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25.11.2015, 13:38
Spain rely on experience ahead of EHF EURO
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EHF EURO INSIGHTS: While change has arrived at the Spanish national team, head coach Manolo Cadenas will for one more time trust his stalwarts at the EHF EURO 2016
 

Spain rely on experience ahead of EHF EURO

On 27 January 2016 the Spanish men’s national team will celebrate the third anniversary of its World Championship triumph in 2013.

Three years ago the victory against Denmark catapulted the team to the top of the handball world, but time goes by, and it is not possible for any team to rest on its laurels.

Spain will have to renew the team to keep up with the best, but it is not likely that massive changes will already take place at the upcoming EHF EURO 2016.

However, the fact that overall in this year head coach Manolo Cadenas nominated 11 different players compared to the squad that finished 4th at the World Championship 2015 in Qatar, is a very clear signal that the team is changing, and that there are new players who will fight to be on Cadenas’ final list for the EHF EURO.

At the same time, the team’s structure has remained the same over the past years, and it is very difficult to change the majority of players in a short time.

New young players will join the team over the next few years, but not all of them straight away.

The Spanish team is not just the sixteen people who play at any major event.

The Spanish team is not just the players who are nominated by the coach.

The Spanish team is comprised of all the Spanish players who train every day with their club teams to one day have the opportunity to play with the national team.

This is the main key for the team’s success of the team. This is the main key to renew the team without changing its game.

The young players are ready

The most recent test matches Spain played at the beginning of November yielded some positive results for the team.

At an international tournament in Gdansk they first beat Sweden 32:27 and then had the upper hand in the final against Poland (23-20).

But the most important were not the results – it was the performance of the young players.

Manolo Cadenas had nominated a young team because he wanted that some of the players who will play the next EHF EURO rested at home.

“We had a lot of young players in the team, and they demonstrated that in the future they will be join to this team,” Cadenas said at the end of the tournament.

There were three ‘complete newbies’ in the team for the Gdansk tournament: Álvaro Ruiz, Álvaro Cabanas and Pedro Rodríguez.

There were furthermore a lot of players that are not ‘common sightings’ in the team, such as Rodrigo Corrales, Ángel Fernández, Rafa Baena, Niko Mindegia, Carlos Molina, Josu Goñi and Juan del Arco.

From this list it is likely that at least two players will join the team at the EHF EURO. For those two the EHF EURO 2016 will be their first big tournament with the Spanish national team.

Experience to lead the way

On the other side, the majority of Spanish players in Poland will still be the same as the ones who won World Championship gold in 2013 in Barcelona.

Missing from the victorious squad three years ago will be Albert Entrerríos who since then retired. Furthermore one part of the 2013 goalkeeper duo, Arpad Sterbik and Jose Manuel Sierra, is likely to miss out and Ángel Montoro, part of the team 2013, did not make the cut for the World Championship 2015 in Qatar and is likely to miss out again.

Albert Rocas is currently recovering from an ankle injury, but it is expected that he will recover in time for the EHF EURO 2016.

The final decisions are likely to be made during Spain’s test tournament from 8 to 10 January 2016 when they face Sweden, Brazil and Poland.


TEXT: Adria Barrio / ts
 
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