The Main Round of the 2012/2013 Women Champions League is about to start this weekend, so timeoutmag.com collected the latest news regarding to the eight Main Round participants team.
Group II: Zvezda Zvenigorod, Oltchim Rm.Valcea, KrimLjubljana, FTC Rail-Cargo Hungaria
Zvezda Zvenigorod has qualified to the Main Round after few years of absence from CL, and Zdravo Zovko’s team is fully motivated, preparing with high ambitions to reach the next stage of the competition.
With Sidorova, Lacrabére, Marenikova, Nikolic,Viakhirjeva or Szabó, Russians has a strong squad, able to stop every team in their group.
Polina Kuznetsova, best left winger of the EURO 2012 is pregnant, so the 25 years old player isout from the race in this season.
In the Russian League Zvezda Zvenigorod is in the top of the rank, ahead Rostov Don and Dinamo Volgograd.
Oltchim Rm. Valcea is one of those team qualified with maximum points from the group stage (beside Győri Audit ETO KC) and is obviously one of the biggest favorites to reach the semifinals.
After having serious economical issuses solved, Romanians are preparing with the same seriousity. The squad is almost the same, only Russian pivot, Ekaterina Vetkova left the club, due to lack of match practice. Vetkova is on loan to Russian club Astrakhanochka,to the end of the season.
The team has to European Champions : Marija Jovanovic and Katarina Bulatovic and an injured player, as French keeper Amandine Leynaud is on recovery after a knee-injury.
Oltchim is on the top of the RomanianLeague, winning all matches, but coach Jakob Vestergaard knows that his team needs more than that to be able to show their best shape when Main Round starts:
“We had our good moments, but there were also some big mistakes from our players. We need to avoid injuries before the start of the Main Round, because many of our players have small injuries right now. But we promise to be at our best against FTC on 3 February.” – said Vestergaard.
Krim Ljubljana has struggled to get a Main Round berth, but before starting the Main Round it looks much more optimistic regarding the squad and injured players.
German rigth back, Susan Müller is back to fitness trainings after a knee injury, suffered in December before the ECh, and are AndreaPenezic and Jelena Grubisic back as well.
Maja Zrnec is still injured, but Brasilian pivot, Daniela Piedade has got green light from the medical team after her stroke, she is back in Ljubljana and started trainings. If she will be able to help her team on the court is still questionable.
FTC Rail-Cargo Hungaria is the second Hungarian team qualified to the Main Round, having a strong squad and lot of international experience, beeing the title-holder in CWC in the last two years.
Six players of FTC has been participated at the EURO 2012 is Serbia, five Hungarians (Tomori, Szamoránsky, Szucsánszki, Vérten,Kovacsicz and a Spanish (Pena). Coach Gábor Elekt took an enormous risk giving one week holiday to his players, to get enough time for restitution, before a new hard season begins.
Lineplayer Anita Cifra, had suffered a shoulder injury in one of the last CL-group matches, she missed the ECh, but it seems that she is recovered from injury and helps her team.
Zsuzsanna Tomori has been elected “Best player of the 2012” by handball-planet.com fans, although she still tries to get back in that good shape which made her also “The best Hungarian player of the year 2012”.
FTC is on a second place in the Hungarian League, after Győri Audi ETO, getting victories in all their matches on the beginning of this year so far.