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02.12.2014, 10:13
Experienced Romania eye top eight finish
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FEATURE: One of the most experienced teams at the Women’s EHF EURO 2014 hope to relive memories from 2010, when they won the bronze medal
 

Experienced Romania eye top eight finish

After three consecutive disappointing tournaments, Romania are looking to finish in the top half of the teams at EHF EURO 2014.

‘Tricolorele’ finished both EHF EURO 2012 and last year’s World Championship in 10th place, which was far from their targets, and are vying to make an impressive comeback in Hungary and Croatia this December.

But in what appears to be a very tight group, Romania have little room for error.

“We are targeting the Olympic Games in 2016 and this means we have to improve all the time.

“Romania have to grow systematically. Our objective at the EHF EURO is a top eight finish, while next year, at the World Championship, we want to be in the first six teams, a result which would give us a chance to qualify for the Olympic Games,” said Gheorghe Tadici, Romania’s coach.

Experience the key word for Romania

In the autumn of 2012, when Tadici made his comeback at the helm of Romania’s women’s team, the experienced coach’s mission was to promote a new generation and bring fresh faces into the mix.

Denisa Dedu and Gabriela Perianu both represent the new Romanian generation, but Tadici left his old school mark on the Romanian side for December’s championship.

With an average age of 26.7 years, the Romanian side is one of the most experienced in the tournament.

The likes of Aurelia Brădeanu, Paula Ungureanu and Valentina Elisei have already seen a lot.

All three players were integral parts in 2005, when Romania won silver at the World Championship and in 2010, when they achieved an amazing third place at the EHF EURO.

“The group is very hard, but I am positive ahead of this tournament. We have tough opponents in Denmark, Norway and Ukraine. But I’ve seen the girls working and I know that this is a very, very good group. They bonded in the training camp," added Tadici, who called up 21 players for the training camp, which took place in Cluj over the last two weeks.

As the maximum number of players which can be registered is 16, Tadici will make his choices with two days before the start of the competition, as the Romanian delegation contains only 17 players for the tournament.

Still waiting for good news

Only one of the players is plying her trade abroad, Cristina Neagu, and she needs no introduction. However, the Buducnost ace has been hampered by injuries and is feeling the effects of a tough Women’s EHF Champions League campaign.

“It’s true that I have pain in my knee and shoulder, but I will play in the EHF EURO. There are no major problems, I am a little tired, but I will get over it,” said Neagu, who played brilliantly in the two friendly games against Germany last weekend.

Romania won both games, 27:23 and 26:23, and Neagu scored 14 goals in the first game followed by five in the second to make her Romania’s top scorer over the weekend.

Neagu is not the only player with health troubles. Aurelia Brădeanu, the team’s most experienced player, did not travel to Germany, as she was experiencing back problems, while Gabriela Perianu was showing symptoms of fatigue, but was cleared to play after a medical examination.

“Perianu is not at 100%, but I really hope to have a clean bill of health for the tournament,” concluded Tadici.

Romania’s extended squad for the Women’s EHF EURO 2014

Goalkeepers: Paula Ungureanu (HCM Baia Mare), Ionica Munteanu (SCM Craiova), Denisa Dedu (Corona Brașov)

Right wings: Adriana Nechita (HCM Baia Mare), Aneta Pârvuţ (SCM Craiova), Laura Chiper (Corona Brașov)

Left wings: Valentina Ardean (HCM Baia Mare), Camelia Hotea (Corona Brașov)

Line players: Florina Chintoan (Universitatea Alexandrion Cluj), Crina Pintea and Georgiana Ciuciulete (both HC Zalău)

Back court: Cristina Neagu (Buducnost Podgorica), Cristina Zamfir, Aurelia Bradeanu, Adriana Țăcălie, Oana Bondar (all Corona Brașov), Gabriela Perianu (HC Dunarea Brăila), Elena Babeanu (HCM Roman), Diana Puiu and Maria Constantinescu (all HC Zalau), Luciana Marin (HCM Baia Mare)


TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / cor
 
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