The best Hungarian clubs are back in action after a four-month break. The 92nd edition Hungarian Cup begins tomorrow.
The Cup will be held in four phases. The competition formula is unusual but attractive (the schedule is at the end of the article).
Ferencvaros, the team which won everything it could in the past two seasons, is the strongest favorite for a trophy. The Hungarian and European champion will enter the Cup with almost the same team, which played in the previous season. Only one player left the club (Aaron Younger), while two young men arrived at “Fradi “(Vigvari and Fekete). But, the title-holder will begin the season without two important players. Denes Varga and Gergo Zalanki will miss the first several weeks of the season due to the injuries. But, Ferencvaros has excellent players who should overcome unexpected troubles at the beginning of the season.
Ferencvaros is hunting for its third consecutive trophy in the Cup and the 20th in a total.
If “Fradi” wins the trophy, the club will become the record-holder of the Hungarian Cup. At the moment, Ferencvaros and Ujpest Dosza (the club which doesn’t exist and it was succeeded by UVSE) share the 1st place at the all-time winners’ list with 19 trophies. The first cup was played in 1923 and Ferencvaros clinched the trophy.
In the first stage, Ferencvaros will play in a group in Budapest in the “Alfred Hajos” swimming pool on Margaret Island.
Ferencvaros defeated OSC Budapest 8:7 in the final of the 2019/20 Hungarian Cup, played in December.
Unlike Ferencvaros, OSC was forced to make a lot of changes in the team during the transfer window. A few months ago, the senior team was close to “falling apart “, because the sponsor left the club. Still, the situation was stabilized thanks to the new sponsor, which didn’t want non-Hungarians in the team. Eight players departed OSC. The team is rejuvenated, but the club managed to keep a few vital Hungarian players (Manhercz, Harai, Erdelyi). Daniel Varga will make his debut as a head coach of a senior team. OSC maybe won’t be a trophy contender, but young players and the young coach are very motivated and ready for the challenges. All in the club think that OSC can reach the place among the top 4 clubs in the country.
Several excellent foreign players left Hungary this summer (Andrija Prlainovic, Aaron Younger, Angelos Vlachopoulos, etc.), but one big water polo star came to Hungary. The most significant transfer during this summer in Hungary was Filip Filipovic’s arrival in Szolnok. His new team will be one of the strongest favorites after Ferencvaros. Five players left the club, and four arrived during the summer. Szolnok will have a team composed of experienced players (two Olympic champions Filipovic and Dusko Pijetlovic, European champions Viktor Nagy, Danial Angyal) and it could enter the battle for the trophy.
Vasas Budapest renovated the squad. Seven new players arrived, including Branislav Mitrovic, Drasko Brguljan, Bence Batori, Sava Randjelovic… The club is supported by former OSC’s sponsor and coached by Lajos Vad, who led OSC until this summer. The management composed a good team that is expected to return Vasas in a circle of the best Hungarian clubs. Vasas has won two titles of the European champion, 18 national championships, 15 Hungarian Cups… But, the club was 15th in the 2018/19 Hungarian League and saved a place in the top league through the relegation playoffs. Before the suspension of the 2019/20 league, Vasas was in 11th place. With the new team, ambitions grow…
Eger was in that circle of the best Hungarian clubs for years. But, the club has had financial difficulties. Even ten players, along with head coach Dabrowski, left Eger. The club enters the new season with a very young squad. The Hungarian government will help Eger survive by the financial support, and the upcoming season is a new beginning of the club.
Miskolc, which advanced to the semifinals of the 2019/20 Hungarian Cup and played in the LEN Euro Cup quarterfinals, has a young team, as well as OSC and Eger. The Cup will show what the new team is capable of.
Honved, with a new head coach Marton Szivos and experienced newcomers Norbert Hosnyanszky, and Adam Decker, might surprise favorites.
The most interesting group of the first stage should be the one in Tatabanya. The home team will host Vasas, Eger, and Honved.
But, the first stage will be “warming up”. The real excitements are yet to come.
(the tournaments are organized on a round-robin basis)
A group (Szeged): OSC Budapest, Debrecen, Szentes, Szeged.
B group (Kaposvar): Szolnok, BVSC, UVSE, Kaposvar.
C group (Budapest – pool on Margaret Island): Ferencvaros, Miskolc, PVSK Pecs, KSI.
D group (Tatabanya): Eger, Honved, Tatabanya, Vasas.
(the tournaments are organized on a round-robin basis, the points won in the first stage, will be carried to the second stage)
Blue group: A1, B2, C3, D4.
White group: B1, A2, D3, C4.
Red group: C1, D2, B3, A4.
Green group: D1, C2, A3, B4.
(The best eight clubs will continue the battle for the title in Group 1, while the others will play in the group for the classification 9th-16th places. At this stage, teams that have clashed before won’t meet again. Mutual results of the games between the teams which were in the same group in the first two phases will be carried to the third stage.)
Group I: Blue1, Blue2, White1, White2, Red1, Red2, Green1, Green2
Group II: Blue3, Blue4, White3, White4, Red3, Red4, Green3, Green4
The Cup will be finished in Budapest in the middle of August. The fourth stage is a knock-out round.
Semifinals 1st -4th place: I.1 – I.4 and I.2 – I.3.
Semifinals 5th – 8th place: I.5 – I.8 and I.6 – I.7.
Semifinals 9th – 12th place: II.1 – II.4 and II. 3 – II.4
Semifinals 13th – 16th place: II.5 – II.8 and II.6 – II.7
Final and other matches for the final ranking
The winners of the Hungarian Cup in the 21st century
19 trophies: Ujpest and Ferencvaros
15 trophies: Vasas
8 trophies: Honved
6 trophies: Szolnok
5 trophies: BVSC
4 trophies: Eger
3 trophies: MTK Budapest, III. Kerületi TVE, and Szeged.
2 trophies: Magyar AC, OSC and Budapest SE
1 trophy: Spartacus and Szentes