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Champions League Men - 8 Dec 2014

STROCK loves the role of challenger


After first four rounds of 2014/15 WECL, it seemed like SVNO STROCK needs to wait next season to fight for the semifinal, but actual Austrian champion managed to survive after 0-4 start in Group A. They won last two matches in group stage, against Szeksza

After first four rounds of 2014/15 WECL, it seemed like SVNO STROCK needs to wait next season to fight for the semifinal, but actual Austrian champion managed to survive after 0-4 start in Group A. They won last two matches in group stage, against Szekszard (3:0) and Zamek (3:2) to set up all-Austrian semifinal clash against Linz AG Froschberg. STROCK`s president Martin SOROS speaks about this accomplishment…

“After four years SVNÖ STRÖCK we are happy and proud that we can present a long list of honors (WECL-Final, WECL-Semifinal, National champion in 3 of 4 seasons…). Nevertheless to reach the semifinal in season 2014/15 is from my point of view the biggest sensation in the history of our club. We started and finish the season without number 1 (Daniela DODEAN/pregnancy). We entered with three promising but still very young and not so experienced players (MADARASZ/21, RAKOVAC/18, KHETKUEN/17). We started into the WECL-season with 4 losses but we never gave up”.

SOROS emphasizes that the team spirit is the secret of STROCK`s success: The young players, the experienced players, who improved also a lot in the last weeks (Matilda EKHOLM, Tetyana BILENKO), the coaches (Aya UMEMURA, Tamara BOROS), our Physio-Staff with Johannes SCHOBER and Adi BUZU – all are working close together always with the goal in their mind to reach the unreachable – semifinal. Really, we were prepared to immolate this season and to accept one season of having not so much success to develop a winners-team for the future, but our players improved day by day, match by match and so we are back in the Top of Europe faster than expected.”

President of Austrian champion and 2012 WECL runner-up stressed also that his club prepares and plays in excellent conditions:Also the cooperation with the Werner SCHLAGER Academy works wonderful. Due to the perfect teamwork in our women’s and girls-project and also caused by the advertising impact of our SVNÖ-STRÖCK-Ladies who are living and practicing day by day in our Academy our female-group is growing and growing. Sometimes female-players from 15 nations are practicing in our Academy in one session. This is real international and goes hand in hand with the improvement of all the girls in our periphery.”

Double WECL winner and 14 times national champion of Austria Linz AG Froschberg reached the top spot of Group B. They were better than STROCK playing 2012/13 WECL semis (3:0, 3:2), but SOROS believes that his side is able to do something more this time: When you enter the semifinal you don’t play to lose. We know that Linz is a very good team, we are respecting them a lot and know that LI Xiaodan is an outstanding player, but all the other Linz`s players are on a similar level of our team. Now we want more. Why not – six matches in WECL of this season we started as outsider – versus Linz it will be a similar situation and we are ready to challenge them. We know that Linz is always little bit shaking when they have to play versus SVNÖ STRÖCK. And we can attack, we are the challenger – we love this role.”

Speaking about forthcoming season, SOROS added: For next season (2015/16) we also made a very early decision – all our players will stay in the club. We definitely are on the right way. Ready to conquer Europe – this year, next year, or in near future. The day will come where we lift the WECL-Trophy…”

Alex MILETIC, EWT

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