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03.03.2016, 14:40
Brains take it all: Schmidt and Pineau awarded the best players in February
«Go back »Print Version


NEWS REPORT: Two playmakers in love with goals topped the charts after an expert panel voted for the best players of the month in the EHF competitions

»Inside the EHF Channel »2015-16 Men's News
»
 

Brains take it all: Schmidt and Pineau awarded the best players in February

After the premiere EHF Players of the Month awards were sweeped by two in-form goalkeepers, Andreas Wolff and Katrine Lunde in January, the February edition was dominated by playmakers, the brains behind the teams. Rasmus Lauge Schmidt and Allison Pineau led their teams in impressive fashion in February in the European top competitions, as both Flensburg and HCM Baia Mare lost only once.

While being only in third place in the Bundesliga, SG Flensburg Handewitt still beckons as a contender in the VELUX EHF Champions League and Rasmus Lauge Schmidt is one of the main reasons for Flensburg hitting their top form this season.

The all-round centre back had his best month yet in Europe’s premier competition, scoring 19 times in three games, as Flensburg rushed aside past Kiel and Celje, only to fail by a one-goal margin at home against Veszprem. Boasting an impressive 60% efficiency, the 24 year-old Dane became the go-to guy for Ljubomir Vranjes in Flensburg’s attack.

”This is an extremely fine prize, which I am obviously very proud and happy to receive. In general, we have had a fine month with our team, and I have been able to benefit from our good performances too,” said Rasmus Lauge Schmidt for www.eurohandball.com.

With HCM Baia Mare winning five of their six games in the main round, the Romanian side could not have hoped for a better second part of the season, after a lacklustre group stage.

However, if Baia Mare did not have Allison Pineau, the outcome would have surely been different. The Romanian runners-up relied heavily on their French star, who scored 25 times in four games in February.

The best player of Round 3 single-handedly brought Baia Mare two points in their away game against Fleury, scoring the winning goal with two seconds to spare, after a powerful shot from the nine-metre line.

“This award rewards my hard work from the start of the season until now. However, nothing would have been possible without my team.

“It motivates me even more and it means I have to try harder in every match. Now I can hope for greater things. I am coming after several injuries and I learnt that hard work is the easiest way for anyone to reach the top,” concluded Pineau.

Starting from January 2016 the experts' panel consisiting of EHF websites' correspondents from all over Europe name the awardees after each calendar month based on players' individual performances in all competitions run by the European Handball Federation in the respective month.

While Lauge impressed in February, he resisted a steep challenge from VELUX EHF Champions League’s top goalscorer and fellow Dane Mikkel Hansen (PSG Handball), Slovenian centre back Dean Bombac (MOL-Pick Szeged), Macedonian sharpshooter Kiril Lazarov (FC Barcelona Lassa) and Lauge’s teammate from Flensburg, Swedish goalkeeper Mattias Andersson.

If Lunde topped three centre backs and a line player last month, February brought a more astray line-up. The French stalwart Pineau bested fellow playmaker Ekaterina Ilina (Russia, Rostov-Don), current Women's EHF Champions League top scorer Norway's Nora Mørk (Larvik HK), Montenegrin right back Katarina Bulatovic (Buducnost) and her teammate from the French national team, goalkeeper Amandine Leynaud (HC Vardar).


TEXT: EHF / Adrian Costeiu / Peter Bruun / br
 
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