As we are saying goodbye to one of the most amazing years in SEHA history, the time has come to look back at all the unforgettable memories we have created in the past 365 days. There were so many different emotions, records and outstanding moments both on and off the court that we will cherish forever. Among all of them, we are bringing you the best 9 moments that absolutely took our breath away in this past year.
1. 8th SEHA Final 4 tournament and Vardar's dominance
The central event of the year was definitely 8th SEHA Final 4 tournament. This time, Belarusian Brest hosted the ”fantastic” four that consisted of Meshkov Brest, PPD Zagreb, Vardar and Nexe. This was the first time ever for Thunders from Nasice to witness a Final 4 spectacle. But, magicians from Skopje stole the show once again and raised their 5th SEHA trophy. And just when it seemed that Vardar's fairytale could not get better, Red&Black diamonds showed that the word limit doesn't exist in their dictionary. They wrote the most beautiful pages in their story and climbed the European throne for the second time. With yet another shiny trophy in their hands, they put a cherry on top of amazing season.
2. New playing system
After a short summer break, the most exciting, 9th season of SEHA – Gazprom League started. Alongside other novelties, we introduced a new playing system. In that case, 12 clubs started their 9th season SEHA journey divided into two groups, Group A and Group B. Each of those clubs stepped on the court 10 times in the Group Phase. Two of the best teams from each group secured their places in the quarter-finals, while the rest of them will have to seek their chance in the Play-offs.
3. New clubs entered our League
The other big novelty were some new faces that joined SEHA family. Therefore, Spartak became first ever Russian club to compete in our League. Besides them, Ukrainian Motor Zaporozhye also made their debut steps on the SEHA court. Eurofarm Rabotnik from Bitola and rookies from China, Beijing Sport University also joined our League for the first time in the 9th season. Not only did we welcome new faces, but some of the names that were already a part of our League in the previous seasons returned. Hungarian champions, Telekom Veszprem and Serbian Metaloplastika completed the 9th season's list of participants.
4. Best Handball Fan contest vol. 3 and vol. 4
The third edition of Be8player's Best Handball Fan Contest reached its final destination. The winner, Katarina Jordanovska who is an eager Vardar's fan, experienced Final 4 tournament first hand and saw her favourite club raise another SEHA trophy. Alongside 2 all-inclusive tickets for the Final 4 spectacle, our partner hummel rewarded her with some additional goodies. The amazing cooperation with hummel continued in the 4th edition of the Best Handball Fan Contest that reached its peek in SEHA December. The most creative fan out there won SEHA stars' hearts who chose the best photo and our lucky winner. Two all-inclusive tickets for the upcoming Final 4 are waiting for Meshkov's fan, Vladimir Shyleyeu.
5. Eurofarm Rabotnik defeating Telekom Veszprem
One of the moments that surprised everyone in the 9th season was unbelievable Eurofarm's victory against Veszprem. Pride of Bitola orchestrated the winning melody on the home court and stunned everybody with their incredible play. Because they believed anything is possible, they managed to do the impossible. Their magician between the posts, Nikolce Mitrevski, was one of the key parts in that achievement. Overall, it was a victory of togetherness, fair play and unbelievable team spirit!
It is safe to say that this year was a record-breaking one. The shiniest star in that category is definitely unstoppable Mikita Vailupau. This Meshkov Brest's star scored 20 goals in one match and set the new record. But, he didn't stop there. That's why his name is on top of the best scorers of the first part in 9th season list. The star of the next record is Metaloplastika's youngster, Matea Dodic, who is the youngest player that stepped on the SEHA court in 9th season. Motor Zaporozhye and Vardar are protagonists of the next record. These teams combined for 81 goals in a match which is the highest number of goals ever scored in a single SEHA League clash.
7. International Mother Language Day
Besides serious duties on the court, we had amazing time off the court. Alongside our amazing stars, we celebrated many important days and laughed all year around. Thunders from Nasice returned to school for International Mother Language Day. Not only did we laughed with them, but learned a lot from them.
8. April Fools' Day
Marin Sipic was in the center of attention for April Fools. Quite surprisingly, he showed us his singing abilities and instantly became the first voice of SEHA. We can't wait to hear new melodies from this nightingale.
9. World Television Day
Trio fantastico from PPD Zagreb – Marin Sipic, Matej Hrstic and Radivoje Ristanovic switched roles and became TV journalists for a day. Because of that, SEHA news might be our new favourite TV show, and these three our new favourite hosts. We couldn't imagine celebrating World Television Day any other way.