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06.03.2014, 16:37
Sivertsson confident ahead of Serbia clashes
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MATCH PREVIEW: The new Swedish women's head coach has nominated his players for the Women's EHF EURO 2014 doubleheader against the World Championship 2013 silver medallists
 

Sivertsson confident ahead of Serbia clashes

Thomas Sivertsson is preparing for his first task as Sweden's women's national team coach, the EHF EURO 2014 qualification matches against Serbia at the end of this month, after taking over the job from Torbjörn Klingvall who stepped down at the end of 2013.

Sivertsson, who was promoted from assistant to head coach when Klingvall left the job, has just announced his squad for the two matches against the World Championship 2013 silver medallists in Group 5 in which Sweden are leading with four points after two matches.

Serbia and Slovenia are on two points and Switzerland have zero at the moment.

"Having won our first two matches, we are of course on four points already, but as Slovenia have beaten Serbia (31:26) the group is still open.

"We can decide everything in our own favour by winning both matches against Serbia, and even if we only win one and lose the other one, we are still in a very good position.

“If we lose both, we still have the opportunity, but that will make our away match against Slovenia (on 11. June) extremely decisive," Thomas Sivertsson told ehf-euro.com.

"Serbia are a strong team with world class players such as Andrea Lekic and Sanja Damnjanovic who are playing really well at the moment.

"Obviously, we are going to meet a Serbian team who finished second at the World Championship at home in December, and who has played two championships (ed: also the EHF EURO 2012) in a row at home now.

"That has undoubtedly made the home crowd used to supporting their team, and there is no doubt that we will be in for a tough challenge in the first match in Serbia," Sivertsson added.

Players have done well

However, the new national coach has a lot of confidence in the squad he has nominated for the matches against the World Championship runners-up.

"Of course, it is bad for us that Jenny Alm has been injured, and that Sabina Jacobsen and Linn Blohm have long-term injuries, but on the other hand it is positive that virtually all players in the squad have played really well in their club teams lately.

"This applies in particular to the players who play in the European competitions at the moment - to Isabelle Gullden, Linnea Torstensson and Johanna Ahlm in the Cup Winners' Cup and the EHF Cup and, of course, to the Sävehof players in the (Women's EHF) Champions League.

"They all appear to be in really good shape right now," Thomas Sivertsson said.

Serbia and Sweden meet in Kragujevac in Serbia on 27 March and in Kristianstad in Sweden on 30 March.

The squad

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

Left wing: Louise Sand (IK Sävehof), Edijane Dafe (IK Sävehof)

Right wing: Hanna Fogelström (IK Sävehof), Nathalie Hagman (Lugi HF)

Line players: Ulrik Agren (Buxtehuder SV), Frida Tegstedt (IK Sävehof)

Left back: Linnea Torstensson (Viborg HK), Jamin Roberts (IK Sävehof), Maria Adler (HC Odense)

Centre back: Isabelle Gullden (Viborg HK), Johanna Ahlm (Team Esbjerg), Johanna Westberg (Skuru IK)

Right back: Ida Oden (IK Sävehof), Anna-Maria Johansson (Skövde HF)


TEXT: Peter Bruun / ts
 
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