Flash Quotes – Main Round, Day 1

Schedule and quotes
Group A (15 November)
19.00 (16.00 CET) Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO) v Zodiac CNA Barceloneta (ESP)
Zurab Rurua, coach, Dinamo
“Barcelona is a very tough opponent, and it is always difficult to start the season. Our main disadvantage will probably be the lack of playing, because our season is just starting. We have a new team, many young players have joined us and our team is very motivated.”
Revaz Imnaishvili, player, Dinamo
“Dinamo Tbilisi already played four years in the Champions League. This means that our team is progressing every year and ambitions are higher than ever. Last season was great for Georgian water polo both for the clubs and the national team. Last year we won our game against a very strong team, Olympiacos. This win was very important for us, because now we believe that we can play with everyone. Barceloneta is a title contender every season, but despite of this fact we are not afraid of them. We grow in these matches. our mission is to be better in every game.”
Elvis Fatovic, coach, Barceloneta
“In the first round of Champions League, we will face Dinamo Tbilisi, a team that last year surprised all by winning a game against Olympiacos. This summer they had great success in European Championship. We will enter the game carefully and with high expectations.”
Felipe Perrone, player, Barceloneta
“The Champions League is the principal competition at world level. We train hard every day, so we return to win it like we did in 2014. We are going step by step. The first game is against Dinamo Tbilisi. They are almost identical with the Georgian national team which took a huge step at the European Championships. We played two games against them last year, we won but we know it won’t be easy. They play so different water polo than us. They are more static, and we need to be able to play like last year, to play fast and aggressive. They are a good team, and first game is never easy.”
Unai Aguirre, goalie, Barceloneta
“This club approach the Champions League every year with great enthusiasm and aspiring to the maximum, which is to be able to win it. I think we have started the season very well. Although we have very important losses in the line-up, but the reinforcements are very good, and they are helping us to grow. We are going to face each game as unique ones. We start in the home of Dinamo Tbilisi. It will be a very tough game because they are playing better and better, beat Olympiacos in their pool. We hope it will be a great season and we can reach our goal.”
19.00 Waspo 98 Hannover (GER) v Jadran Split (CRO)
Karsten Seehafer, coach, Hannover
“It’s the start for a new Season, a new team and new possibilities. The goal is the Final8 and for this we need points. We will see, which level we are able to play, Viva Waspo98!”
Alexander Radovic, player, Hannover
“This will be a real test for new Waspo crew. It’s a pity that we didn’t have a chance to play against Spandau on Saturday, that would have been a good preparation for the CL, but we made the best possible use of the training camps in Rijeka, Brescia and Barcelona. Jadran is a very strong team, and they’ve played a lot of games, but we’ll try to keep the three points at home.“
Marko Macan, player, Hannover
“It’s the start of the season and we want to open the CL with the best possible performance.  Jadran are a top team, and it will be difficult, but we certainly have our chances.”
Mile Smodlaka, coach, Jadran
“We are happy to play again in the Champions League group stage. In my opinion, this year we have a bit easier task than last year, one or even two mega teams less in our group. I think the fight for Final Eight is going to be between us, Hannover, Radnicki and Barceloneta, with Olympiacos and Pro Recco strong favourites for the top two spots. In that matter, this game in Germany is a big one for both clubs, we are going there to win and have a good start to our campaign.”
Andelo Setka, player, Jadran
“I’m back after a few weeks out because of injury. Now we are without our second goalkeeper Mate Anic who is going to be out for six weeks. But Ivan Marcelic is in good shape, so we believe that we are going to have good game, and hopefully win.”
19.30 (18.30 CET) Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) v Pro Recco (ITA)
Igor Milanovic, coach, Olympiacos
“We have been waiting two months for this game, we are working very hard, we are playing with a strong, I would say the best team, with the biggest budget, but that in the water means nothing.
I believe in my players, we are excited! In our last three games, we have had some injury problems, but I think everyone will be ready for this very important game. And the game is important not only for the result. Of course, we play to win, every game, but also for our morale, our self-confidence. More than the result, I would like to see my players in good form, like last Tuesday when we played with the national team of Greece, and I think we were in very good condition. We played very well in defence, and I think if we play like that, we will dominate the game.
Here in Piraeus, we have to play well, in front of our fans and the members of the board, to represent Olympiacos at the highest level. I’m sure we will, as I said with enthusiasm, and we want to prove to ourselves that this year we deserve to fight for the Champions League finals. Our first goal is to qualify for the final 8 and after qualifying, we have three very strong games, where, I am sure, we will find a way to beat all our opponents.
I believe a lot in my team, I believe a lot in my players. We will give 100% of our energy on Tuesday and in all the games to come.”
Konstantinos Genidounias, player, Olympiacos
We are all very excited for the first game of the LEN Champions League as another long and difficult season begins in Europe. I think we are properly prepared to face the back-to-back European champions, Pro Recco. I hope with the help of our fans and the push they give us, we can bring a positive result for our team because we need a good start to the year.
Our goals are clear this year, beyond the Championship and the Cup in Greece, in Europe it is the qualification for the Final8, something we didn’t achieve last year. And from there on, as far as we can go. Speaking for everyone, this year we expect more from ourselves because this roster was built to dominate Europe and not just to go as far as possible…”
Sandro Sukno, coach, Pro Recco
“It’s a beautiful match against very strong opponents: even if it is only the first day, Olympiacos v Pro Recco is a game that all water polo fans are waiting for. We are returning from the away match in Brescia, we have had the opportunity to prepare for this match. Olympiacos changed their coach, there will be a full pool, but we are ready for this tough test.”
Nicholas Presciutti, player, Pro Recco
“It’s always nice and motivating to play in the European field. We are the reigning champions and as we want to defend the title, all the other teams want us to fall; we are ready to start the competition in Athens and curious to see where our path in the Champions League will take us.”
20.30 Radnicki Kragujevac (SRB) v NC Vouliagmeni (GRE)
Uros Stevanovic, coach, Radnicki
“We want to qualify for the F8. I think that we have a great chance, but we have to show that in the pool as well. The favourites in the group are certainly Pro Recco and Olympiacos, who, along with Novi Beograd, are also the main favourites to win the Champions League, followed by Barceloneta. The other teams in the group have a good chance to join them in the final tournament. The first two games of the season, which we play at home against direct competitors, are very important for us, and we will do our best to beat them.”
Filip Jankovic, player, Radnicki
“We prepared well for the Champions League, through training sessions with Pro Recco and Spandau 04, and we are ready for the start of the competition. No mistakes are allowed in the home pool, and we will do our best to get six points in the first two games.”
Vladimir Vujasinovic, coach, Vouliagmeni
“It is a great pleasure for the whole Club that this year we are playing in the Champions League. We wait to be at our best in all matches, starting with Radnicki from Kragujevac.”
Marios Kapotsis, player, Vouliagmeni
“We are very happy that we have qualified to the main round of Champions League. All teams from now on are very competitive but we will face every match separately. Such an experience is only good for the future of Vouliagmeni NC. Radnicki is a really strong team, made to be in the final 8, as it was shown in the game of the Servian championship versus Navi Beograd (a team which competes for the C.L. title). We will give all our efforts in Serbia against a strong opponent with a lot of supporting fans.”
Group B (16 November)
19.00 Jug Adriatic Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO) v AN Brescia (ITA)
Vjekoslav Kobescak, coach, Jug
“I am sincerely looking forward to the start of one of the most uncertain seasons of the Champions League. Already in the first test, Brescia is waiting for us, a great team that started the season very well, but I believe in my players, and I hope that with the help of the fans, we will play a good game and come out as winners in the end.”
Konstantinos Kakaris, player, Jug
“The first match is immediately a big test for us. Compared to last season, we were without several important players, several new ones arrived who fit in well, and I believe that we will be competitive this year as well. Brescia is a great team that has been at the top of European water polo for a number of seasons, and I am sure that we have a very demanding game ahead of us and the details will decide the winner.”
Alessandro Bovo, coach, Brescia
“They are a very difficult team, I’ve never won in their pool. They always have great quality, they always improve their players and also the young ones. We are angry after the defeat in the game against Recco and it will give us the right energy for the game.”
Christian Presciutti, player, Brescia
“We will face a very good team, and it will be a pleasure to meet our former teammate Maro Jokovic. They are doing very well, but we have to think about our game and I’m sure it will be a great match. We are happy to play matches like that because you always have the chance to improve yourself. We have to face this match with the right motivation.”
19.00 Astralpool Sabadell (ESP) v FTC-Telekom Budapest (HUN)
Quim Colet, coach, Sabadell
“After three years without playing in the Champions League, we are very excited to return to the best competition on the continent with excellent teams. We are very excited about doing things well and going game by game.”
Sergi Cabanas, player, Sabadell
“The team is very excited about playing in the Champions League again. This year the team has young players and players with international experience who are going to serve us very well to enjoy a good competition.”
Zsolt Varga, coach, FTC
„Last year we had a group of death, as we called it. This year, before the draw our group had seemed more balanced, but with the joining two teams it is really tough. Each point we can win is important in view of the whole Champions League group stage and the season. Therefore, we will do our best to take all the three points from Sabadell.”
Nemanja Ubovic, player, FTC
“Sabadell is a young team with a few players who can be the future of the Spanish national team. We are happy to start playing in Champions League finally! This will be our first tough game in this season, Sabadell had already had some, but we are Ferencvaros and we want to win. We are in good shape, we had a great preparation. We need to have 100 percent focus, so that we can get three points.”
19.30 Spandau 04 Berlin (GER) v Novi Beograd (SRB)
Peter Roehle, team manager, Spandau
“Our club had many players absent due to illness last week, so it seemed almost hopeless to be able to present a competitive team for the match. LEN rules require us to play as soon as seven players are fit. We are currently checking how many of our players will actually be available on Wednesday. Novi Belgrade would have been favourites either way but we will do our best to be an equal Champions League opponent.”
20.30 CN Marseille (FRA) v Genesys-OSC Budapest (HUN)
Milos Scepanovic, coach, Marseille 
 “The first match, which is moreover at home, will be essential for the classification in our group. We are also in a group with great teams so each match will be a challenge, to which we will have to respond with confidence. We worked well, the team is in good shape. We also had a good preparation with a match against Strasbourg this weekend, before starting this competition.”
Ugo Crousillat, player, Marseille 
“I can’t wait to start the Champion’s League in front of our fans! We are expecting a big match against a very good team from Budapest who will certainly be revengeful after our games last season.”
Daniel Varga, coach, OSC
“We start the Champions League season in Marseille. It will be a big challenge for us, but I believe in my team. My players are very motivated to show that they are able to play on the highest level. Exceptional performance will be needed to get the three points.”
Krisztian Manhercz, player, OSC
“Our first goal in this season was to qualify ourselves to the group stage. Our first game is against Marseille, so we will have the chance to prove that we are a better team than in last year. We will go for the win.”