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23.10.2013, 12:39
Italy see qualification as high-level test for future challenges
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MATCH PREVIEW: Modest ambitions ahead of the upcoming Women's EHF EURO 2014 qualifiers against Netherlands and Spain
 

Italy see qualification as high-level test for future challenges

A very young Italian women’s national team has a sound challenge ahead when it faces first Netherlands (on 23 October) and then 2012 Olympic bronze medallists, Spain, three days later in the first two rounds of the Women's EHF EURO 2014 Qualification.

Italy were drawn to Group 5 together with the aforementioned two teams as well as Turkey and only the top two ranked teams qualify for the final tournament in Hungary and Croatia next year.

For the team's coaches, Marco Trespidi and Frans Hammer, the two matches are very important as they pose a high-level test for the young players of the Italian team.

Ten of the sixteen Italian players stem from Esercito-FIGH Futura Roma, the team set up by the Italian Handball Federation in 2011 as part of the Olympic Project "Rio 2016" in which talented young players receive a special training programme.

"The team is very rejunevated, there aren't important players such as Cristina Lenardon, Sandra Federspieler and Antonella Coppola, and Rafika Ettaqi is injured.

"We have added some young players instead, Valentina Landri and Laura Rotondo return and Laure Oliveri returns after several years.

"We have a very young team, with very important future objectives. We will do our best against Netherlands and Spain to prepare the next important international appointments with the national team in the Women's EHF EURO 2014 Qualification and in the Women's U20 World Championship Qualification," said Marco Trespidi.

One of the key players whom Italy will rely on against Netherlands and Spain is Irene Fanton. The back court ace became the top scorer at the Women's European Open in 2012 with 48 goals.

Italy's squad for the matches against Netherlands and Spain:

Goalkeepers: Monika Pruenster (Jomi Salerno), Michela Zanotto (Esercito-FIGH Futura Roma), Francesca Luchin (Esercito-FIGH Futura Roma)

Wings: Giulia Pocaterra (Esercito-FIGH Futura Roma), Laure Oliveri (Amatori Conversano)

Line players: Angela Cappellaro (Esercito-FIGH Futura Roma), Bianca Del Balzo (Esercito-FIGH Futura Roma)

Backs: Gaia Maria Zuin (Alì Mestrino), Ilaria Dalla Costa (Esercito-FIGH Futura Roma), Valentina Landri (Amatori Conversano), Anika Niederwieser (Esercito-FIGH Futura Roma), Irene Fanton (Esercito-FIGH Futura Roma), Cristina Gheorghe (Esercito-FIGH Futura Roma), Khady Diome (Jomi Salerno), Anna Serafini (Esercito-FIGH Futura Roma), Laura Rotondo (Amatori Conversano)


TEXT: Matteo Aldamonte (FIGH) / ts
 
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