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23.01.2017, 21:10◄ last page     


Men’s EHF Cup countdown - part 1: Frisch Auf Göppingen (GER) will be the first side with the opportunity to defend their title on home court, but still have plenty to do to reach the EHF Cup Finals
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Champions Göppingen focused on reaching home finals

For the first time in the short history of the EHF Cup Finals, the defending champions will have a chance to defend their title on home turf.

After beating 2016 hosts HBC Nantes to win the current format for the first time after lifting the last two trophies of the old version in 2010 and 2011, Göppingen successfully applied for the upcoming EHF Cup Finals on 13/14 May.

Despite their tough schedule in the Bundesliga, coach Magnus Andersson is confident of going all the way for the third time after 2012 and 2016: “I have a good feeling that we as the defending champions can make it to the EHF Cup Finals on home ground.“ Andersson does not predicts only German teams as the main contenders for making it to the final tournament, but: “Of course, they always belong to the group of favourites, but this year, there are strong sides from France and Denmark in the competition.”

His club is already looking forward “to being a good host of the event for all teams and their fans. We wish all group phase participants luck on their Road to Göppingen.”

His team lost their 2007 World Champion Michael Kraus (now Stuttgart), but signed German international Jens Schöngarth from Magdeburg and Sebastian Heymann, one of the country’s biggest talents.

On their way to the group phase, the defending champions did not have to travel that far to take the win at their Swiss neighbours Winterthur. Now they face two trips to the west and one to the north in the group with Granollers, FC Porto and Midtjylland waiting in Group B.

“It is a tough, but great group,” says Swedish-born coach Andersson, adding: “I expect highly interesting matches and a close and thrilling race for the top positions until the final round.”

Frisch Auf Göppingen (GER)

Qualification for the 2016/2017 EHF Cup group phase: Round 3: 33:30, 37:21 against Winterthur (SUI)

Newcomers: Jens Schöngarth (SC Magdeburg), Sebastian Heymann (TSB Horkheim)
Left the club: Peter Tatai (Nettelstedt), Michael Kraus (TVB Stuttgart), Kevynn Nyokas (Gummersbach), Thomas Kristensen (Haslum), Felix Lobedank (Stuttgart)

Coach: Magnus Andersson
Team captain: Manuel Späth

Opponents in the group matches: Granollers, FC Porto, Midtjylland in Group B

EC records:

EHF Cup:
Winners: 2010/11, 2011/12, 2015/16
Finalists; 2005/06
EHF Cup Finals: 2012/13 (fourth place)
Quarter-finalists: 2009/10

European Cup of champions: winner 1960 and 1962

German champion: 12 times - outdoor handball: 1954, 1957; indoor: 1954, 1955, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1965, 1970, 1972
German cup winner: -


TEXT: Björn Pazen / cor

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