|12.04.2017, 09:50||◄ last page|
FEATURE: Györ line player Yvette Broch is eager to help the Hungarian champions make up a one-goal deficit in Saturday's second leg of their quarter-final against her former club, Metz.
Broch switches off Metz friendship in FINAL4 quest
Yvette Broch felt like coming home when she entered Les Arènes in Metz last Sunday.
The venue in northern France had been her home base for four seasons from 2011-15. But this time she was not wearing the yellow-blue outfit of Metz Handball.
The Dutch line player moved to Györi Audi ETO KC in 2015. But the quarter-final draw for the Women’s EHF Champions League brought Broch back to the French club she still has fond memories of.
"It was great to go back. I had four beautiful years there," Broch tells ehfCL.com. "There was a very warm welcome from the supporters and I met a lot of old friends before and after the game."
But friendship counted for nothing during the 60 minutes on the court.
"You have to switch it off because you want to win the game," Broch says.
Given a tough time by Metz
Starting as favourites to advance to the TIPPMIX EHF FINAL4, Györ were given a tough time by Metz. The hosts led by five goals with just 13 minutes left but Györ escaped with a slim 32:31 defeat.
Broch, who scored three out of three attempts to raise her total to 39 goals for the season, says she was not surprised by the strong showing of her former club.
"I am still closely following Metz so I knew that they are a great team," the 26-year-old line player says. "We were well prepared as we knew this was going to be a very tough match."
While many expect the Hungarian champions to overcome the one-goal deficit in the return game on home court in Györ, Broch is reluctant to look beyond Saturday’s game.
"Everything is still open. One goal means nothing. Our advantage is that we are playing at home but I am sure Metz as well will give everything they have," Broch says.
Pursuing a modelling career
Györ is the Dutch player’s third foreign club, after her stint at Metz and one season (2010-11) with Spanish side Alcobendas.
Earlier, Broch played for Dutch side Van der Voort/Quitus and - after taking a full season off to pursue a modelling career - VOC Amsterdam.
Alcobendas remained the only club Broch failed to win a domestic league title with.
In January, Broch decided to extend her contract with Györ, as did fellow Netherlands international, centre back Nycke Groot.
While Broch signed a three-year deal that keeps her with the club until 2020, Groot added two more seasons to her contract.
"It’s just a beautiful club and they share the same ambition with me. That’s very important. And the people here are very kind," Broch says.
Lost in dramatic fashion
Broch and Groot both arrived at Györ in 2015. In their first season, they helped the two-time former champions reach the final again, which they ultimately lost in dramatic fashion to CSM Bucuresti, the same club Györ have beaten twice in this season’s group stage.
"It’s great that Nycke plays here as well. We helped each other a lot in the beginning," Broch says. "We are good friends. We love to visit Budapest together when we have some time off. And it’s nice to be able to just speak Dutch sometimes."
Asked about the shared ambition that kept her in Györ, Broch calls it "every handball player’s dream" to win the Champions League one day.
After losing an EHF Cup Final with Metz in 2013 and the EHF Champions League Final with Györ in 2016, could it finally be three times lucky for Broch this year?
"I don’t like to talk about that now," Broch says. "Our full focus is on the game against Metz this Saturday. Before that game is over, I will not look further ahead."
TEXT: Eric Willemsen / br