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22

May

Andrea Lekić’s bitter dissapointment with failing to win last year’s Women”s EHF Champions League title gave way to immense joy when the versatile centre back lifted the trophy on Saturday after Györi Audi ETO KC beat Larvik 23:22 to complete a 47:43 aggregate win over the Norwegians in a packed Veszprém Arena. It was a fitting end to Lekić’s two-year spell with the Hungarian champions, who finally reached the European summit of women’s club handball after losing seven finals in various competitions.

Set to join the emerging Macedonian project, Vardar Skopje, next season, Lekić acknowledged the whole team were relieved as much as overjoyed to give their passionate fans so much to cheer about after a long wait.

“I imagined so many times what winning the Champions League would be like and when I saw the last minute ticking away in the return leg, I realised my dream was about to become reality,” Lekić told Belgrade daily Sporstki Zurnal in an interview.

“It was the best day in my career and the right way to end my time at Györ because I will forever be a part of the club’s history,” she emphasised.

The 25-year-old playmaker pointed out that although her team had the cushion of a 24:21 lead from the first leg, pressure was everywhere to be felt ahead of the return fixture after repeated failure in the past.</span><br /><br /><span>“Most newspapers in Hungary had the ‘Now or never’ headline on match day and thoughts that we are cursed must have been running through every player’s head before the throw-off.

“But we handled it well because we kept our feet on the ground and were brimming with confidence as the match beckoned,” she said.“

Ticket demand by far exceeded supply as 17,000 requests came in for just 5,000 tickets available, which is the arena’s capacity. We were aggressive and in control from start to finish.

“We drove in open-top convertibles from Veszprém to Györ, cheered on by folks until we reached the City Hall where we received a spectacular reception.Women’s handball seems to be the most popular sport in Hungary, the passion here is quite simply second to none,” Lekić stressed.

Still, the tireless backourt specialist has so much more to strive for in her career and she left no room for doubt that while she was looking forward to a fresh challenge at Vardar, her next priority would be to win a medal with Serbia at the 2013 World Championship on home soil in December.

“That would be the peak of my career because I still haven’t tasted a podium finish with my country,” she said. “I will only be able to say that I’ve done it all if I accomplish that task and having enjoyed a perfect opening half to 2013, wnning a medal with Serbia would put the icing on the cake and I’d give anything in the world for that to happen.

“It would merit a truly memorable celebration with traditional Serbian music, which is what I missed in the night club where we celebrated the historic success with Györ,” Lekić said in conclusion.