Finals (1): 1997/98
Quarterfinals (1): 1996/97
Main round (1): 2008/09
Group matches (14): 1993/94, 1998/99, 1999/00, 2002/03, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2018/19
Qualifications (4): 2003/04, 2005/06, 2016/17, 2017/18

Women’s EHF Cup records:
Runners-up (two ): 2000/01, respectively 2005/06
Quarterfinals (1): 2001/02
Last 16 (1): 2003/04
Qualifications (two ): 2016/17, 2017/18

Other European Cup documents:

Champions Trophy:
Winner (1): 1995/96

Cup Winners’ Cup:
Runners-up (1): 2004/05
Semi Finals (1): 2007/08

Croatian league: 24 names (1993-2003, 2005-2013, 2015-2018)
Croatian cup: 23 names (2003-2005, 2007, 2009-2014, 2016-2017)

TEXT: Sergey Nikolaev / jw


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