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25.09.2008, 15:48◄ last page     


Slovenian Cimos Koper will debut in the Champions League this season. Club director Aleš Koršič talks about their ambitious goals.
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Team building in Koper

It will be the first time for Cimos Koper in an elite handball competition. With superb results in the Slovenian League (2nd) and the Cup title, they won a place among the best European clubs. Coach Matjaž Tominec and the players have some European Cup experience, but not from the Champions League.

Eurohandball.com: You won the first title of the season in Slovenia, the Super Cup. This should be a signal: you are going for the Slovenian title…

Koper are expected to be a competitive teamAleš Koršič: With the results of last year in mind, our goals are ambitious. We hope that the Super Cup is a sign for the season. We want to fight for the Slovenian title and keep the Slovenian Cup title in our hands.

Eurohandball.com: And what about the CL?

Aleš Koršič: We weren’t lucky wit the draw and got Chehovski Medvedi, Portland San Antonio and Steaua. Nevertheless, I believe that we can be a tough opponent for them. If we play like we did in the preparation tournament in Germany in August, anything is possible. Our aim is to get through from the first round of Champions League.

Eurohandball.com: Coach Matjaž Tominec warned that Koper's success came too early. What do you think?

Aleš Koršič: After so many competitions last year we gained a lot of experience, so I think we are mature for the Champions League. We also focus all our energies in the club into this competition – on all levels from building a good team to organisation.

Eurohandball.com: You made many changes in the team before season 2008/09 – 7 players left, 7 came …

Aleš Koršič: Building a team is the most important for us. The coach and his assistants have decisions in their hands. They get who they want, of course within our financial abilities. We built a team with great players and good team spirit.

Eurohandball.com: Cimos' philosophy regarding the players’ contracts is very interesting. These are not fixed completely…

Aleš Koršič: Player salaries are not only a fixed amount, but also a premium. They will be paid according to their contribution on the playing court. We want them to be motivated, hence this philosophy.

Eurohandball.com: Many say that Slovenian clubs cannot compete with big German or Spanish clubs anymore. Because of budgets?

Aleš Koršič: No, I don’t think so. The main difference is not the size of the budget, but how clubs spend this money. Important is how clubs select players. A high budget does not guarantee a European title.


TEXT: Maja Mastnak

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