RK Gorenje

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Gorenje Velenje
RK Gorenje.png

Full name Rokometni Klub Gorenje Velenje
Short name Ose (The Wasps)
Founded 1959; 55 years ago (1959)
Arena Red Hall, Velenje, Slovenia
Capacity 2,500
President Uroš Marolt
Head coach Ivan Vajdl
League Slovenian First League
2013–14 2nd
Colours
Club colours          
Team colours
Team colours
Team colours
Team colours
Home
Team colours
Team colours
Team colours
Team colours
Away
Website
Official site
Gorenje Velenje vs Cimos Koper during a league match, infront of a sold out crowd.
Gorenje Velenje vs Cimos Koper in 2013

Rokometni Klub Gorenje Velenje (English: Gorenje Velenje Handball Club), commonly referred to as RK Gorenje or simply Gorenje, is a handball club from Velenje, Slovenia. The club honours 50 years of handball tradition in the region. Handball was first played in nearby town of Šoštanj, but later moved to Velenje because majority of players were from Velenje and new arena called Red Hall (Rdeča dvorana) was located there as well. The club has many selections ranging from junior to professional teams. The club's greatest achievements were four republic championship titles (1972–73, 1980–81, 1984–85 and 1988–89) in the former Yugoslavia. Since Slovenian independence, the club has won one Slovenian handball cup title (2002–03) and three league titles (2008–09, 2011–12 and 2012–13).[1] The club also participated in the EHF competitions for many seasons, including the EHF Cup, the EHF Cup Winners' Cup and the EHF Champions League. Currently, Gorenje competes in the Slovenian First League of Handball.

History[edit]

1958–1972: Beginning of handball in Šoštanj[edit]

In 1958, when section of handball was established at TVD Partizan, organized handball started to develop in town of Sostanj, Slovenia.[2] Handball was pioneered by young men in local schools with the help of some basketball players. The first pioneers were; Miligoj Jarnovič, Pavle Bukovac and Jože Pukmajster.[2] In the beginning, the club participated in the Celje regional league. In 1964–65,[2] they qualified to the Styrian regional league and a year later, Šoštanj achieved its biggest success and qualified to the Yugoslavian republic league and were never relegated. In the 1970s, team handball developed and was top event in the region, on average match there were about 1,000 spectators.

1973–1982[edit]

15 years after the club was established it became Republic Champions, after finishing first in Slovenian republic league of Yugoslavia in the 1972–73 season.[2]

Competing in the II. Yugoslavian handball league (they qualified through the republic league) was a great honor and commitment to hard work. But the team dropped out of the II. Yugoslavian league and returned to the republic league after just one season, possibly due to lack of experience, resources and other factors.[2]

1983–1991[edit]

After playing in the interrepublic league from 1981 to 1984,[2] team handball players from Šoštanj qualified, for the first time since the 1973–74, to the II. Yugoslavian handball league.[2] Although they had some financial and HR problems (they replaced 3 coaches), the team from Šoštanj finished 5th in 1990.[2]

Although the name RK Šoštanj was known across Slovenia and former Yugoslavia, the club decided to change their name[2] to ŠRK Velenje (Šaleški Rokometni Klub Velenje). This was because all games in previous years were played in Velenje at the Red Hall and because most of the players were locals from Velenje. In that season, ŠRK Velenje finished third.[2] The first two places lead to qualifications to the I. Yugoslavian handball league, and in their last match they lost that qualifying position. This has been called the biggest accomplishment in 30 years of the club's history.[2]

1992–2002[edit]

After their most successful season, when the club was at the near top of the II. Yugoslavian league and Celje even qualified to I. Yugoslavian league, Slovenia declared its independence. Handball clubs of the newly established country played their own superleague.[2] As a result, qualification for and competition in the European Handball Federation (EHF) became possible. In their first season, RK Gorenje Velenje performed below expectations and finished 5th.[2]

After the main part of the competition in the 1993–94 season, Gorenje finished in third position. In the play-offs they won against RK Prevent and then Drava Ptuj in the finals; RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko was a better opponent twice, however final 2nd place meant competition in the EHF.[2]

In just their first year in EHF competition, they qualified to semi finals in the EHF Cup.[2]

2002–2003[edit]

The 2002–03 season was historic in a many ways for Gorenje. The club was at the top of the Slovenian handball competitions all these years and had some respectable achievements in Europe, but the team from Velenje never made it quite to the top in either competition. But in the Slovenian cup finals, RK Gorenje Velenje won against Prule 67 and claimed their first title in Slovenia since its independence in 1991.[2]

This success was a turning point for the club, because it had finally secured its position in Slovenia and in Europe. The President of RK Gorenje, Franc Plaskan retired, and was replaced by Janez Živko.[2]

2003–2004[edit]

2003–04 was yet another successful season for Gorenje. Top performance and great play-offs in the EHF Cup Winners' Cup, where they won twice with minimum advantage, didn't disappoint the ambitious club or its supporters. Despite losses in the national championship, they reached the semi-finals in the Cup Winners' Cup. Their first match resulted in a narrow loss to Valladolid. However, in the Slovenian playoffs of the 1. A league Slovenian First League of Handball, they made it to the finals with injuries and a downsized team. During this match, they were finally defeated by Celje

2004–2005[edit]

Gorenje was paying the tax on injuries, which was a side effect of premier season in the Champions League. After some lost matches, they entered the playoffs in third position. But they had no match in playoffs and went straight to the finals. This was a historic finals again. The match against RK Celje ended only after four add-ons and shooting 7m throws. Celje won by 51–48. In the second match they were simply better.

In the Champions League, Velenje experienced a new level of the game. A poor start[3] eliminated them from the 1/8 finals so they continued their season in the Cup Winners' Cup where they reached quarter-finals finals and narrowly lost[4] to Izvidač Ljubovski.

2005–2006[edit]

The 2005–06 season[5] was successful but disappointing in equal measures. By qualifying to the 1/8 finals in Champions League, Gorenje achieved an historic point. In a match[6] with Montpellier, they came close to the quarter-finals, but lost.

In a home championship they made simply too many mistakes and fell foul of the new play-off ranking system. They were second after the regular part of the season and in playoffs they were first but at the end 3rd, the blame went to defeat against RK Trimo Trebnje, RK Koper and RK Gold Club. After two years in the Champions League they returned to the EHF Cup Winners' Cup.

2007–2009[edit]

Between 2006 and 2009 some major changes were made at RK Gorenje Velenje. In 2007, Gorenje hired a new promising coach, Ivica Obrvan, with a 4-year contract and mission to bring home the first championship title before club's forthcoming 50th anniversary. That year they finished second.[7] In the following season, they slipped to third place, with RK Koper in second and RK Celje PL claiming the title again.[7] However, the season that will go down to history is 2008–09, on club's 50th anniversary, when team won their first champion title in independent Slovenia. They joined the exclusive club of just 3 handball clubs that managed this in a brief history since 1991 to 2009 (RK Celje PL 16x, RD Prule 67 1x, RK Gorenje Velenje 1x).
In addition, Gorenje qualified to the EHF CUP finals with Gumbersbach that season. They lost, but that remains one of only three EHF competition finals that a Slovenian men's club qualified to (RD Slovan, RK Celje and RK Gorenje).

2009–2010[edit]

In the 2009–10 season, Gorenje finished in second place in the Slovenian First League of Handball,[8] just one point behind winning RK Celje on first place, with RK Koper in third (5 points behind). The team from Velenje also participated for the 4th time in the EHF Champions league during the season. After qualifying to the European top 16, they were defeated by Spanish Ciudad Real.[9]

2010–2011[edit]

After a supreme display of the game throughout the regular part of the Slovenian First League of Handball (19 victories in a row), Gorenje was leading by 5 points with just 10 rounds to go. However, things went downhill from there and the team's season rivals, competitors RK Koper, caught up. RK Celje did not play well that season and was already out of the game for the title, finishing in the third place.

Through the season, Gorenje and Koper played 3 matches. RK Gorenje Velenje won the first match (27–24) and Koper won the other two (28–25 and 26–21). That meant that Gorenje had to win the fourth and final match with a minimum of 5 goals difference in order to win the championship. The last match of the season was then played in Velenje, where home team collapsed under pressure and lost against Koper, 23–34.

Koper claimed their first title and Gorenje lost its last chance. They did poorly in the EHF Cup as well where Frisch Auf Göppingen knocked them out in the quarter-finals finals. The German team won the first match 33–20, even though Gorenje won the second match with 26–22; a goal difference played its part.

Team[edit]

Players[edit]

  • 30 Slovenia Nejc Cehte
  • 50 Slovenia Niko Medved
  • 80 Bosnia and Herzegovina Senjamin Burić
  • 12 Bosnia and Herzegovina Benjamin Burić
  • 13 Slovenia Darko Cingesar
  • 16 Slovenia Nejc Brglez
  • 17 Slovenia Klemen Cehte
  • 20 Slovenia Staš Skube
  • 23 Slovenia Rok Golčar
  • 24 Slovenia Mario Šoštarić
  • 25 Slovenia Jernej Papež
  • 28 Slovenia Matic Vrečar
  • 30 Slovenia Luka Dobelšek
  • 31 Slovenia Janez Gams
  • 44 Slovenia Mitja Nosan
  • 52 Slovenia Marko Oštir
  • 77 Slovenia Marko Dujmovič
  • 80 Croatia Kristian Bećiri
  • 0 Montenegro Miloš Božović
  • 0 Slovenia Klemen Ferlin
  • 0 Slovenia Blaž Kleč
  • 0 Poland Michal Szyba

Club's previous names:

  • RK Šoštanj
  • ŠRK Velenje
  • RK Gorenje Velenje

Notable players[edit]

Coaching history[edit]

  • Miro Požun
  • Ivan Vajdl
  • Tone Tiselj
  • Ivica Obrvan

Club supporters[edit]

Club supporters or fans are called Šaleški graščaki. A fan club was formed in 1994.[10] They follow the team on their matches at home and abroad. Their biggest rivals are Florijani, supporters of Celje Pivovarna Laško. Prevent, which are now defunct, were also Gorenje's rivals.

Sponsorship[edit]

The club's primary sponsor is white goods manufacturer, Gorenje, which is also based in Velenje.

Arena[edit]

RK Gorenje's home matches are played at the Velenje sports facility called the Red Hall, which has a capacity for 2,500 spectators, approximately 2,000 of whom can be seated. Originally built in 1974, the venue was refurbished in 1989, 1994 and again in 2004 for European handball championships.[11]

Club honours[edit]

Domestic[edit]

Winners (3): 2008–09, 2011–12, 2012–13
Runners-up (8): 1993–94, 1995–96, 2003–04, 2004–05, 2006–07, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2013–14
Third place (4): 2001–02, 2002–03, 2005–06, 2007–08

Since Slovenian independence in 1991, RK Gorenje Velenje competes in Slovenian First League of Handball. Only Celje PL managed to achieve this in Slovenian handball history. The club's biggest success in the competition is the championship title in the 2008-09 season.

Winners (1): 2002–03
Runners-up (7): 1993–94, 1994–95, 1996–97, 1997–98, 2000–01, 2010–11, 2012–13
  • Slovenian Supercup:
Winners (3): 2009, 2011, 2012
Runners-up (1): 2007

The Slovenian Supercup is a competition organized under the Handball Federation of Slovenia, inaugurated during the 2006–07 season. RK Gorenje Velenje has qualified to four Supercups since, and played in the finals in the 2007, 2009 and 2011 seasons.[12] they won 2009 and 2011 tournament.

Yugoslavian Handball Federation[edit]

Under the Yugoslavian Handball Federation there were many levels of competition in handball, including the First and Second Yugoslavian Leagues, the Interrepublic and Republic Leagues and regional competitions.

Regional, republic and interrepublic league[edit]

1988–89 I. Republic League, 1st place
1984–85 I. Republic League, 1st place
1983–84 Interrepublic league, 3rd place
1980–81 I. Republic League, 1st place
1972–73 I. Republic League, 1st place
1968–69 II. Republic League (Styria division), 1st place
1964–65 Regional league – Celje, 1st place
1968–69 II. Republic League (Styria division), 1st place
1964–65 Regional League – Celje, 1st place

II. Yugoslavian handball league[edit]

1990–91, 3rd place

Rivalry[edit]

The club's greatest league competitors were; RK Prevent, Celje Pivovarna Lasko, RK Gold Club (Jadran), RK Cimos Koper.[13] RK Gorenje Velenje won its first Slovenian championship title in 2009. Due to the supremacy of Celje Pivovarna Lasko in the past (16 titles in 17 years),[14] they have been runners up several times and according to statistics of Slovenian clubs their ranking in the Slovenian First League of Handball[15] they are second; First is Celje Pivovarna Lasko and third is RK Prevent.

Media[edit]

As the first and only handball club in Slovenia, RK Gorenje produces a TV Show RKG Pressing[16] and a magazine called 9ka.[17]

References[edit]

External links[edit]