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05.08.2016, 15:14
For Denmark, developing players just as important as winning
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PREVIEW: Denmark arrive at the Men’s 18 EHF EURO in Croatia with the clear objective of developing their young talents
 

For Denmark, developing players just as important as winning

When Denmark open the Men’s 18 EHF EURO in Croatia with their game against Russia on 11 August, they, of course, have the objective to get as far as possible in the competition.

However, the Danish federation also sees the tournament as a great opportunity to develop their young players.

Head coach Claus Hansen is in Rio with the Danish Olympic team, hence assistant coach Stefan Madsen will be in charge of the squad in Croatia.

“With these young players, is it important to spot the talents who can develop in the long run at an early stage, but of course, winning is always important,” he says.

“These young lads obviously need to start their international career with some success experiences.”

On the other hand Madsen is aware of the fact that his team may be handicapped in some ways compared to some its opponents.

“We may be a bit behind some of the other countries when it comes to making our squad function as a team,” he says.

“We have deliberately made use of a relatively large number of players in our get-togethers in order to test as many talents as possible, and this was also what we did at the Youth Olympics last year which was the first real competition for these players.”

“Some of the other nations also had more gatherings than we had. I know that this applies to Iceland, for instance, who were together for a long time ahead of the tournament,” explains the coach.

Aware of strong competition

Besides Russia, Denmark face Slovenia and Slovakia in Group B. The first two teams of each of the four groups qualify for the tournament’s main round.

“Obviously, our first objective is to progress  but this may be hard as I know Slovenia to have a very strong and also very well-rehearsed team, and the same actually holds true for Russia,” says Stefan Madsen.

If Denmark qualify, they will meet the two top ranked teams from Group A which consists of Spain, France, Norway and Switzerland.

“I know that France are very strong in this age group, too, as they are pretty much across all age groups. We are in for a tough but also very exciting challenge, and we are really looking forward to the task,” says Madsen.


TEXT: Peter Bruun / ts
 
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