Five players approved for transfer before play-offs
Four clubs have received reinforcements ahead of the EHF Champions League Women 2021/22 play-offs, starting this weekend with the first-leg encounters in Denmark, Germany and Slovenia. Five players have transferred clubs following successful registration before the late entry deadline.
Three players have moved from Rostov-Don to three different clubs: Grace Zaadi, Beatrice Edwige and Tatjana Brnovic. Olympic champion Zaadi has returned to the club that played such a pivotal role in her career, Metz Handball. Her fellow France national teammate Beatrice Edwige will return to Hungary after leaving Györ at the end of last season, this time joining FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria.
With FTC due to face Krim Mercator Ljubljana in the play-offs, Edwige will meet Brnovic, as the Montenegrin line player has transferred to Krim.
Krim have received another reinforcement — and an extremely potent one, with the top scorer of last season, Ana Gros, returning from CSKA home to Slovenia to join the record domestic champions. It was with Krim that Gros took her first steps on the Champions League court, back in 2009/10 for one season.
Last but not least, another French club have welcomed a new member, as Jenny Karlsson joined Brest Bretagne from Holstebro in Denmark.
Zaadi is the top scorer of all the late transfers, with 76 goals this season. Gros is not far behind, with 71 so far.
“Every team in this Champions League would like to have her,” says Krim goalkeeper Barbara Arenhart of Gros’ arrival. Arenhart names Gros as one of the best in her position globally. “It feels somehow that she has been here before to be honest, because she’s such a nice person and easy going.”
The three play-off ties to be played will take place across two legs, with the first matches this Saturday and Sunday and the reverse fixtures the following weekend. The winners of the play-offs will be determined based on the aggregate score in both games, with that system also applying for the quarter-finals.
As the top-ranked teams in their groups in the regular season, Györ, Team Esbjerg and Vipers Kristiansand are awaiting their opponents for the quarter-finals. CSM Bucuresti have proceeded directly to the quarter-finals as they were due to play CSKA in the play-offs, while the winner of the Borussia Dortmund versus Metz tie — set to play Rostov-Don in the next stage — will qualify for the EHF FINAL4 2022 in Budapest.