EHF Cup title-holders Siófok face “colourful group”
The 16 clubs left in the Women’s EHF Cup 2019/20 can start preparing for the group phase, starting in the first weekend of January. All teams learned their opponents during the group phase draw (video) at the EHF Office in Vienna on Thursday.
Defending the title they won last season, Siófok KC Hungary will meet HC Podravka Vegeta, who have been relegated from the DELO WOMEN’S EHF Champions League after the group matches, Magura Cisnadie and Kobenhavn Handball in group B.
Siófok team manager Miklós Bitter called Podravka, a former Champions League winner, “one of the best teams in the competition.”
"You cannot say which teams are the strongest"
“It is a really colourful group, and quite a good group for Siófok,” Bitter added. “In this stage of the competition you cannot say which teams are the strongest. In my opinion Lada are really strong and Odense are also on the same level.”
Siófok avoided both teams which Bitter labelled as title candidates.
Handball Club Lada were drawn in group D, where they meet SG BBM Bietigheim, Herning-Ikast Handbold and Storhamar Handball Elite.
“The group is fine,” said Storhamar assistant coach Espen Olaussen, adding there are many outstanding contenders among the 16 teams. “This year is the best ever tournament. Lada are a strong team and it will be a long trip.”
Last season’s Champions League quarter-finalists Odense HC will face MKS Perla Lublin, who played the group matches in Europe's top flight over the last two months, as well as ÉRD and CSM Corona Brasov in group C.
A déjà-vu in group A
In group A, DHK Banik Most will have a déjà-vu with Kastamonu Belediyesi GSK as both teams have already met in a European Cup game this season: Most defeated the Turkish side 35:33 in the final of the qualification tournament for the Champions League.
“When I look at our group it is a bit funny that we play against Kastamonu again,” Most assistant coach Radek Madera said. “But it’s a nice group for us.”
The Czech side will also meet German club Thüringer HC and DVSC Schaeffler from Hungary in the EHF Cup group phase, which will already throw off in the very first weekend of 2020. The exact playing dates and times will be announced in due time.Author: EHF / ew