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31.03.2016, 10:04
"Starting over and over again until we do things right"
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PREVIEW: For Turkey head coach Adnan Öztürk the upcoming EHF EURO 2018 Qualification play-off matches against Belgium are only a starting for his one major goal: Forming a team that is able to compete at the latest at the EHF EURO 2020
 

“Starting over and over again until we do things right”

The intermediate play-offs en route to the next phase of the Men’s EHF EURO 2018 Qualification do not come at an easy time for Turkey.

As they coincide with the qualification to the Men’s 20 EHF EURO, a number of younger players thought be in the squad for the games against Belgium on 6 an 9 April will not available.

Nevertheless, two up-and-coming talents of Turkish handball, 17-year-old Harun Hacıoğlu and his Zagnos Erkek Hentbol teammate, 16-year-old Görkem Biçer, are expected to make their national debut.

Hacıoğlu was voted Most Valuable Player in the Turkish Super League last season and the harmony he shows on court with Biçer reminds many experts in Turkey of some of the sport’s best such as Danes Anders Eggert and Lasse Svan

While those youngsters will gain experience by stepping up to European stage, Turkey will rely on experienced players to proceed to the next phase.

In particular players with international experiences will play key roles for the success of the Turkish national team.

Staying realistic

Stalwart right back Ramazan Döne as well line players Tolga Özbahar and Mehmet Demirezen will count on the experience they amassed in the VELUX EHF Champions League with Beşiktaş Mogaz HT.

Furthermore head coach Adnan Öztürk can count on his international from abroad such as right back Can Çelebi who plays for Chartres Métropole Handball in France and goalkeeper Yunus Özmusul (27) who takes to the court for TVB 1898 Stuttgart in the German Bundesliga.

And it is also the most recent statistics that speak in favour of Turkey. When both teams met in the qualification for the World Championship 2017, Turkey won the away game 31:24 and also beat Belgium at home 31:28.

49-year-old Öztürk stated ahead of the team’s departure to a training camp in Rize, where the first leg will be played, that with this team of experienced players the will is there to qualify for EHF EURO 2018 but their main target is to participate in the European Championship in 2020 when the Men’s EHF EURO for the first time will consist of 24 teams.

Öztürk emphasised that it is important to stay realistic. If they proceed to the main qualification phase and final tournament of 2018, he will take it as an opportunity to form a team for the future.

Building self-confidence

He said that many talented young players, the future of Turkish handball, are waiting for their debut in the national team and prove they are as valuable as any player of other European nations.

“You only need the fingers of one hand to count the Turkish players in foreign league, and quality of our Super League is not satisfactory.

“We need to increase the overall quality of our league in order to attract top players because playing with talented stars is critical for the next generation of Turkish handball.

“We need to gain more experience in international competitions. Turkish players must compete in European events to show themselves and build self-confidence. If necessary, we should not be afraid of starting over and over again until we do things right.

“We must find and pin-point our deficiencies and prepare a development plan with a realistic approach. Otherwise, we get nowhere,” Öztürk told eurohandball.com.


TEXT: Fulya Oktem / ts
 
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