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
2012–13 1st
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 team handball club from Velenje, Slovenia. 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. Club has many selections ranging from junior to professional team. Club's greatest achievements were four republic championship titles (1972–73, 1980–81, 1984–85, 1988–89) in former Yugoslavia. Since the 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, 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 got its first award, the title of republic champions in the 1972–73 season after finishing first in Slovenian republic league of Yugoslavia.[2]

Competing in the II. Yugoslavian handball league (they qualified through the republic league) was a great honor and commitment to good and hard work. But lack of experience, resources and maybe some other forces have caused club to drop out of the II. Yugoslavian league and return to the republic league after just one season.[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), team from Šoštanj finished 5th in 1990.[2]

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

1992–2002[edit]

After the 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] Ambitions of all were large because highest positions lead to Europe, to European Handball Federation competitions. In their first season RK Gorenje Velenje performed under expectations and finished 5th.[2]

After regular part of the competition in the 1993–94 season, Gorenje finished in the third position. In the play-offs they won against RK Prevent and then Drava Ptuj in finals, RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko was a better opponent twice, however final 2nd place meant 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 a 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 team from Velenje never made it quite to the top in both competitions. And that long awaiting moment happened in Slovenian cup finals, where RK Gorenje Velenje won against Prule 67 and won their first title in Slovenia since its independence in 1991.[2]

This success was a breaking point that lead the club to new paths, because the club finally made its position in Slovenia and in Europe. 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 let down ambitions of the club and its supporters. In the national championship they had some slips, but in the Cup Winners' Cup they reached to semi-finals. On their first match they closely lost to Valladolid. However, in the Slovenian playoffs of the 1. A league Slovenian First League of Handball, they crawled to finals with injured and downsized team where 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. They've lost some matches and started playoffs as third. But they had no match in playoffs and went straight to finals. This was a historic finals again. The match against Celje ended only after four add ons and shooting 7m throws. Celje won by 51–48. The second match they were simply better.

In champions league Velenje experienced new level of the game. Poor start[3] prevented them to fight for the 1/8 finals so they continued their season in the Cup Winners' Cup where they reached quarter-finals finals and lost closely[4] to Izvidač Ljubovski.

2005–2006[edit]

The 2005–06 season[5] was very successful and very disappointing at the same time. By qualifying to the 1/8 finals in champions league, Gorenje achieved a historic point. In a match[6] with Montpellier, they were close to the quarter-finals, but have lost.

In a home championship they've made simply too much mistakes and besides they were the unfortunate victim of new system. They were second after regular part of the season and in playoffs they were event first but at the end 3rd, the blame goes to defeat against RK Trimo Trebnje, RK Koper and RK Gold Club. After two years in champions league they were back to EHF Cup Winners' Cup.

2007–2009[edit]

Between years 2006–2009 some changes were made in RK Gorenje Velenje. In 2007 Gorenje hired a new promising coach Ivica Obrvan with a 4-year contract and goal to bring home their first champion title before club's 50th anniversary in the coming years. That year they finished second.[7] Season after that they slipped on third place, behind RK Koper on secoond and RK Celje PL winning, again.[7] However, season that will go down to history is 2008–09, on club's 50th anniversary, 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).
On top of that, Gorenje qualified to the EHF CUP finals with Gumbersbach that season, they lost but that remains one of only three EHF competition's finals that Slovenian men club qualified to (RD Slovan, RK Celje and RK Gorenje).

2009–2010[edit]

In the 2009–10 season, Gorenje finished in the second place in the Slovenian First League of Handball[8] (just one point behind) to RK Celje on first place and RK Koper on third (5 points behind). Team from Velenje also participated in the EHF Champions league that season( club's 4th participation). After qualifying to top 16 teams of Europe's best, 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 and just 10 rounds to go. However, things down slided here on and their biggest competitor this season RK Koper caught on. RK Celje did not play well that season and was already out of the game for the title, finishing in the third place. Trough 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 won the last fourth 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 crushed under pressure and lost against Koper with a stunning result of 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]

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. 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.

Sponsors[edit]

Major club's sponsor is Gorenje from Velenje.

Arena[edit]

RK Gorenje home matches are played at sports facility called theRed Hall with a capacity for 2,500 spectators. It was built in 1974. In 1989 and 1994 it was renewed and once again in 2004 for European handball championships. Its capacity is approximately 2000 seats[11]

Club honours[edit]

Domestic[edit]

Winners (3): 2008–09, 2011–12, 2012–13
Runners-up (7): 1993–94, 1995–96, 2003–04, 2004–05, 2006–07, 2009–10, 2010–11
3rd 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. Clubs's largest success in the competition is champion title in season 2008–09.

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

Slovenian supercup is a competition organized under Handball federation of Slovenia, since the 2006–07 season. RK Gorenje Velenje qualified to four supercups since, and played finals 2007,2009,2011,[12] they won 2009 and 2011 tournament.

Yugoslavian[edit]

Under Yugoslavian Handball Federation there were many levels of competition in handball. There was the First and the Second Yugoslavian League, Interrepublic and Republic League 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) 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]

Clubs 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 Slovenian First League of Handball[15] is 2nd, First is Celje Pivovarna Lasko and third is RK Prevent.

Media[edit]

As 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]