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05.03.2016, 10:00
Ukraine face Italy without Pidpalova and Parkhomenko
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PREVIEW: After defeats against Serbia and Czech Republic, Ukraine are in a difficult position ahead of their upcoming matches in the EHF EURO 2016 Qualification
 

Ukraine face Italy without Pidpalova and Parkhomenko

Ukraine are one of the few teams that have been part of every Women’s EHF EURO event to date, but after the team lost its first two qualifiers in Group 2 against Serbia and Czech Republic, a Women’s EHF EURO 2016 is more than just distant possibility.

In Rounds 3 and 4 Ukraine play Italy in a double-header on 10 and 13 March and the team is determined to make these games the start of a 180 degree turnaround.  

“If we want to qualify to the final tournament, we must get four points from these two upcoming games. With all respect to Italy this is mandatory for us,” says team captain Viktoriya Borshchenko who plays for Rostov-Don and is the only Ukrainian player in the Women’s EHF Champions League this season.

Following the preliminary round exit at the Women’s EHF EURO 2014, long-term head coach Leonid Ratner left his position and the 78-year-old now works as a consultant to the national team.

His successor is Borys Petrovsky, who had a tough start to his stint with losses to Poland in the World Championship play-offs last summer and the aforementioned qualifying defeats – but now it seem that he can taste success for the first time.

Furthermore he recently achieved success at club level when he led Karpaty Uzhgorod to the semi-final of Challenge Cup 2015/16 – the best result in the club history.

On the national team level he proves that he does not hesitate to take unpopular decisions. The absence of Anastasiya Pidpalova from French team Dijon and goalkeeper Natalia Parkhomenko from domestic club Real Nikolaev was definitely unexpected.

“This does not mean that the door to the national team has closed for them”, says Borys Petrovsky. “We have stronger players on their position in the moment, but I look forward to considering them in the key matches in June against Serbia and Czech Republic.

“I want to see some players who have not had a lot of time to play. That is why we have nominated for the first time talented goalkeeper Natalia Gayovich and the left-handed backcourt player Yuliia Snopova.

While Gayovich will celebrate her debut in the national team, Snopova had been part of the Ukrainian squad at the World Championship 2007.

“Italy is not an easy opponent. I saw how they resisted Serbia in a good way, showing her skills. And I prefer to avoid underestimating them even though Italy is on paper the outsider in or group,” says Petrovsky.

The Ukrainian squad for the EHF EURO 2016 Qualification matches against Italy

Goalkeepers: ViktoriyaTymoshenkova (Roman, ROM), Iryna Iablonskaya (Karpaty), Nataliya Gayovich (Bayern, GER);

Court players: Viktoriya Borshchenko (Rostov-Don, RUS), Anna Redka (Gomel, BLR), Olga Nikolayenko (Budapest Bank, HUN), Olga Laiuk (Ankara, TUR), Iryna Glibko (Roman, ROU), Julia Andriychuk, Valeriya Zorya (Ardesen, TUR), Olga Perederiy, Yevgenia Levchenko (IUVENTA, SVK), Liliia Gorilskaya (MTK, HUN), Yuliia Snopova (Muratpasha, TUR), Elena Rudko (Spartak), Daria Kot, Anna Lezinskaya, Ivanna Myhovich (Karpaty), Natalia Savchyn, Lesya Smolinh (Galytchanka)   

 

 

 


TEXT: Igor Grachov / ts
 
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