Tatabánya target a breakthrough
Tatabanya have been among the five best Hungarian teams for over a decade and have been regular contenders in European competitions. Even though they aim high each season, the results have not come.
Coach Vladan Matic’s team hope they will take a step forward in the EHF European League Men 2021/22, with a secure base of players who showed their abilities in the previous season.
- coach Vladan Matic enters his seventh season with the club
- in the last six completed seasons, Tatabanya finished third in the Hungarian championship
- EHF Cup quarter-finalists in 2016/17 and 2018/19
- few changes in the squad compared to last season
Most important question: Can Tatabanya make a breakthrough?
The Hungarian club is a well-known name in handball world and have made the domestic bronze medal something of a habit in recent years. Tatabanya have been regular contenders in the second-tier European competition but have yet to see a major breakthrough.
The ‘Tigers’ had 12 changes in the squad over the previous summer but for this season they decided to stick with their lineup and brought only three newcomers. Will the one year of experience and cohesion bring the wanted success? Tatabanya believe it will.
“Last season our team did not perform as good as we have imagined they will, but we still have confidence in the upcoming season. We aim to qualify further than group phase,” says club manager and former player Ferenc Ilyés.
Ilyés has important experience with the team and knows what it means for the club and the players to show top-level handball. “It is very important for our team to play on the international level for development of both players and the club. I hope that with the new sports hall Tatabanya will be a place where all European teams will be happy to play.”
Under the spotlight: Mátyás Gyori
Young Hungarian centre back Mátyás Gyori was part of the All-star Teams at both the Youth European Championship and Junior World Championship but was forced off court in 2018 with a knee injury. In 2019, he was back on the scene and picked up where he left off.
Gyori became one of the key members in the team and makes a great duo with captain Ádám Juhász. In the last European season, Gyori netted 36 times and more can be expected this time around.
How they rate themselves
Tatabanya did not reach their objective last season and their results were not on the desired level. Most players agree that in the second-tier competition, German teams are always the favourites, but the Hungarian squad believe this will be their season for better results.
“Our biggest motivation is to convince ourselves and our supporters that after a very hard and less successful season we are able to win matches in the EHF European League — that we can play on higher level again. We would like to win in our new sports hall and celebrate together with fans. It will be hard, as it’s hard to predict anything, but our goal is to qualify for play-off matches,” says team captain Juhász.
What the numbers say
6,000 — the number of seats in the new arena expected to be handed over to Tatabanya in November 2021.
Did you know?
Ferenc Ilyés, who retired from handball at the end of the 2020/21 season, became team manager. Ilyés, who started playing handball in Romania, spent time at Veszprém, Pick Szeged, Lemgo and Wisla Plock before playing for Tatabánya for five years. His experience was of a great asset on the court and will be off the court as well.
Arrivals and departures
Arrivals: Violer Fotache (CSM Bucuresti), Darko Stojnic (HC PPD Zagreb), Aliaksei Ushal (Orosházi FKSE)
Departures: Richard Nemes, Adrián Sipos (Telekom Veszprém), Miloš Božovic (US Ivry)
EHF European League:
Group phase (1): 2020/21
Quarter-final (2): 2016/17, 2018/19
Last 16 (1): 2010/11
Qualification round 3 (6): 2004/05, 2005/06, 2011/12, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2017/18
Qualification round 2 (2): 2012/13, 2013/14
Hungarian league: four titles (1974, 1978, 1979, 1984)
Hungarian cup: two titles (1969, 1978)