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08.10.2013, 13:40
Johansson looking forward to international comeback
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NEWS REPORT: Swedish right back retuns to the international scene for the EHF EURO 2014 qualification after becoming a mother
 

Johansson looking forward to international comeback

After a one year break to become a mother, Anna-Maria Johansson is ready to play for the Swedish national team again and she is looking forward to her comeback in the upcoming EHF EURO 2014 qualifiers.

Anna-Maria Johansson is in for a comeback when Sweden meet Slovenia and Switzerland in Qualification Group 5 for the EHF EURO 2014 in Croatia and Hungary.

The left-handed backcourt player has not appeared in the national team since the London Olympics in the summer of 2012. After the Olympics she was set to join Metz Handball in France from Danish side Team Esbjerg, but pregnancy put a stop to those plans and instead she moved home to Sweden. Now she has resumed her career in Skövde HF in the Swedish league.

“I am really looking forward to playing in the national team again. I do not know much about our opponents in the first two matches, though.

“I have never played against Switzerland before, while I have met Slovenia in a qualification match some years ago. I do not if they have improved in the meantime, but I think that this is two matches we should be able to win and must win – not least considering that we also have Serbia in our group,” the 31-year-old told ehf-euro.com with her seven month-old-daughter on her lap.

Crucial to qualify 

She was not present for Sweden’s failure to qualify for the World Championship 2013 this summer – but the missed qualification has just made her even keener on qualifying for the EHF EURO 2014.

“It will be crucial for us to qualify for the European championship, especially after we failed to qualify for the World Championship.

“If you fail to qualify for a championship, you are bound to get stronger opposition in the next qualifiers making it even more difficult to qualify. That is just one reason why it is so important for us to qualify this time,” the experienced right back said.

National coach Torbjörn Klingvall is also happy to have Johansson back.

“Having Anna-Maria Johansson back pleases me, as it adds a further dimension to our play to have a left-handed player on the right back position,” Klingvall told the Swedish Handball Federation.

Apart from Anna-Maria Johansson, there is also a remarkable comeback to be noticed on the opposite back position. Left back Linnea Torstensson from Slovenian champions RK Krim Mercator is back from an injury break.

The Swedish squad:

Goalkeepers: Cecilia Grubbström (OGC Nice) Filippa Idéhn (IK Sävehof)

Backcourt players: Sabina Jacobsson (Randers HK) Linnea Torstensson (RK Krim Mercator) Jenny Alm (IK Sävehof) Isabelle Gulldén (Viborg HK) Johanna Ahlm (Team Esbjerg) Anna-Maria Johansson (Skövde HF) Ida Odén (IK Sävehof)

Wingers: Jessice Helleberg (HC Odense) Louise Sand (IK Sävehof) Hanna Fogelström (IK Sävehof) Jamina Roberst (IK Sävehof)

Line players: Linn Blohm (IK Sävehof) Ulrika Ågren (Buxtehuder SV) Nathalie Hagman (Lugi HF)

Sweden play at home against Slovenia on 23 October and away against Switzerland on 27 October in their opening qualifiers.

Further information

Follow all the latests news and features on the new EHF EURO Facebook page.


TEXT: Peter Bruun / cor
 
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