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19.10.2014, 15:00
Kim Andersson returns, while du Rietz quits
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FEATURE: There was a positive and a negative message for Sweden’s national team ahead of its first EHF EURO 2016 qualification matches.
 

Kim Andersson returns, while du Rietz quits

There was positive and negative news for Sweden’s coaches Staffan Olsson and Ola Lindgren when they nominated their squad for the national team’s first two qualification matches for the EHF EURO 2016.

Sweden play against Latvia on 30 October and they face Slovakia away on 1 November.

The positive news is that Kim Andersson is fit to play again after more than 18 months of absence due to shoulder problems.

While the 32-year-old right back from KIF Kolding København is ready to play for his country again, there was bad news on the opposite back court position.

Left back Kim Ekdahl du Rietz has decided to end his national team career due to ongoing knee problems.

"Your motivation gets affected when you cannot perform to 100 per cent. I have overstrained knee cap tendons and I am in constant pain.

"It has not been an easy decision to make, but it has grown over time," the 25-year-old Rhein-Neckar Löwen left back was quoted on the Swedish Handball Federation’s website.

"Of course, it is a handicap to lose a player with du Rietz’s qualities. He has developed into a great left back with a good and varied shooting repertoire and with a lot of experience, so he will obviously be missed," says Staffan Olsson, who is, on the other hand, happy that Kim Andersson is back.

"His shooting power has improved during his latest matches for Kolding, and he is slowly but steadily on his way back to his former strength.

"Furthermore he is a brilliant defender, and in the attack his assists have world class. His great experience will be of help for our relatively young team good," Olsson tells ehf-euro.com.

The difference has become smaller

The coach is pretty optimistic before the start of his team’s qualification campaign.

"We like to work forward from our goalkeepers and our defence. With Mattias Andersson and Johan Sjöstrand, I think we have the best goalkeeper duo you can ask for, and our defence also looks strong around Kim Andersson and Tobias Karlsson who both add a lot of experience to our team.

"Nevertheless I expect two tough matches against Latvia and Slovakia. I think that the difference in qualify among the teams, especially in Europe, has become smaller in recent years, but still our goal is obviously to get four points out of those two matches," says Olsson.

Sweden’s squad for Rounds 1 and 2 of the EHF EURO 2016 Qualification

Goalkeepers: Mattias Andersson (SG Flensburg-Handewitt) Johan Sjöstrand (THW Kiel)

Right wing: Niclas Ekberg (THW Kiel) Mattias Zachrisson (Füchse Berlin)

Left wing: Jonas Källman (Pick Szeged) Fredrik Petersen (Füchse Berlin)

Back court players: Kim Andersson (KIF Kolding Kobenhavn) Johan Jakobsson (SG Flensburg-Handewitt) Lukas Karlsson (KIF Kolding Kobenhavn) Tobias Karlsson (SG Flensburg-Handewitt) Patrik Fahlgren (MT Melsungen) Helge Freiman (Eskilstuna Guif) Viktor Östlund (Eskilstuna Guif)

Line players: Niclas Barud (Aalborg Handball) Jesper Nielsen (Füchse Berlin) Andreas Nilsson (MKB Veszprém)


TEXT: Peter Bruun / ts
 
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