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26.07.2013, 11:41
The rising stars of the Women's 19 EHF EURO: Pia Ugrin
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The Slovenian winger is the focus in part 3 of the rising stars series
 

The rising stars of the Women's 19 EHF EURO: Pia Ugrin

Being among the top eight teams is the main goal for the Slovenian girls for the upcoming Women’s 19 EHF EURO.

It looks like it is going to be a tough task facing off against Sweden, Spain and Hungary in the Preliminary round but the squad from the sunny side of the Alps has its own plans.

Their progression at the tournament may well depend on the performances by Pia Ugrin.

The 18-year-old from Koper is not only a deadly shooter on the left wing, but is also the designated penalty taker and the defensive point for the Slovenia team.

She started playing in first grade of grammar school, and after flirting with volleyball and athletics, she decided to stick with handball, citing that it matches her competitive spirit.

In her younger years she tried the centre back position, but her height was the main factor in switching to the wing.

Fighting nature

Her role models had a huge impact on the game in Slovenia and unsurprisingly they both played on the wing.

Pia honours the legendary Tanja Oder with the number 17 on her shirt and also looks up to former Russia and Celje star Eduard Koksharov whose playing style she tries to emulate.

She hates losing and loves all the excitement a proper handball match can bring, the physicality, the chess-like anticipation of opponent's moves, the intensity and the fact that you can always rely on your teammates to back you up.

Ugrin has a couple of Slovenian junior titles under her belt with her current club Zagorje, with whom she was also the runner-up in the Slovenian league behind Krim, the perennial Slovenian contender in the Women’s EHF Champions League were always destined to take the crown.

The winger also won a silver medal in the 2011 Mediterranean youth games with Slovenia.

Clear priorities

Ugrin sees herself at a high-profile club among Europe’s elite and she also looks forward to the future. One of the priorities is also a call-up to the senior national team.

“I am totally focusing on handball as my professional career and of course I would like to someday play on that level,” admits Ugrin.

Regarding the task at hand, Pia is looking forward to enjoying her Danish adventure and told eurohandball.com about her expectations.

“Our first priority is to climb out of the group stage. We have formidable opponents, but we are working hard and we are confident in ourselves.

“Come what may, I hope we'll have a good tournament,” concluded Ugrin.


TEXT: Grega Sever / cor
 
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