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03.03.2016, 09:51
Czech Republic struggle with absences but aim for points against Serbia
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PREVIEW: Czech Republic's position in the EHF EURO 2016 Qualification may look positive, but a look back at the 2014 qualifiers still gives nightmares to head coach Jan Basny
 

Czech Republic struggle with absences but aim for points against Serbia

Czech Republic have started their EHF EURO 2016 campaign with two wins over Italy and Ukraine in Group 2 and the week coming they face group leaders Serbia, knowing points from these matches will bring them lot closer to Sweden.

“There are lot of options. We had a great start into the campaign, however, it has been five months since last match. Our team has changed since.

“We are missing two important players for our defence: Dominika Kolomaznikova is pregnant and , Helena Sterbova has retired,” says head coach Jan Basny.

To add to the problems of the Czech coach, Iveta Luzumova, captain and the most influential player in the squad is in doubtful after she had to undergo a thyroid surgery.

“Iveta is vital player for us. I hope she can make it, she started training recently, but has not played a match yet.

“Without playing a match for her club Thüringer HC, they will not allow her to come. It is a race against time,” says Basny with hope in his voice.

Still a nightmare

Basny exactly knows why he is so cautious about the current positive situation in the standings.

Exactly two years ago, Czech Republic were in same position after the first two matches, but still they did not qualify for the Women’s EHF EURO 2014.

“We have done well, but nothing is won yet. I still have in my head the last EURO qualifying campaign; I still cannot sleep (because of this).

“We lost against Poland in the last match by three and were eliminated only based on the away-goals rule. That is still a nightmare for me.”

A lot has been said about the internal problems of Serbia, who only recently changed their head coach to Dragica Djuric, but Basny does not think, this will have influence on their performance on the court. 

“Internal problems are one thing, but usually these problems are around the team and disappear when players meet up.”

However the Czech head coach, in charge of the national team since 2010 and one of the longest serving and respected handball experts, is also envious about the impact of legendary Djuric on Serbia’ s game.

“This is a good question. We will see, what influence she will have on their game. Difficult to say. Our advantage is that we play the first game at home, Serbia will have to travel here, so they have one day less to prepare in very short time.”  

Direct Serbian link in Nantes

Basny is in contact with Serbian handball directly through one of his players, Jovana Stoiljkovic, at Nantes, the club side he coaches.

“Jovana Stoiljkovic is now number one left back for Serbia. If we manage to win one of those two matches against them, I would be satisfied,” reveals Basny at the end of the interview.

Czech Republic welcomes Serbia at home, in Zlin, on Wednesday 9 March.The reverse fixture is scheduled four days later in Kraljevo.

The Czech Republic squad:

Goalkeepers: Dominika Müllnerová (Baník Most), Barbora Raníková (Nantes Loire Atlantique, Francie), Lucie Satrapová (Kristianstad)

Right backs: Michaela Hrbková (Frisch Auf Göppingen), Helena Ryšánková (Sokol Poruba)

Centre backs: Kateřina Keclíková (Slavia Praha), Šárka Marčíková (Sokol Poruba), Petra Růčková (Baník Most), Martina Weisenbilderová (Kristianstad)

Left backs: Markéta Jeřábková (Baník Most), Kamila Kordovská (Slavia Praha)

Right wings: Lenka Hradilová (Koblenz/Weinbern), Jana Knedlíková (Audi ETO Györ), Michaela Janoušková (Bayer 04 Leverkusen)

Left wings: Veronika Malá (Slavia Praha), Kristýna Salčáková (Achenheim Truchtersheim)

Line players: Petra Adámková (Koblenz/Weinbern), Alena Stellnerová (Slavia Praha)


TEXT: Tomas Cuncik / ts
 
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