Sliskovic returns for Celje; Nenadic ready for Veszprém bow
Round 11 of the VELUX EHF Champions League Group Phase will see a number of big names return to the biggest stage in club handball after six clubs added a combined total of eight players to their squads.
The most notable signing over the winter break was Veszprém's capture of Petar Nenadic from Füchse Berlin. The Serbian international’s last outing at this level was with Plock in 2014, when they pushed Veszprem hard in the Last 16, one season later he lifted the EHF Cup with Berlin on home court.
Now Nenadic is set to play a major part in the Hungarian side’s push for a maiden VELUX EHF Champions League title.
Sliskovic ends 18-month absence
One of the biggest cheers this weekend will be reserved for Sunday, when Ivan Sliskovic makes his way onto court for Celje against PSG.
The 27-year-old has put an end to his 18-month battle with mononucleosis, during which time his contract with Veszprém came to an end and he returned to his former club.
The Croat’s last match in the competition was Veszprém’s heartbreaking final loss to Kielce in 2016. Sliskovic scored a goal in his return to competitive handball in the 30:23 loss to Zagreb in the SEHA Liga on Sunday and will be boost to Celje in their battle for a Last 16 spot.
Group A rivals reinforced
Both HBC Nantes and MOL-Pick Szeged have brought in two players and in both have gone for reinforcement on the line and the back court.
The French side Nantes have snapped up left back Espen Lie Hansen from HC Midtjylland. The Norwegian international is a strong defender, but is no stranger to finding the back of the net and scored 23 goals in his last top flight campaign, back in 2013/14 with Dunkerque.
Romaric Guillo is Nantes’ other addition, joining from Cesson to cover for Senjamin Buric on the line.
Meanwhile, Szeged have brought in right back Ivan Srsen from RK Nexe. The 25-year-old helped his side on their way to the EHF Cup Group Phase before moving on to Hungary for his first taste of Europe’s elite club competition.
Another 25-year-old addition to the squad is Mark Hegedüs, who has featured for Szeged in past seasons, but is a late addition this time around.
Baranau is back; Zagreb grab another youngster
Fresh from his appearance with Belarus at EHF EURO 2018, Maksim Baranau has returned to former club HC Meshkov Brest, following the passing of HC Odorheiu Secuiesc club president Attila Verestóy, which has lead to the club’s withdrawal from the Romanian league.
The 29-year-old right wing featured for Brest as they reached the Last 16 for the first time in 2016 and his presence will do no harm to their chances of emulating that feat this season.
The youngest addition goes to HC PPD Zagreb, who have promoted 19-year-old goalkeeper Ivan Vekic to the senior squad as additional cover between the posts after the departure of Matevz Skok to Sporting CP.Author: Chris O'Reilly / br