When it comes to winning the SEHA – Gazprom League trophy, everyone knows how hard it is to actually finish on top and bring it home. Only three clubs managed to do so in the eight previous seasons. One of them are Croatian champions, PPD Zagreb. The second SEHA season was surely the golden one for them. In the thrilling final match that went to extra time, Zagreb's Lions managed to show real team spirit and all their skills on the court. They won against Vardar in Skopje and got into the small circle of SEHA winners.
In the years ahead, they were the constant guests at the SEHA Final 4 tournaments. Lions were close to winning the SEHA – Gazprom League in the previous season, but this time Vardar came out victorious. Alongside amazing SEHA achievements, PPD Zagreb are having a great time on the domestic court. They are definitely dominating the Croatian handball scene, as they were crowned champions 28 times in a row. This impressive number would make almost anyone speechless. They can proudly say that, aside from being the SEHA- Gazprom - League and Croatian champions, they are also two-times EHF Champions League winners. But, the last few seasons are not the most successful ones when it comes to that League. Lions have always been in the group phase and last year they lost to Vardar in the 1/8 finals. They managed to get through the quarter-finals in the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 seasons which was considered an amazing result.
PPD Zagreb are set on creating some new, amazing memories and achieving outstanding results in the following season. They decided to strengthen the team with some of the well-known SEHA faces. Young and talented Marin Sipic as well as Ante Gadza have departed Nexe and will have important roles in Zagreb's story. Besides them, Lions also welcomed Kristian Beciri from Celje Pivovarna Lasko and Darko Stojnic from Gorenje Velenje. Radivoje Ristanovic is going to share his position with the young newcomer and former Sporting goalie, Matej Asanin.
By welcoming all these names, PPD Zagreb had to say goodbye to some of the well known Lions. Three of the Zagreb's line players will continue their careers outside of the SEHA – Gazprom League. Tin Kontrec will join Gummersbach, while Leon Susnja will be a part of the Wisla Plock in the upcoming season. Urh Kastelic will join Frisch Auf Goppingen and another line player, Senjamin Buric signed with Nantes. Lovro Jotic will stay under the SEHA wings as he departed for Eurofarm Rabotnik.
Their attempt to win another SEHA trophy won't be easy. They were placed in the Group B with Meshkov Brest from Belarus, Hungarian champions Telekom Veszprem and Serbian Metaloplastika Sabac. They will also play against the newcomers, Beijing Sport University and Eurofarm Rabotnik. But, their amazing captain Zlatko Horvat alongside the coach Branko Tamse, will once again guide the team just like they know. Young and talented David Mandic and experienced Damir Bicanic will be a part of the squad as well.
When the tough times loom, PPD Zagreb will seek the motivation in their loyal fans, White Lions. The chemistry between the players and their fans is extraordinary. Loud White Lions make sure to always cheer and support their team.
With all the new participants and the teams that have returned to the League, it will be interesting to see if PPD Zagreb can finish on top and put Vardar's dominance on hold.