|30 October 2013|
We take a look at the Euroleague Women prospects of the current Hungarian champions.
Last season: UE Sopron finished second from bottom in their group with a 3-9 record and crucially lost a number of agonisingly tight games, meaning things were very close to being a lot different.
Significant summer departures: Head coach Norbert Szekely after seven years at the helm, the all-action Shenise Johnson, kingpin Jelena Milovanovic and American Amber Holt.
|Zsófia Fegyverneky will again be counted on as the veteran leader of yet another young Sopron team|
Roster review: It's all change in Sopron, with Serbian play-caller Igor Polanek now at the helm and with some work to do if the club wants to progress to the play-offs. There is a strong Serbian connection with the frontcourt, since Sara Krnjic is staying in situ and has been joined by the exciting teenage talent of Dragana Stankovic, although the club have not hung on to the influential Milovanovic. Also coming to the party are American guard Kelly Faris, who played and won the NCAA Championship with UConn before debuting in the WNBA with the Conneticut Sun and also forward Tianna Hawkins, who stood out at Maryland and played in the WNBA with Seattle Storm. Meanwhile Slovak Republic forward Katarina Tetemondova brings a danger from the wings off the back of her excellent work in EuroCup Women last season with MBK Ruzomberok. Combo guard Zsofia Fegyverneky carries the flag for the Hungarian contingent on the team and will be a force to be reckoned with as she completes an entire decade of EuroLeague Women action. A very solid performer, guard Orsolya Zsovar remains under contract, as does and emerging center Zsofia Licskai.
Headline writer: Hawkins has already shown in domestic action that she is likely to be the stand-out player this season, although Fegyverneky will push her all the way in the MPV stakes from the backcourt. The clubs' faith in the Hungarian star has been shown by the fact she has a deal in place all the way until 2016.
Sliding onto the radar: Stankovic showed she is a real class act and terrific prospect at the U18 European Championship for Women where she took a deserved place in the All Tournament Team. She has all the makings of a top drawer player if she stays mentally strong and is given the right direction technically. She is a formidable shot-blocker, good defensively, looks like leadership material and is a big prospect in more ways than one. The Serbian links in Sopron should help her development and to settle into things.
Scanning the schedule: Having a home opener against BK Imos Brno presents a glorious opportunity to get off to a winning start. With Fenerbahce, Wisla Can-Pack and Nadezhda next on the agenda, the potential boost which an opening day win could be important in retaining morale with three really difficult games in their first four. They will also Rivas Ecopolis and Basket Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration in Group B play.
‘Twittertastic': Checkout new arrivals @KFaris34 and @t_hawk21
In just ten words: Another tricky season ahead and slim chance of play-offs.