Györ ready for title defence
As the DELO EHF FINAL4 2020 was cancelled, Györi Audi ETO KC are still the DELO EHF Champions League title holders after having won the previous three editions.
The reigning champions enter the 2020/21 season on a historic 37-game unbeaten run in the competition.
- remained unbeaten in group matches and main round of CL 2019/20 season, winning 11 of their 12 matches and drawing with Brest
- defender Eduarda Amorim, centre back Stine Oftedal and goalkeeper Amandine Leynaud were voted in CL 2019/20 All-star Team
- led Hungarian league after 20 rounds, well ahead of Siófok and FTC, but were not awarded championship when season was cancelled in March
- goalkeepers Eva Kiss and Kari Aalvik Grimsbø and four-time CL winner Katarina Bulatovic have retired, while right wing Jana Knedlikova joins Vipers
- head coach Gabor Danyi continues his work with FTC counterpart Gabor Elek as joint head-coaches of the Hungarian women’s national team
Most important question: Are Györ ready to defend their DELO EHF Champions League title?
The Hungarian champions were in full flow when the 2019/20 season was suspended, winning five consecutive matches in the main round, including two sensational away comebacks against Buducnost and Brest Bretagne.
In preparation for the new season, Györ suffered a 24:16 defeat in a pre-season match against domestic rivals FTC. But the cancellation of the previous season has only served to increase Györ’s motivation ahead of their DELO EHF Champions League title defence.
“This fact made our hunger just even bigger for great success. We would like to achieve the highest possible result,” said club captain Anita Görbicz.
The biggest change to Györ’s squad ahead of the new season is between the posts, with Laura Glauser and Silje Solberg replacing Eva Kiss and Kari Aalvik Grimsbø. A goalkeeping trio of Leynaud, Glauser and Solberg is one that any other team would envy.
The new playing system will require teams to hit the ground running, something Görbicz thinks will be interesting for all teams involved in the Champions League.
“But the new playing system will be interesting, we will have more harder matches, more excitement. The opponents also really want to catch us, so I don’t believe that this season will be easy for any team,” she said.
Under the spotlight: Stine Bredal Oftedal
The two-time world and three-time European champion centre back was named IHF World Player of the Year after last season’s great performance. Györ are currently in transition, but Oftedal remains one of the squad’s most important pillars.
Did you know?
Anita Görbicz was named IHF World Player of the Year in 2005. After 17 seasons in Europe’s top-flight, the Hungarian centre back has scored 959 goals in 168 games played.
What numbers say
Since the EHF FINAL4 was established in the 2013/14 season, Györi Audi ETO KC have triumphed four out of six times. They dominate the domestic championship, with 12 titles in the last 13 seasons, their rivals are constantly waiting for a severe setback. However, the time has not come yet.
Newcomers and left the club
Newcomers: Laura Glauser (Metz), Viktória Lukács (FTC), Silje Solberg (Siófok)
Left the club: Kari Aalvik Grimsbö (retired), Éva Kiss (retired), Bernadett Bódi (Budaörs), Katarina Bulatovic (retired), Jana Knedlikova (Vipers Kristiansand)
EHF Champions League:
Participations (including 2020/21 season): 18
Winners (5): 2012/13, 2013/14, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19
Runners-up (3): 2008/09, 2011/12, 2015/16
Semi-finals (4): 2006/07, 2007/08, 2009/10, 2010/11
Quarter-finals (3): 2014/15, 2019/20, 2019/20
Group Matches (2): 2000/01, 2005/06
Qualification (1): 2004/05
Cup Winners’ Cup: Runners-up 2005/06, Semi-final 2002/03
EHF Cup: Runners-up 1998/99, 2001/02, 2003/04, 2004/05
Hungarian league: 15 titles (1957, 1959, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
Hungarian cup: 14 titles