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18.10.2013, 12:50
Slovenia set themselves clear goals
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MATCH PREVIEW: Confidence reigns in the Slovenian camp just days before the Women's EHF EURO 2014 Qualification throws off
 

Slovenia set themselves clear goals

Slovenia's women's national team will soon begin a new campaign with a clear objective: the successful qualification for the upcoming European Championship 2014 in Hungary and Croatia.

They will try to reach this objective in Group 5 where the "four S" (Slovenia, Sweden, Serbia and Switzerland) will battle it out for the two spots that lead to the final tournament in December next year.

Head coach Marta Bon is both excited and worried before the first encounter, that will take place in Helsingborg against Sweden on 23 October.

"I am excited, because we've managed to reach three of our main objectives - playing for the national team again has its deserved importance, we have a quality squad and a model of play that will hopefully lead to qualification," says Bon, who will try to secure Slovenia's 5th appearance in the final round.

The last time Slovenia qualified for an EHF EURO was in 2010. However, they lost all their three group matches at the tournament in Denmark and Norway.

"I am worried though, because we'll start our campaign against a very good team. Sweden are favourites, they are a staple at major tournaments, but on the other hand I always enjoy matches with Scandinavian opponents."

When Slovenia and Sweden met in the qualification for the Women's EHF EURO 2012 Sweden had the upper hand in both matches. They won 27:20 on home court in Skövde and beat Slovenia 26:23 in Velenje.

Slovenia are in a unique position. Quite a lot players are playing abroad, though Bon wishes more of them had more important roles in their respective clubs.

"We'll try to play a fast, modern game, with quick transition, although I expect some slower minutes as well. We'll try to mix it up, coupled with an good defense," she said. 

The biggest question mark is the centre back position. Ana Petrinja is still recovering from injury and a lot depends on the form of Neza Mitrusevska and Alja Jankovic, so Tamara Mavsar could again act as a play maker - a position she successfully occupied at the Mediterranean Games.

The second qualification match for Slovenia will be in Ljubljana on 27 October against Serbia.

Slovenia's squad for the EHF EURO 2014 Qualification matches against Sweden and Serbia:

Goalkeepers: Misa Marinsek (Krim), Sergeja Stefanisin (Krim), Branka Zec (Vulkan/GER).

Backs: Teja Ferfolja (Zagorje), Ana Gros (Thüringer HC/GER), Lara Hrncic (Velenje), Alja Jankovic (Celje), Nina Jericek (Nimes/FRA), Lina Krhlikar (Celles-sur-Belle/FRA), Barbara Lazovic (Krim), Neza Mitrusevska (Zagorje), Ana Petrinja (Cetate/ROU), Maja Son (Nimes/FRA).

Wingers: Neli Irman (Zagorje), Alja Koren (Erdi VSE/HUN), Tamara Mavsar (Krim), Urška Vidic (Krka), Maja Zrnec (Krim).

Line players: Katja Cerenjak (Krka), Sanja Gregorc (Zagorje), Maxim Eva Pelikan (Celje).


TEXT: Grega Sever / ts
 
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