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08.03.2016, 12:43
No friendship between Poland and Hungary – but just for two games
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PREVIEW: Poland miss some key players for their upcoming EHF EURO qualifiers against Hungary, but they can count on the support of a sold-out arena and some good memories from the World Championship 2015
 

No friendship between Poland and Hungary – but just for two games

“Poles and Hungarians could be cousins; they are good for fight and good for a party. Both are valiant, both are lively, upon them may God's blessings be.”

This is English version of a famous proverb used to describe the long friendship between Poland and Hungary.

The following days and the two important matches in the Women’s EHF EURO 2016 Qualification between both countries will for sure not change the good relations between Poles and Hungarians, but on the handball court – at least during the official matches – there will be no room for any special treatment.

Given the fact that Poland and Hungary have won their two respective qualifiers to date in Group 5, a berth at the Women’s EHF EURO 2016 in Sweden is already at stake when the two teams face off on 9 and 13 May.

Poland won the last encounter of the two when they beat Hungary 24:23 in the Last 16 of the World Championship 2015.

However, the team of head coach Kim Rasmussen does not see itself in the role of the favourites despite the fact that a sold-out arena will support them in Koszalin in the first leg.

Poland miss several key players for this crucial double-header. Iwona Niedzwiedz had to undergo a wrist surgery, Alina Wojtas is not fully recovered yet, and also team captain Karolina Kudlacz-Gloc is out for at least two weeks due to a jawbone fracture.

This results in a huge challenge for the newly composed Polish back court line which will probably be composed of Kinga Achruk, Monika Kobylińska and Małgorzata Stasiak.

Rasmussen also nominated Karolina Siodmiak and Marta Gega who missed the World Championship in Denmark but have enough experience at international level.

“Everyone who saw the game in December knows that there was only one goal difference between the teams (Poland won 24:23).

“The results in our matches are open and both teams will be missing some key players. Our strength is a team spirit and playing at home will give us an extra advantage,” says Polish line player Monika Stachowska.

“Koszalin is a handball happy city with the highest average of fans in the two last seasons of Polish Superleague. We need a help from the spectators to make a noisy atmosphere because two points on Wednesday can almost secure our qualification to the EHF European Championship,” says head coach Kim Rasmussen.

“The atmosphere in the team is very good, sometimes even too good and I do hope that the players will not forget what they are here for. I have no doubts that some new players will step in to substitute Niedzwiedz, Kudlacz and Wojtas, the question is who will lead the team in the two games against Hungary.”


TEXT: Michal Pomorski / ts
 
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