Handball holidays well and truly over
While a handful of EHF Champions League participants are still enjoying a couple of days off before entering a handball tunnel which will lead them right to Christmas, the majority have been back on court a while now.
Veszprém, for example, made their competitive bow at home against Csurgoi in the Hungarian league, with new recruit Dejan Manaskov looking impressive in the 16-goal victory.
Veszprém’s opening Group B opponents Celje were also in action this weekend in the SEHA League. The last time we heard of him, Igor Anic was sitting next to a swimming pool getting sun-tanned, but it seems like the French line player has already made a new friend in Slovenia, in the form of his team's mascot.
League play has yet to get underway in France, but everyone is working their socks off to be ready for the domestic and European campaigns to throw-off this week.
HBC Nantes goalkeeper, Cyril Dumoulin tried a new fitness machine which looks a bit like a method of torture. The average man may lose his knee using it, but Cyril only seems to suffer a small bit.
Paris Saint-Germain players enjoyed a bit of free time this weekend, before playing their first league encounter on Wednesday.
While Benoit Kounkoud took some time abroad, in Brussels, Nikola and Luka Karabatic were focused on video games, enjoying a chance to play a brand new release.
Vardar players also enjoyed a spot of free time, going their own way for two days and Joan Canellas enjoyed some family time with his wife and kid.
Ahead of their clash in the first Match of the Week on 17 September, Rhein-Neckar Löwen and FC Barcelona Lassa are already in the thick of the action domestically, but their players are still mixing business with pleasure.
Barcelona summer signing Jure Dolenec has been taking some time to enjoy Barcelona's most famous tables. With already two trophies under his belt this season, the Slovenian has every right to take in some of the local cuisine.
Meanwhile, Spaniard Gedeon Guardiola, who plays for Rhein-Neckar Löwen, is keeping very busy. He posted pictures of him eating proteins, playing and, maybe more importantly, spending some time with relatives during the entertaining opening weeks of the German Bundesliga season, which has thrown up a number of surprise results.
Amongst the talk of pre-season, we must point out that we have already had some EHF Champions League Qualification tournaments over the past two weeks.
Sporting CP’s men grabbed a ticket to the group phase while the women’s tournaments saw Thüringer HC join Vipers Kristiansand in securing a group matches berth, much to the delight of Spanish centre-back Macarena Aguilar.
The fun well and truly begins this weekend with the VELUX EHF Champions League’s opening encounters on Thursday 14 September. The handball holidays are over.Author: Kevin Domas / cor