22.12.2017, 13:27◄ last page     

Women’s EHF Cup countdown #4: SCM Craiova already upset the odds en route to the group phase and the Romanian side are keen to continue surprising their tough group opponents

Craiova focused on securing home points

Despite it being just their second appearance in European Cup competition, after reaching the Last 16 of the 2015/16 Cup Winners’ Cup, SCM Craiova are aiming high in the EHF Cup.

Brest, Krasnodar and Randers are the tough opponents who await in Group A,  but coach Bogdan Burcea and his team see a good chance of proceeding to the quarter-finals in their maiden voyage at this level.

“Mainly we focus on winning our home matches,” says Burcea prior to the start. With three players, SCM Craiova were represented in Romania’s World Championship squad more than champions CSM Bucuresti (two) and the Romanian runners-up can even count on the most experienced player in the squad, Valentina Adrean-Elisei, who has been in all of Romania’s medal winning teams since 2005.

Goalkeeper Yuliya Dumanska and team captain Cristina Florianu were also present in Germany, where Romania suffered from a last-second elimination by the Czechs in the Last 16.

But on club level, the Craiova players had caused one major surprise in the qualification, eliminating experienced Hungarian side Debrecen in the third round to proceed to the group phase.

“To make it this far is already the greatest performance in the history of our club,” says Burcea, for whom Brest and Krasnodar are the favourites in their group.

Alongside their Romanian stars, Craiova count on the two Serbian internationals Zeljka Nikolic and Jelena Trifunovic and Montenegrin new arrival Bobana Klikovac.

Goalkeeper Florentina Stanciu, is Craiova-born, but switched citizenship to Iceland after playing several years for Stjarnan in Reykjavik.

SCM Craiova (ROU)

Qualification for the 2017/18 EHF Cup Group Phase:  Round 3: 24:19, 24:26 against DVSC-TVP Debrecen (HUN)

Newcomers: Bobana Klikovac, Cristina Lung, Teodora Popescu, Nicoleta Tudor, Patricia Vizitiu, Andreea Pricopi, Lorena Stoican, Alexandra Colac

Left the club: Laurissa Laundre, Daniela Babeanu, Mirela Pasca, Yulia Zaremba, Alexandra Andrei, Yaroslava Burlachenko, Andra Talu

Coach: Bogdan Burcea (since July 2016)

Team captain: Cristina Florianu/Carmen Selaru

Opponents in the group matches: Brest, Randers, Krasnodar in group A

EHF Women’s Champions League records:
Other EC records:

Cup Winners’ Cup:
Last 16: 2015/16

EHF Cup:

EHF Challenge Cup:

Romanian league: -
Romanian cup: -

TEXT: Björn Pazen / cor

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