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21.07.2014, 15:09
Spain wants a medal
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NEWS REPORT: Following the golden performance at the Men's 20 EHF EURO 2012, the new generation of handball talents is hungry for a repetition at the 2014 event in Austria
 

Spain wants a medal

Spain’s junior national team will arrive at the Men’s 20 EHF EURO with the clear will to repeat the success from the tournament’s 2012 edition when Spain won gold.

For obvious reasons the team roster has changed, but nevertheless the consensus is that not being among the medallists would be considered a failure.

This is true despite that fact that a certain form of understatement seemed to be the message ahead of the 2012 tournament.

"I don’t think that this is the best generation of players we've ever had, but I’m sure is the most competitive team," said head coach Alberto Suárez before the Men’s 20 EHF EURO 2012.

His team eventually went on to win European gold in the final against Croatia (34:21) and added a silver medal to their tally when they only lost the 23:28 to Sweden at the Junior World Championship 2013.

Now it is time for a new generation of players to take to the court at this age level.

Isidoro Martinez, the coach, has a lot of experienced players at his disposal who play for various teams in the Spanish Asobal League and hence know how to deal with pressure and important games.

One of these players is BM. Granollers left back Arnau Garcia. This season will be his third in the Asobal with the Catalan team, and he is not afraid of the game’s most important moments.

A day that Garcia will always remember is 17 April 2013. That day BM Granollers beat Atlético Madrid with a Garcia goal in the last second.

He was only 18 years old, but his arm did not tremble - maybe because his father in th elat 1980s, Perico Garcia, was the goalkeeper of Teka Cantabria, the first winners of the EHF Champions League in 1994, and the Spanish national team.

At the Men’s 20 EHF EURO 2014 Spain have been drawn to Group A together with France, FYR Macedonia and Norway.

"Our group is very difficult," says Garcia. "We don’t know anything about FYR Macedonia, because we haven’t got a lot of videos or information about them and we have never played against them either. France and Norway are the most difficult teams to play against.

"All groups are very tight. In any EHF EURO there are the best players of Europe (competing) and you have to fight a lot to reach good results. If we play bad only in one game, we can pay dearly."

"Our generation has come fourth at the Men’s 18 EHF EURO and the Youth World Championship. We don’t have any pressure, but we really want to reach a medal (this time). From the Spanish Federation they always encourage us and they recognise the good work. Now we have to fight to bring home a medal."

Tournament information

The Men’s 20 EHF EURO takes place in the Austrian cities of Linz and Traun from 24 July to 3 August 2014. For more information visit the official website and the event’s Facebook page.

Over the next few days and during the tournament eurohandball.com and the EHF EURO Facebook page will also feature regular reports, features and photo galleries.

Austria also hosted the Men’s 18 EHF EURO 2012 when the same generation of players took to the court. Back then Germany won, Sweden came second and Denmark placed third. Austria finished sixth.

The previous Men’s 20 EHF EURO took place in Turkey in 2012. Spain won ahead of Croatia and Slovenia. Austria had not qualified.


TEXT: Adria Barrio / ts
 
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