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29.05.2016, 16:49
Slovakia hunt for points against Hungary
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FEATURE: Dreaming of their second consecutive participation at a Women’s EHF EURO, Slovakia hope they can defy the stats in their final two qualifiers
 

Slovakia hunt for points against Hungary

Having four points on their account after four rounds in the Women’s EHF EURO 2016 Qualification have been played, Slovakia know they need some more out of their final games against Hungary and Poland in Group 5, if they want to book the ticket to the final tournament in Sweden.

However, in order to do so, they have to prove the statisticians wrong. The last win against Poland dates back to 2009, the last win against Hungary even to 1996.

But head coach Dusan Poloz is known for defying statistics. Two years ago he ended a 20-year drought when Slovakia qualified for the Women’s EHF EURO 2014, their first major tournament since 2014. Hence the question is: Can he do it again?

Challenging comeback

His first step has been inviting someone who used to play for Slovakia but has not done so for quite some time: line player Ivana Trochtova.

“I did not expect a nomination anymore to be honest, I’m very happy,” the 27-year-old said. Her last competitive match for Slovakia dates back to December 2012.

“It is a fantastic challenge for me, I am looking forward meeting the head coach, a new team, a new style, a new philosophy. I’m happy to live it.”

Firm believer

Slovakia are no favourites in upcoming matches against Hungary on 1 June and against Poland on 4 June, but Trochtova is a firm believer in her team.

“From what I heard, this team never gives up. Every point won in this qualification is golden. I believe in miracles. The chance might come, and we need to be ready.”

On the downside Dusan Poloz will have to replace at least six players: Tetyana Fiľková-Trehubová, Simona Sulovska, Andrea Czanik, Lydia Jakubisova, Lucia Gubikova, Silvia Szucs will all miss the qualifiers. 

Hungarian expertise

However, help might be coming from another side. Ernö Kelecsényi, the former president of Hungarian women’s champions Györi Audi ETO KC, became the vice president of the Slovakian Handball Federation back in April. Under his reign Györ won the EHF Champions League twice, and Kelecsenyi wants to pass on his expertise and love for the sport to Slovakian handball.

“Our level of handball cannot be compared to Hungary. But I believe we will witness a very competitive game. Slovakia can still go through as the best third-ranked team. That is a big motivation. You might play Hungary ten times, and beat them only once. Now it’s the time to do so.”

Slovakia play Hungary on Wednesday, 1 June in Michalovce at 18:00 hrs. Three days later they travel to Plock to play Poland at 20:00 hrs.

The Slovakian squad for the Women’s EHF EURO 2016 qualifiers against Hungary and Poland

Goalkeepers: Adriana Medveďová (Iuventa Michalovce), Zuzana Haládiková (HK Slovan Duslo Šaľa)

Line players: Dominika Horňáková (Cercle Dijon Bourgogne), Eva Minárčiková (DHC Sokol Poruba), Ivana Trochtová (HK Slovan Duslo Šaľa)

Wing players: Lucia Súkenníková (DHK Baník Most), Alžbeta Rechtorisová (DHC Sokol Poruba), Mária Holešová, Veronika Habánková (obe Iuventa Michalovce), Lívia Klučková (HK Slovan Duslo Šaľa)

Backcourt players: Martina Školková (Cercle Dijon Bourgogne), Monika Rajnohová (Mosonmagyaróvári KC SE), Martina Bačíková (MTK Budapest), Alica Kostelná (DHC Sokol Poruba), Simona Szarková (DHK Baník Most), Mária Olšovská (SHK Veselí nad Moravou), Julia Kučerová (Iuventa Michalovce), Klaudia Michnová (HK Slávia Partizánske), Karin Bujnochová (HK Slovan Duslo Šaľa)


TEXT: Tomas Cuncik / ts
 
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