Champions League

CSM Bucuresti and Neagu are ready for the next title

photo: EHF
CSM Bucuresti and Neagu are ready for the next title
Ibolya Szekeres

The Romanian champion started this season with several new players in the squad (Neagu, Kurtovic, Frafjord, Hagman, Jakobsen) and a new head coach, the Danish Helle Thomsen.

The team had a season with a very unstable performance, losing several matches along the way, for example against NFH in Denmark, but winning their group easily anyway in front of opponents like Krim and Gdynia. In the Main Round, they had to face Győri Audi ETO KC and Rostov Don, two teams which came from a strong group. Led by Neagu CSM managed to defeat Győr on homecourt, but lost in Rostov and Győr; in addition, they gave a point away after a draw in Bucharest against Rostov. These results were enough to finish on the third place of the Main Round group and meeting Metz in the quarterfinals. After the Main Round, the Danish head coach, Helle Thomsen has been released from her position, because the team was playing poorly in the important matches, both in CL and in the domestic league. To replace her the management of the club has signed (again) the Swedish Per Johansson who already led the team last year in the Women’s EHF FINAL4, also to begin from the quarterfinals.

In the quarterfinals CSM Bucuresti managed a victory with a huge goal-difference in Bucharest against Metz, but lost in France, having not enough motivation to win. Romanian team has qualified for the third year in a row to the Women’s EHF FINAL4 in Budapest.

Interesting facts:

  • Their biggest signing was Cristina Neagu, one of the best players of the world has finally moved home and she wants to win the trophy with a Romanian club
  • This season could not pass either without changing the head coach at least once
  • Per Johansson will lead the team in the Women’s EHF FINAL4for the second time in a row without doing the main job from the beginning of the season
  • Amanda Kurtovic is the first Norwegian player in the club and  she shines as a right back
  • Eight nationalities are represented in the squad of CSM Bucuresti
  • Several players have participated with their earlier teams in the Women’s EHF FINAL4: Cristina Neagu with Buducnost (winner in 2015, runner-up in 2014; 2016, 2017), Amanda Kurtovic (Larvik, 2015), Marit Malm Frafjord (Larvik HK, 2015), Majda Mehmedovic (Buducnost, 2015 winner, 2014-runner-up)
  • Cristina Neagu always lost the semifinal match in the Women’s EHF FINAL4 when she played against Győri Audi ETO KC
  • Seven players and the head coach Per Johansson are waiting for their first CL-title victory: Marit Malm Frafjord, Gnonsiane Niombla, Camille Ayglon-Saurina, Sabine Jakobsen, Natalie Hagman, Aneta Udristoiu, Paula Ungureanu

 

Key players: Cristina Neagu, Paula Ungureanu, Isabelle Gullden, Amanda Kurtovic, Camille Ayglon Saurina

CSM Bucuresti will play against Győri Audi ETO KC in the first semifinal on Saturday, 15.15.

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Champions League
Ibolya Szekeres

Hungarian living in Norway with a great passion for handball, primarly women handball. Travels all over the world to follow handball matches and tournaments and to write good articles on this website.

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