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EHF European Cup

Top scorer Kavcic wants to guide Velenje to final

EHF / Danijela Lemaić

RK Gorenje Velenje have a rich handball history, great stories and accomplishments. The Slovenian side played seven seasons in the EHF Champions League, most recently in 2017/18.

The club has since gone through some changes, and after two seasons in the former EHF Cup, Velenje are now starring in the third-tier EHF European Cup.

Their international journey has taken them to the semi-final, where they are facing AEK Athens for a place in the final, with the return leg in Slovenia on Saturday at 14:00 CEST (live on EHFTV).

Velenje are relying on young, talented players, who have been fighting hard throughout the season.

One of them is Aleks Kavcic. The 24-year-old centre back, a former youth international, arrived at Velenje in 2018 from Skofja Loka.

Kavcic soon became one of the main goal scorers, netting 30 and 33 times respectively in Velenje’s two EHF Cup seasons.

This season he is Velenje's leading scorer in the EHF European Cup, with 54 goals ahead of the decisive semi-final leg against AEK.

“We can’t wait for that match but I don’t feel any pressure at all. I just want to play good and achieve great things with club,” Kavcic said.

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Velenje scored eight wins in eight matches but their streak ended in the first-leg clash with AEK. In Greece they suffered a 31:29 defeat.

Velenje were trailing by four (31:27) before netting twice in the closing minutes, and a two-goal deficit seems not impossible for Velenje to turn into their favour on Saturday.

“The first match against AEK was tough. I believe we will play much better in the second match, but it’s not going to be easy,” said Kavcic, who scored five times in Athens last week.

“They had a little advantage with fans on the stands and they will hold on to their two-goal lead strongly. Our home court is our advantage now, we have to defend it.”

Asked what has given Velenje the edge over their opponents this season, Kavcic replied that the small but fast squad takes many by surprise.

“I believe that will be our weapon on Saturday, too. Of course, we want to reach the final,” the centre back said.

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Velenje have impressed not only on the international stage this season, but also in the Slovenian league, where they are ranked second and handed leaders RK Celje Pivovarna Laško their first domestic defeat in two years.

Velenje started the season without clear goals, and despite their successes so far, Kavcic was not looking back but remained focused on the tasks that are coming up.

“I don’t want to talk about what we did this season. There are still plenty of matches ahead of us over the next one-and-a-half month and it is not going to be easy at all,” Kavcic said.

“We are going from match to match, we train hard and give our best on the court. We will see where it will bring us at the end. As a player, you always want to win, of course, and that is what I am hoping for.”

I don’t want to talk about what we did this season. There are still plenty of matches ahead of us over the next one-and-a-half month and it is not going to be easy at all. We are going from match to match, we train hard and give our best on the court.
Aleks Kavcic
RK Gorenje Velenje centre back

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