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06.06.2012, 19:59
Romania looking for EURO qualification
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Romania hope to come out on top and qualify for the second phase
 

EHF EURO Qualification debutant in Group C

Group C: Romania, Israel, Belgium, Ireland
Venue: Rishon Le Zion, Israel

The Romanians will want to stop the downward spiral in form they have suffered in recent years after missing several top events including the EHF European Championships and World Championships.

Romania start their EHF EURO 2014 Qualification with a team of players mostly from the national champions and VELUX EHF Champions League participants, HCM Constanta.

New coach, Eliodor Voica, who has replaced Vasile Stanga, will be hoping for a better start to their EHF EURO 2014 campaign. They finished bottom of their EHF EURO 2012 qualification group with zero points from six matches.

In January they narrowly missed out on reaching the 2013 World Championship play-offs due goal difference against Belarus, however, the Romanians will hope their top players Marian Ghionea and Alexandru Csepreghi will perform well.

Improving Israelis

Israel have made consistent progress in closing the gap to the top European teams over the last few years.

Key players like Chen Pomeranz and Avishay Smoler have made their way into German clubs – and this international experience has boosted the confidence of the team.

Despite these improvements, Israel failed to reach EHF EURO 2012, ranking last in their group and the 2013 World Championship play-offs losing twice to Austria.

Belgium look to Cauwenberghs

Belgium will be aiming to get further in their EHF EURO qualification and will try for the 19th time to qualify for a major tournament having been unsuccessful in their previous attempts to qualify for a EHF EURO or World Championship.

Despite some brilliant performances from their top star Thomas Cauwenberghs in the past two years, the only victory Belgium has to their name in competitive matches was a 29:25 against their neighbour Luxembourg in the EHF EURO 2012 Qualification Phase 1.

In their warm-up matches for the qualification rounds, Belgium drew 28:28 with Luxemburg and 24:29 against the Netherlands.

After seven participations in the IHF/EHF Challenge Trophies, the Irish team enter into the EHF EURO Qualification tournament for the first time ever.

FC Barcelona coach boosts Irish hopes

Irish handball is looking to make major progress in the next few years, the Phase 1 EHF EURO Qualification is the first step in this process.

Under their new coach FC Barcelona Intersport's Youth Coach, Toni Gerona Salaet, Ireland can count on players like Chris O’Reilly and Steffan Meyer from a young squad, with an average age of 21.

O'Reilly and Meyer were named in the 2012 IHF/EHF Challenge Trophy All-Star Team of Group A at the tournament held in Limerick, Ireland.

EHF EURO History

Romania: (2 appearances at EHF EUROs) 1994: 11th / 1996: 9th
Israel: (1 appearance at EHF EUROs) 2002: 14th
Belgium, Ireland (0 appearances at EHF EUROs)


TEXT: Björn Pazen
 
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