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04.09.2013, 10:44
Isabel Blanco stages comeback for Norway
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NEWS REPORT: Head coach Thorir Hergeirsson nominates the experienced line player for a test match series at the end of September, but the 34-year-old does not rule out at all that she is ready for more matches
 

Isabel Blanco stages comeback for Norway

After four years of absence line player Isabel Blanco is back with the Norwegian women's national team.

Right now it is just for a number of test matches in the Czech Republic later this month (18 September and 20 September against Czech Republic, 21 September against Slovakia) but she does not rule out a permanent comeback.

Apart from a brief three-match stint in July 2012 at the Scandinavian Open, Isabel Blanco has not played for the Norwegian national team since 2009.

Back then the experienced line player chose to bid farewell to the national team.

Now, at the age of 34, the Larvik veteran is ready for national team handball again and is among the 18 players which national coach Thorir Hergeirsson has nominated for the test match series.

The matches are going to serve as preparation for Norway´s upcoming qualification matches for the Women's EHF EURO 2014.

The attractiveness of playing EHF EURO qualification matches

"First of all I am back as stand-in for Marit Malm Frafjord who is recovering from a serious shoulder injury. The management of the national team has seen me as the right replacement for her," said Isabel Blanco.

"As I felt like playing in the national team again, I have agreed to play these test matches, and then we will have to see, what the future brings after that.

"However, I am really looking forward to playing in the national team again, so I definitely do not rule out the possibility that I am back for good," she said.

It took her five years, from 2004 to 2009, to reach 70 of her 73 internationals, as several injuries sidelined her for longer or shorter spells, so some might say that she has something to catch up for.

And the qualification matches for the EHF EURO 2014 in Hungary and Croatia as well as the upcoming 2013 World Championship in December  might be motivating factors.

"Of course it would be great to play the qualifiers as well as the World championship, and that is why I do not want to rule out the possibility of a permanent comeback.

(But) Right now I am simply looking forward to my comeback," Isabel Blanco said.

In the qualification tournament for the Women's EHF EURO 2014 in Croatia and Hungary, Norway are in Group 6 with only two opponents, Romania and Belarus.

The Norwegians are playing their first two matches – both against Romania – away on October 23 and at home four days later.

The squad for the Norwegian test match series against Czech Republic and Croatia:

Silje Solberg (Stabæk Håndball) Katrine Lunde Haraldsen (Györy Audi ETO) Stine Liden (Storhamar IF) Mari Molid (Levanger HK) Stine Bredal Oftedal (Issy Paris) Ida Alstad (Team Tvis Holstebro) Heidi Løke (Györi Audi ETO) Isabel Blanco (Larvik HK) Karoline Dyhre Breivang (Larvik HK) Stine R. Skogrand (Tertnes Bergen) Anja Hammerseng-Edin (Larvik HK) Linn Jørum Sulland (Larvik HK) Veronica Kristiansen (Glassverket IF) Linn-Kristin Riegelhuth Koren (Larvik HK) Linn Gossé (Tertnes Bergen) Maja Jakobsen (Storhamer IF) Hanna Yttereng (Levanger HK) Sanna Solberg (Stabæk Håndball)


TEXT: Peter Bruun / ts
 
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