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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.

 

CROATIAN CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL 4 IN VARAŽDIN

0078 final4 varazdinThis friday and saturday in Varaždin we will have our first Croatian championship Final 4. Never before have we had this format, in which the winners are newly crowned champions and therefore competing in the Champions Cup on Canary Islands. The Final 4 will be held on Kapucinski square, a venue made for great atmosphere, and the whole thing will be broadcasted by Arenasport and Sportska TV. The title defenders are Detono for men and BHC Dubrava for women which hopes to see a second straight title defense.

Detono qualified for Varaždin as the team with the most points in the three tournaments played. First places in Zagreb and Zaprešić and second in Ivanić were enough for them to clinch the no. 1 seed. They will play Chemo profili in the semis who had beaten, in a direct match for the Final 4, the team of Čakovec. BHC Dubrava placed third with winning Ivanić, final in Zagreb and with one mishap - eight place in Zaprešić. Our opponent will be Sesvete, our nemesis for a couple of years now. Neumann and Dumenčić will not play but we will do the best we can without them. Our goalkeeper, Tin Badžek said: ˝I am looking forward to Varaždin. It will be, ad least in beach handball terms, a true spectacle with DJs, dancers, commentators and with TV coverage. Also, it will be very interesting from a players and fans perspective due to the Final 4 format and the fact that every team can beat the other teams. I hope we will do our best to replace our marker and our defensive player who are missing. Although I am here, and thats all that matters. YOLO bithes, Tin out.˝ 

The Final 4 will be opened with the first womens semifinal against Detono and Dubrava. Our girls placed second with two finals and one tournament won in Zaprešić. In the second semifinal we will have a match between Kontesa Nera and Sesvete. Kontesa displayed great game this year and with Ivanić and Zagreb won they deserved to be the no. 1 seeded team and the favourite to win the Championship. Dubrava will have a tough task of defending the title. In Varaždin due to personal and other reasons there will not be basically one whole team - Smiljanić, Haček, Krsnik are missing and Lukšić and Perenčević are in Mauricius with the junior national team. Our specialist Dorotea Prevendar said: ˝WE really have a hard task in Varaždin. Due to all the cancellations we have to completely change the concept of our game but I hope we will enter the games determent to win first in the semifinaland then the final.˝

Final 4 starts in Friday in 19.00 with the first women semifinal between Detono and Dubrava and after that boys play against Sesvete

FOUR "PANTHERS" IN NATIONAL TEAM @ EURO2017

0076 duma repkaThe european beach handball, held on jarun lake in Zagreb, started today for the juniors. The defending champions are Spain in mens and The Nederlands  in womens competition. The senior tournament starts in Tuesday and goes on until Sunday when the new king of the old continent will be crowned. For us, its a very big deal to have four representatives on the Euros, Kristina Smiljanić and Simona Hajduk for girls and Ivan Dumenčić and Dario Begonja for men.

 

 

The mens team, as the raining world and four-time consecutive european champion, is the main favourite to win the gold at home. Are boys are in the group with Serbia, Norway, Ukraine, Sweden, Switzerland and the debutant France. The other group consists of Hungary, Netherlands, Spain, Russian Federation, Denmark and Germany.

 

To Ivan Dumenčić this will be the third Euro, with two World Cups and one World Games also played. From every single competition he came back with a medal and he expects to this time aswell: ˝Although we are considered to be big favourites, that will be hard to justify on the court. There are ad least four to five teams who can win gold, but that is also our goal and we do not plan to give it away at home. We only had two weeks to prepare, which is very short, but I hope that will not be a deciding factor.˝

 

The other Dubrava member in the national team is Dario Begonja. After last year when he was crowned world champion, this will be his first Euro: ˝It is a great honor representing Croatia at home, in front of our crowd, and I would like to invite everybody to come to Jarun and support us.˝ Besides Begonja and Dumenčić there were two more members on the squad preparing for the Euro - Drago Prka and Josip Jurić Grgić, but the coach decided to trust in the World Cup winning roster.

 

There are three groups in the female Euro. The team lead by Iva Kanjugović will play against Spain, Greece, Italy and Switzerland in the group. In group A, with the title defenders Hungary, there are also the Netherlands, Russian Federation, Germany and Denmark. In group B there are Norway, Poland, Sweden, Ukraine and France.

 

Kristina Smiljanić, our captain and one of the most experienced players with three competitions behind her had this to say: ˝I expect us to see what works and what doesnt through the test event, and also see how the new players will react, that could be a big plus before the Euro starts. We are not very familiar with the other teams in our group but Spain, as the reigning world champion, is definetly the favourite. We would like to reach the quarterfinal and then everything is possible.˝

 

One of the before-mentioned debutants is our goalkeeper Simona Hajduk. Although she was invited to play before, the ˝regular˝ handball came in the way. ˝Considering this is my first competition I am not very familiar with the teams and their qualities, but knowing some of the players from club competitions, I believe we have a chance for a good result. I hope it will be better than the last two (9th in 2013. And 2015), and maybe even a medal.˝

 

All that is related to the tournament you can follow on the official pages of the EHF, eurohandball.com, or on the FB page Beach handball EURO Croatia 2017.

 

See you on Jarun, Support our players.


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