“Velikotarnov handball” is the name of the newly released book, which describes the history of this sport in the old capital. Its author is Angel Gantsarov, who follows in detail the development and successes of the handball game.
“The idea of writing this book was put forward at the end of the summer of 2021. I shared my intentions for its content with many people related to the beginning of the handball game in V. Tarnovo – Elena Vitanova, part of the first women’s team created in 1964 handball team at DFS “Etar”, Ms Petranka Pavlova, playing coach of the women’s team in 1967/68, when she first entered “A” RHG, one of the most successful Bulgarian handball coaches Yonko Stoyanov, the long-time president of HC “Eter-64″ Atanas Atanasov and others related to the development of Veliko Tarnovo handball. They subsequently helped me a lot with memories, materials and photos for writing this book”, says Angel Gantsarov.
He is ambitious to finish the book by the autumn of this year, because it is 65 years since the creation of the BFH, 60 years since the beginning (albeit unorganized) of handball in V. Tarnovo, as well as 55 years since the entry of “Eter” for the first time in the elite and on the eve of the club’s 60th anniversary.
The book is 304 pages, of which 32 are a color appendix with photos of the teams over the years. It begins with the beginning of the handball game abroad, then in our country – the first stage, then the second with the popularization of handball in 1958-1973. The second chapter is dedicated to the beginning of handball in V. Tarnovo. In 1962, a group of enthusiasts – Todor Bankovski, Irman Hristov and Sabi Kefirov, raised the issue of creating a city handball section at the “Eter” DFS. It was established and its first chairman was Todor Bankovski. On November 12, 1964, Kiril Grozdanov was appointed to “Etar” Company, his name is associated with the creation of the first men’s and women’s handball teams in V. Tarnovo.
There is a place for proven coaches and specialists such as Kiril Grozdanov, Yonko Stoyanov, Yordan Marov, Yonka Gencheva and Atanas Atanasov. “Eter-64”, whose president since 1998 is Atanas Atanasov, won its first bronze medals with coach Yordan Marov in the same year. Subsequently, Eterki became the champion of Bulgaria for women 10 times under the leadership of Yonka Gencheva, 6 times they won the silver and 6 times the bronze medals. The first title came in 2002, and the last one was in 2017, when the team achieved a historic treble – title, Bulgarian Cup and beach handball champion. There are separate chapters for each championship triumph.
Record holders with 8 titles each among the competitors are Sonia Bogdanova, Daniela Kotseva and Desislava Nikolova, with 7 titles is Zoya Stefanova, 6 each – Gergana Alexandrova and Madlena Doncheva.
15 Bulgarian Cups have been won, the first being in 1997 with Yordan Marov, and the last from 2023. Sonia Bogdanova has 12 awards, Geri Alexandrova, Daniela Kotseva and Desi Nikolova have 9. Separate chapters are devoted to beach handball, to the performances of “Eter-64” on the international field – both with its national teams and its participation in European club tournaments. Men’s handball is also not forgotten, whose first team was created by Todor Bankovski, there are also pages for HC “Bolyari” with Rumen Trifonov, for figures such as Rositsa Dimkova, Delyan Genchev, Svetoslav Yovchev and Zvezdelin Yonchev and many others.
There is also a place for HC “Tarnovgrad”, for participation in student and school championships, for the first “Yonka Gencheva” tournament, as well as for the honors of “Eter-64” in the polls for Sportsman No. 1 and Coach No. 1 of Veliko Tarnovo. Yonka Gencheva was named the best coach in 2012 and 2021, and among the contestants with the greatest achievement is Geri Aleksandrova – No. 1 in 2006, and three more times she found a place among the prize winners in the poll.