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10.09.2013, 16:31
Pytlick confident about Denmark's chances
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NEWS REPORT: The head coach of the Danish women's team looks forward to the qualification for the EHF EURO 2014 in Hungary and Croatia. But he also thinks that his team is capable of much more than just qualifying for yet another final tournament
 

Pytlick confident about Denmark's chances

Among the 400 handball fans watching Montenegrin club Buducnost taking on Slovenian side Krim Mercator in Podgorica on Sunday (8 September), there was an unexpected yet familiar face: Denmark’s women’s national team head coach Jan Pytlick.

The 46-year-old had come to the Montenegrin capital to see his right wing Camilla Dalby play – a trip that was planned months ago and that Pytlick did not cancel, even though he knew in advance that Dalby is still recovering from an ankle injury.

However, Pytlick confirmed that he considers his time far from being wasted as he had the chance to meet Dragan Adzic, head coach of Buducnost as well as of the Women’s EHF EURO 2012 champions, Montenegro.

Denmark will start their EHF EURO 2014 qualification campaign in October, being seeded in Group 1 together with Ukraine, Austria and Lithuania.

“The draw was OK for us, although there are some easier groups.

“But the group with Montenegro, Czech Republic, Portugal and Poland was the one to avoid.

“Ukraine and Austria have strong teams, while Lithuania should be the weakest team.

“I believe it will be a battle between Ukraine, Austria and us, but I believe we should be able to reach one of first two places (that guarantee qualification for the final tournament),” Pytlick added.

Denmark finished fifth at EHF EURO 2012 in Serbia, but they are now aiming to add some new silverware to their trophy cabinet, ending a podium drought which has been ongoing since they won silver at EHF EURO 2004.

Battle for the favourite's role in Serbia

The next chance for the team to medal is the upcoming 2013 World Championship in December.

“At the EHF 2012 EURO in Serbia we didn’t reach the semi-final. But I think we have a chance to do it this time," Pytlick said.

“We have a tough group (with Brazil, Serbia, Japan, China and Algeria as opponents), but even more difficult is the group with the team we will play against in the Last 16, such as Montenegro, France, South Korea, and Netherlands.”

For Pytlick, Norway are still the main favourites for the gold medal, but not the only one.

“There is also Montenegro. We saw last year how good a team they are.

“Not to mention the Serbian hosts – playing on home court will mean a lot to them.

“Brazil is also a very good team, and you never know how good South Korea are.”


TEXT: Saša Jončić / ts
 
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