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12.08.2015, 15:46
Several favourites eye the trophy in Skopje
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PREVIEW: Being the first major championship for all players, the Women's 17 EURO will always be special and hard to predict.
 

Several favourites eye the trophy in Skopje

Every international handball star has to start somewhere and the same holds true for the players at Women's 17 EHF EURO as they experience the atmosphere, the environment and the intensity of a major championship for the first time in their careers.

This will always make the under 17 championships something special, and as no one has seen these young talents at a major tournament before, those championships are usually also the hardest to predict.

This also seems to apply to the Women´s 17 EURO 2015 which starts Friday in Skopje, the capital of FYR Macedonia – and that is exactly part of the charm of the tournament, if you ask some of the coaches involved.

“It is the first time the players are away together for such a long time, and you never really know in advance how they are going to cope with that.

“Furthermore, it is always exciting to see what the other countries have in this vintage, as this may indicate how strong they will be at senior level in some years,” finds Denmark´s coach Heine Eriksen, who is one of the most experiences youth coaches at all with nearly 20 major championships under his belt.

“It always makes me happy to see other nations having strong vintages also. I do not react like ´Oh no, they seem terribly strong!´ Instead, it makes me happy on behalf of women´s handball and its future.

“It is also really interesting to take a look eight to ten years later and see if those talents have actually made as far as you predicted,” Heine Eriksen tells eurohandball.com.

Denmark and Russia named as favourites

As it is the first championship for this vintage, it is obviously hard to point out any obvious favourites ahead of the championship, which is being played in the two big and well known arenas of Skopje, the Jane Sandanski and the Boris Trajkovski.

Still, a few teams are being mentioned continuously by the coaches who are involved in the tournament.

“Our main rivals for the title will be Denmark and Sweden and perhaps Hungary,” says Russia's coach Vyacheslav Kirilenko who does not hesitate to admit that he sees his own team as one of the top favourites too.

Vigdis Holmeset, who is in charge of the Norwegain team together with Kenneth Gabrielsen, agrees very much with her Russian colleague.

“Denmark and Russia are the strong favourites with Hungary coming in close,” she predicts.

Come the final weekend of this EHF EURO, there is not only the championship plate at stake, but also the places at Women's Youth World Championship 2016 in Slovakia. The teams from places 1 to 10 will clinch their berths at next year's tournament, hosting Slovakia is automatically qualified.

Live stream available

To get to the live stream of the matches from Skopje, head to the games on the official event website.

The European Handball Federation will cover the event on eurohandball.com and also on Twitter and Facebook.

Under the banner of ‘Let’s Play Handball’ a group of 30 young media volunteers from 15 countries are also busy preparing to cover the 12th edition of the Women’s 17 EHF European Championship

 


 


TEXT: Peter Bruun / br
 
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