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A NEW OPPORTUNITY FOR THE TITLE

0078 final4 varazdinToday marks the beginning of the second Croatian beach handball Final 4. The Kapucinski square will host, just like last year, four of the best teams, both male and female. Today we will have the semifinal matches where we will find out tomorrow's finalists. Other than the prestigious title, teams are fighting for a place on the Champios cup, a competition this will be held in Sicily after four years at Gran Canaria.
Dubrava will play in Varaždin with both male and female team, which are both the no.2 seed. Girls will play in 20:40h against Detono Zagreb, ex European champions who stopped us last year in the same game.In the second semifinal the reigning  champions Kontesa Nera will face Chemo profili Zagreb.
The men's team is still waiting for their first championship which was so close in 2017 when they lost against Detono in the shootout. In the first semifinal Detono will play White Boys - the only team from Dalmatia. The last game on Saturday is reserved for our boys which will look to book a place in the final against Sesvete, just like last year. The game starts at 21:30.
We asked Ivan Dumenčić,  the girls coach and a player, to say a few words: ”We are looking forward to an excellent tournament and we won't try to hide our aspirations. We are not the favourites - in both competitions those are the reigning champions, and we have big obstacles in front of us. Boys showed last year that they deserve to be the champions and we hope luck turns to us this year. Girls are already two time champions and it's a big wish of ours to take the trophy home again so we attempt to make a better result in the Champios Cup than last time which was 3rd place.”
 Other than the Final 4 on Friday and Saturday we will have a four nation tournament as a part of the World Cup preparation. It will be held in Russia. On it Croatia will be the defending champion, a title acquired two years ago in Hungary. On the tournament, other than our team, we will see Oman, Hungary and Serbia.
 All in all a great invitation to see some great beach handball.

A SUCCESSFUL SEASON ENTRY

0085 jarun2018The 11th edition of Jarun cup was completed yesterday with two great finals, both broadcasted at Sportska TV. With superb management, AKRP Zagreb is setting new standards when it comes to EBT tours, and we were especially taken by live statistics throughout all five days. Men's gold is won by Ekaterinodar while the womens champion are Kontesa Nera. Our girl's squad, which was promoting our new name and sponsor (Toyota MHC Dubrava) was second like the previous year.

On their way to the final, girls played eight matches in which they had a score of 6-1, and that loss, as well as the final loss came from Kontesa Nera, proving that their win was well deserved. The girls swept their group with four wins against Detono, BHC Rovinj, Chemo Profili and CAIPIranhas and finished second due to the aforementioned loss to Kontesa Nera giving us a quarterfinal match with Göteborg BHC.A very early start to the game (8:00 am) disrupted our shooting and the match eventually went to the shootout where we, with some luck, secured the semifinal against BHC 2areg.The first set was won by the Serbian team, but in the second set we amped up the defense and had great finishing in attack and eventually win in the shootout by 7:4. In the final we hadn't found defensive solutions to their play and Kontesa Nera won again deservingly so.
We have no reason to be unhappy with the tournament outcome which is just foreplay to the main event - Croatian championship. We also had two players selected to the best team. Mirna Vučković was considered as a player who will strengthen our team and has confirmed that evaluation by being the top scorer and the best line player. Anja Vida Lukšić was the best left wing and the second best scorer proving she is the present and the future of Croatian beach handball. We're both happy and proud that we had two teams in girls 2006. competition. In cooperation with ŽRK Gorica and their coach Lukrecija we formed those two teams who finished second and fourth.It was a festival of emotions - happiness, laughter, screams, tears, and sadness due to defeat. The girls had fun and we hope they will play long into the future.For the first time since 2008. we didn't have a men's team. The reason being so is that our player Prka was getting married. Therefore, our start will be later in the year than usual.The biggest surprise and upset was the early knockout of Detono Zagreb by a Danish team HEI Beachhandball which eventually finished second. The third was BHC Sesvete and fourth the national team of Sweden.

INTERVIEW: DARIO BEGONJA

0084 begonjaBeach Handball Club Dubrava will enter its ninth year of existence under new leadership which will lead the club until 2022. The new president will be 26 years old mag.oecc. Dario Begonja. We asked him a few question about present and future of our club. Read this interesting article:

Dario, congratulations for your election for the BHC Dubrava's president. What are your motives?

Thank you for your kind words! First of all, it's important to know that BHC Dubrava is a small community of people who love the club and, mostly, also play there. So, being a president only means to be a part of the collective that leads the club and maybe go a step further in those administrative and financial efforts. I'm here in order for us to make yet another step forward by ensuring financial stability of the club, improving the work with younger generations and, finally, by fighting for the Croatian Championship which slipped away for the men's team in the last seconds of the final, as well returning the trophy on the shelves of our women's team which has already been a champion several times.

Please present your team. Who will be your closest associates?

For starters, Kristina Smiljanić is finally an official part of club management. Kiki has been with us for many years, she's the leader of the women's team and a person who really means a lot for the club. From now, she will act here as the Vice President of the club. On the other side, men's (but also women's) part of the team, ever since the club was founded, are being carefully taken care of by Ivan Dumenčić. He will remain in the position of club's secretary. All these functions are here just to ensure a clear, good-quality organization of the club, but I will say again that we're all working together for the club's wellbeing. In that sense, any hierarchy is irrelevant. Additionally, I'd also like to mention that this is the first year of our newly founded Medical team - Lukrecija Čurek, Ivan Vukasović and the team leader, Luka Bašić, will be here to ensure that the popular nickname KBC Dubrava ("hospital Dubrava") becomes a thing of the past.

What is your opinion on BHC Dubrava's first eight years? Are you satisfied with results and club effort?

The period of the first 8 years of this club tells a very positive, heartwarming story. Given that the club was founded out of pure enthusiasm of several handball players (a common story in beach handball), it is a solid proof that even a small effort can bring you great results. On the one hand, a big collection of trophies and medals shows how much we've worked and how good our players are. On the other hand, in this whole development process, the club has kept its laid back, friendly spirit - whether it's among the teammates or to other clubs and to the sport itself. By further organizing and advancing the club, our goal is to keep everything positive we've managed to build so far, while ensuring that this story will be sustainable in years to come. This means working with youngsters and ensuring financial stability.

The atmosphere and the sportsmanship are always here and this is the greatest treasure of our club. With this team, you simply cannot avoid feeling good - on the field and beside it. The goal is now to work on some other, a bit more boring things, such as finance and organization, but it should be mentioned that the goal here isn't some form of profesionalism, but rather ensuring the result success and the long-term sustainability of the club. That's why we'll have to work on better organizing the players for the tournaments, acquiring new sponsors and ensuring a stable future of player roster through forming new, young players.

Which sport goals would you like achieve n first year of your presidentship?

Same as always, our goals include winning the Croatian Championship in men's and women's category. By winning several championships, the girls have already proven that they are more than capable for such a feat. The guys lost their gold in the last shootout of last year's championship and they are also rightful contenders. Even though the men's team has been ravaged by injuries, we have no intention of setting the bar any lower. 

Money is the major problem for every small club. How to fight against that and is there any indications of better times for BHC Dubrava?

I'm happy to say that more and more sponsors recognize our story. Every year, the situation is getting better and better. I'd like to use this opportunity to announce that we just ensured the general sponsor for this year: Toyota Material Handling Hrvatska. They are a company that sells and rents Toyota forklifts for Croatia and Montenegro - and this agreement will bring changes in the very name of the club. This season, we will be called "Toyota MHH Dubrava". In other news, negotiations are still at hand with other possible sponsors.

You have already mentioned youth categories. Does it mean BHC Dubrava will be competing with youth teams in future period?

That's right! We're assembling a team in both male and female young categories, aiming to bring this sport closer to young people. If any of them decide to remain in the club - we couldn't be happier! So, we hope that future sponsors will recognize our good-quality efforts and support our story. For this sport, it really doesn't include serious financial investment, and you can accomplish a lot anyway. Even just one T-shirt per kid, in combination with ensuring the basic conditions for tournaments - can already accomplish a lot. These kids will get a lifetime memory, even if they ultimately don't decide to play the sport. So, this year, we're investing in this part of the story ourselves, while hoping that someone will recognize this positive story in years to come and help us financially or otherwise.

Are they any other fields where you want to see BHC Dubrava's growth?

Of course, there are a lot of areas in which we, as a club, can and should develop. But let's take it step by step. For now, we want the make sure that the finance part is in order, as well as young players source and the medal count. Also, during all this growth, we want to keep our sportsmanship and friendship spirit. With an approach like this, everything else becomes much easier.

IVA & SIMONA - A STORY FROM ISRAEL

0083 iva simona izrael2In the break between beach handball seasons most of our members play handball indoors in various leagues and levels. A part of them play recreationaly, a part play in the Croatian premier leauges and a few play profesionally abroad. From that last category two of our members Iva Ercegovac and Simona Hajduk are playing in Israel. They both share a locker room in Maccabi Rishon LeZion in a city of 250000 inhabitants. We asked them about life in Israel, whether the Israeli know about beach handball and what do they make of our next season.

BHC Dubrava: Girls, it's been six months since you've moved to Rishon, where you live and play - what do you make of it so far?
Simona and Iva: Yes, it's been six months in Rishon LeZion and we've settled well. Rishon is 12 kilometres from Tel Aviv so we could say we're in the centre of Israel. For those who enjoy sunshine and heat, the climate is excellent. In this part there is no snow and the lowest temperature was 9° C. There is some snow on the north but not here.

BHC Dubrava: How is life when in compare to Croatia? Are there any culturological differences?
Simona and Iva: Life is here more easy-going and more relaxed than back home. The standard is much higher, the prices are twice higher here than in Croatia. We also have to confess that they've outdone us regarding holidays, there's always something here. On friday the Sabbath begins which is dedicated to family. Saturday is day off and the work here begins on Sunday..

88 INTERNATIONAL MATCHES

0081 zastaveBeach handball season has ended 2 months ago but we already miss it. Because of that reason, we have prepared few interested articles with plenty interesting facts related to Beach Handball Club Dubrava. First article of that kind is about international matches which BHC Dubrava had played since 2010. when club was founded. If you are interested how many times BHC Dubrava played against teams from another countries, read the article.

In its seven years old history, Panthers played 88 internationals matches against 57 different teams from 15 countries all over the Europe ( Switzerland, Portugal, Germany, Serbia, Denmark, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Macedonia and Romania) and two Asian countries (Oman and Qatar), The most matches (32) was played against 14 Hungarian teams. So far, Dubrava have international score of 57 wins and 31 defeat.

The women's team has played 47 international matches (score 31 W and 16 L) against teams from 11 countries. The most games were against teams from Hungary (19). Poland (5), Holland (5), Switzerland (4), Serbia (4) and Norway (4).  Szentenderei NKE (Agenta Gilrs) is the team from Hungary against who our girls played the most. Multiple european champions won in 5 out of 7 matches.

Men's team played 41 international matches so far with score of 26 wins and 15 losses. Thirteen out of 41 matches was played againt teams from Hungary, while our guys played 7 times against teams from Serbia nad Switzerland and 6 against teams from Netherlans. The most matches our mens team played against Netherlans team Camelot. In five matches our opponents still didn't win against Dubrava. Four times it was against our first team, while our "B" team also win one time against the same opponent. Three times we played against the Swiss team HSG Wasserschloss (3 wins), Hungarian Hir-Sat (1:2) and national team of Norway (1:2)

 

A FEW SECONDS FROM PARADISE

0080 nakonfinalavaraždinaA few seconds from paradise. The title said it all. There were 7 seconds to go when Vukasović scored and with a lead of 27:26 we were so close we could taste it. Detono took the time out. They had to score for two points otherwise the title goes to Dubrava. It the first couple of seconds there was a disputable contact between Semren and Šošić but the referees don’t see it as an offensive foul, and the final second Jurić scores for two and takes Detono to a shootout in which they had more experience and concentration, although we had our chances. Congratulations to Detono on their tenth championship. Throughout the season they were the best, but in this game, the one that decided the champion, they weren't. We were. Were are still very proud how we played and we will definitely try again next year.

They say it's hard to point out the individuals when the team plays fantastic. So we'll point them all out:
Prka, a permanent danger for the opposite goal, and is heavily guarded by all teams. 11 goals in the final with just 2 misses.
Vukasović’s best match ever, 20 points from both wings. The seven times European champion had no solution for him.
Smolković: If Vuksa had a best match ever, Smola was pure perfection. Nobody even noticed that we were missing our (and the national team’s) first specialist. 16 points (8/9) and 10 assists. Took shots when nobody expected, fought his way through the defence and basically played like in a trance.
Begonja and Dujmić helped in their defencive roles. The goalkeepers had an easier job with them not letting easy shots through. They managed to make them give the ball to us without even taking a shot.
Badžek and Grahovac: the best tandem in the league, combining 8 saves, 2 points and 3 assists. The detonators didn't know how to deal with them in the first set.
Semren, he came from Sokol and took the role of a leader on both phases of the game. He scores, assists, blocks,... 8 points, 9 assists and a block.
Bašić, the heart of the team. Played least in the final but has been an important part of the team since the very beginning. We hadn't won this year, but if the team stays, that will happen sooner rather than later.

Our girls finished third. In the bronze medal match they've beaten Sesvete with 2:0. We got used to gold medals, but we were missing several of our key players. We hope that next year we will return on track and win home as well as abroad. Congratulations to Kontesa Nera on a deserved title. We wish them and Detono a good representation of our beach handball in the Champion's Cup this fall.

 


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