ECLW starts without clear-cut favoritePhoto: Fenerbahce
Fenerbahce defends the title, but this time TTC Berlin Eastside is the top seed. Round 1 will be held from August 21st to 24th
Everything indicates that the 2015/16 European Champions League Women will be one of the most exciting seasons ever in this competition. Twelve clubs divided in four groups (instead eight in two) will fight for the prestigious European trophy, starting from this Friday when double ECLW champion TTC Berlin Eastside hosts TT Saint Quentin (August 21st, 19.30 CET), while actual ETTU Cup winner KTS Spar Zamek Tarnobrzeg plays at home against CP Lyssois Lille Metropole (August 21st, 17.00 CET). Other two Round 1 matches will be held in Austria and Turkey: SVNO STROCK – UCAM Cartagena (August 24th, 19.00 CET), Fenerbahce – Postas Sport Egyesulet (August 23rd, 17.30 CET).
Reigning ECLW champion, Fenerbahce defends the title without strong Chinese players, but manager Gurhan YALDIZ kept his optimism:
“The 2015/16 season will be more strong and difficult. I think that 12 teams will be better for Champions League. This season first match is very important for us because we are the winner of the last Cup. As you know, we won all our matches in the last season, making 10 wins in 10 games. We will start so early this season and I hope that we start with the good result”.
YALDIZ stressed that first aim of Istanbul`s side is to play in quarter final:
“After that we will see what we can do. Our young and strong team need to be good concentrated in the first match at home, and I hope we`ll win”
Newcomer from France has its debut in the home of top ranked club. Saint Quentin`s coach Franck DELCAMBRE said:
"Our group A is very strong with Berlin Eastside, seeded N°1 and firm favourite for the title. As far as TT Saint-Quentin is concerned, we are very pleased to discover such a prestigious competition and our aim is to stay 'alive' as long as we can... We lack experience but we are looking forward to playing the best players in Europe."
Saint Quentin`s manager Jean-Louis POLARD explains how hard will be to overleap the group stage:
"Two seasons ago we took part in the ETTU Cup with our Singaporian player, YU Mengyu and reached the semi-finals but we lost against Tarnobrzeg. This season is a new step for us, being in the ECLW Top 12 and we are proud of it. Nevertheless we realize that it will be very difficult indeed. We know that our first opponents from Berlin Eastside deserve their N°1 ranking and we wish them good luck for the whole ECLW season. Bursa B.B. SK's leader, HU Melek is one of the best competitors too and we will have to focus on her two colleagues to compete for the second place in the group."
ECLW Round 1 (August 21-24th)
TTC Berlin Eastside – TT Saint Quentin (August 21st, 19.30 CET)
SVNO STROCK – UCAM Cartagena (August 24th, 19.00 CET)
Fenerbahce – Postas Sport Egyesulet (August 23rd, 17.30 CET)
KTS Spar Zamek Tarnobrzeg – CP Lyssois Lille Metropole (August 21st, 17.00 CET)