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EHF Champions League

Garciandia: “A great opportunity for us to do things differently”

EHF / Tiago Nogueira

3 November does not bring great memories for Imanol Garciandia and OTP Bank - Pick Szeged. The Hungarian team lost by seven against Lomza Industria Kielce, 37:30, in round 6 of this season’s Machineseeker EHF Champions League. But this Wednesday (live on EHFTV at 18:45 CET) in the Match of the Week “is a great opportunity for us to do things differently.”

“In Kielce we played a bad game and we were never close to winning, but now we have a positive streak and much greater confidence. I am sure that we will play this game in a different way and we hope to make our fans happy,” highlights Garciandia.  

Lomza Industria Kielce are currently ranked second in Group B with 14 points; one behind leaders Barça, while Szeged are ranked sixth with six points. The standings also demonstrate the power of this Polish team.

“They have many virtues but maybe players like Alex Dujshebaev, Remili or Karalek are the most decisive. They have a great collective game and these great players stand out even more,” says the right back.

Juan Carlos Pastor is the coach of Szeged since the 2013/14 season and has already brought great joy to the Hungarian fans with important trophies. Curiously Pastor is Spanish, as is Imanol Garciandia. “It always helps my adaptation to have a Spanish coach,” says the 27-year-old player.

“In the dressing room there are many different cultures, players from many different countries, but our team plays a handball that I learned a long time ago and that makes everything easier for me.”

A step forward in Szeged

Imanol Garciandia represented Ciudad de Logroño for five seasons before gaining experience in French handball and finally joining Szeged last season.

“I feel that I continue to evolve as a player, coming to Szeged was a step forward in my career that made me improve and at the same time achieve great things,” says Garciandia.

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The Spanish right back has already scored 22 goals in this edition of the EHF Champions League, producing some great performances against powerful opponents.

“I am very happy with my time here, enjoying the Champions League every week,” says Garciandia, who will never forget the Hungarian league title they won last season. “Winning the Hungarian Championship title last season was really exciting. This season, we hope to achieve great things again.”

Striving for Cologne

OTP Bank - Pick Szeged started this competition on the wrong foot, having lost their first four Group B games and the home loss against Aalborg by 12 (41:29) marked a turning point in terms of results.

“We are ambitious and determined, we did not start as we wanted but we remain confident that we can go far. The EHF FINAL4 is something this club deserves to experience and we will strive to make it happen this season,” concludes Imanol Garciandia. 

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