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24.02.2011, 15:40◄ last page     

Pick’s top scorer František Šulc hopes to reach the Last 16 of the VELUX EHF Men’s Champions League on Saturday against Valladolid.

Šulc: "Szeged live for handball"

Four victories, four defeats and currently rank four in Group C – this is the intermediate balance of Pick Szeged in the VELUX EHF Men’s Champions League. On Saturday the Hungarian runners-up have the great chance to qualify for the Last 16 already by beating Cuatro Rayas Valladolid.

This year Szeged played stronger than last season, when they missed the knock-out stage with a completely different team. Ten players – mostly key players – left the Hungarians before this season, 13 newcomers had to be integrated.

One of them is the Slovak international František Šulc who arrived from German club HSG Düsseldorf. With 47 goals in eight matches – 16 of them from the match against Minsk – the 32-year-old back court player is the team’s top scorer.

ehfCL.com: Szeged’s squad was completely renewed before this season, did you expect to be this successful in the VELUX EHF Men’s Champions League?

František Šulc: I did not consider objectives in the VELUX EHF Men’s Champions League back then at all. We were a new team, and the most important thing was to work hard together and to improve quickly. So frankly, I did not expect us to immediately be so successful in our first year in the VELUX EHF Men’s Champions League.

ehfCL.com: What is the key factor in your team?

František Šulc: We are a team of fighters with fantastic team spirit in training sessions, in the dressing room and also off court. And, for sure, we also have some really good players.

ehfCL.com: You have played in different nations before, what makes handball special in Szeged?

František Šulc: Szeged is a club with a long history. The whole city, all people here live with and for handball. We have really good fans who always stand behind the team.

ehfCL.com: What is your particular role in the Pick team?

František Šulc: My focus surely is more on attack than on defence. I am a playmaker and it is not easy to cope with a completely new team in a new country and at the same time to immediately play on the highest level. But as I mentioned before, we have good guys in the team and this has made everything go easier.

ehfCL.com: Your biggest surprise was the victory in Chekhov – how did you manage to win?

František Šulc: We played a strong defence with good goalkeeper performance in that game. At the same time Chekov did not have their best day.

ehfCL.com: On Saturday Szeged will face Valladolid. Has the time come to take revenge for the defeat in Spain?

František Šulc: Yes, sure, as our goal is to win. On the other side we respect the strength of our opponent. But we will give what we have, especially when we play in front of our superb fans. So I believe that it will be a good game and that we can be successful.

ehfCL.com: With a victory you would qualify for the Last 16. Can you reach this goal?

František Šulc: Sure! It would be great and a well-earned success for our team and our fans.

ehfCL.com: What team would be your favourite opponent in the Last 16?

František Šulc: Yet we are not among those 16 teams, first we have to win on Saturday.

Pick’s difficult home match of Round 9 against Valladolid will be broadcast as a free-of-charge live web stream on ehfTV.com as our featured "Match of the Week", including English commentary of Tom O’Brannagain.

VELUX EHF Men’s Champions League, Group Phase, Round 9
Saturday, 26 February 2011, 18:00 hrs (local time)
Pick Szeged (HUN) vs. Cuatro Rayas BM Valladolid (ESP)

ehfTV.com is the official Internet TV platform of the European Handball Federation and offers free live streaming as well as a video on demand service.

TEXT: Björn Pazen

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