Plock set highest goals
After several years of playing in the EHF Champions League without any big success, last season, Orlen Wisla Plock reached the semi-finals of the EHF European League and finished fourth at the EHF Finals.
Now the Polish side are determined to reach at least the same heights, and their biggest goal is winning their first European trophy.
- qualified for the group stage after beating Romania’s HC Dobrogea Sud Constanta in qualification round 2
- last season, finished fourth in the EHF European League Men
- Spanish head coach Xavi Sabate is heading into his fourth season at the club
- seven players joined the team in the summer, while six left
Most important question: can Plock challenge for the trophy?
While domestic rivals Lomza Vive Kielce won the EHF Champions League as recently as 2016, Plock still lack big international achievements. However, last season they did quite well in the EHF European League Men — after topping group A, they eliminated Sporting SP and GOG to become the only non-German side in the EHF Finals.
In the semi-final, the Polish side fought hard against SC Magdeburg, losing by just one goal (30:29), before suffering another defeat against Rhein-Neckar Löwen in the third-place match — so the trophy was not so far away.
In the new season, Plock have reinforced their squad with the goal of progressing far again. In particular, the Russian duo Dmitry Zhitnikov, who returned to the club after a four-year absence, and Sergei Mark Kosorotov are expected to play important roles, so Wisla can again dream of reaching the finals or maybe even lifting the trophy.
Under the spotlight: Sergei Mark Kosorotov
22-year-old left back Sergei Mark Kosorotov stands out as one of the best young players in Europe.
The Moscow-born player became a key figure at Chekhovskie Medvedi and for the Russia national team, and now he decided to start a new chapter in his career. In fact, Kosorotov signed with Plock, his first foreign club, as early as 2020, but moved to Poland one year later.
How they rate themselves
“I’m very glad that we have progressed to the group stage. Last season, we reached the finals and gained a lot of experience. Now we are a stronger team, and we want to show our good side again,” said team captain Michal Daszek, who is starting his eighth season at the club.
Did you know?
Xavi Sabate, who has been working at Plock since 2018 and has recently extended his contract until 2024, is the second Spanish coach in the club’s history. The first was Manolo Cadenas, who coached Wisla between 2013 and 2016.
What the numbers say
Although Plock are seven-time Polish champions, their last title dates to 2011. After that, the team has been runners-up in the Polish league for 10 straight seasons — each time behind top rivals Lomza Vive Kielce.
Arrivals and departures
Arrivals: Jan Jurecic (USDK Dunkerque Handball Grand Littoral), Sergei Mark Kosorotov (Chekhovskie Medvedi), Tin Lucin (Ademar Leon), Dmitry Zhitnikov (MOL-Pick Szeged), Admir Ahmetasevic (Angel Ximenez Puente Genil), Krystian Witkowski (Handball Stal Mielec), Marek Dacko (Górnik Zabrze)
Departures: Alvaro Ruiz Sanchez (BM Benidorm), Philip Stenmalm (Ystads IF), Jeremy Toto (Vardar Skopje), Leonardo Dutra (BM Logrono La Rioja), Homayed Abdelrahman (Al Ahly), Ivan Stevanovic (no club yet)
EHF Champions League
Last 16 (5): 2011/12, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2018/19
Group Phase (8): 2002/03, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2008/09, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2019/20
Qualification (1): 2012/13
EHF European League
Semi-final (1): 2020/21
Quarter-final (1): 1993/94
Group phase (1): 2012/13
Qualification round 3 (1): 2000/01
Qualification round 2 (1): 2009/10
Cup Winners’ Cup
Quarter-final (1): 1996/97
Polish league: 7 titles (1995, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2011)
Polish Cup: 9 titles (1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008)