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10.11.2016, 11:33
Hagman at her best crucial to a good EHF EURO for Sweden
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EHF EURO KEY PLAYERS: Versatile, a good reader of the game and with a shot like no one else – according to her coaches these are the factors that characterise Nathalie Hagman
 

Hagman at her best crucial to a good EHF EURO for Sweden

Nathalie Hagman first caught the eye of the international handball world when she scored no less 15 goals for Team Tvis Holstebro against Rostov-Don in the first leg of the Women’s EHF Cup Final 2014/15.

At that time, she was already a key player in the Swedish national team, and her importance to Tre Kronor has only increased since then. Now, Hagman, who was awarded best player in the Danish women’s league and Women’s Player of the Year in Sweden in 2015, is even more well known.

“She is extremely important to our team, as she is extremely consistent and very reliable when it comes to scoring goals,” says Sweden national coach Henrik Signell. “She is almost a guarantee for many goals, and this is obviously an extremely important quality in a player.

"Nathalie is also very valuable because she is as versatile as she is, in the sense that she can play the right wing as well as the right back equally well.

“Furthermore, she is a great asset in our counter attacks due to her speed and again, due to her reliability in front of the opponents’ goal.

“If Sweden is going to have a good EURO, we will need a Nathalie Hagman at her best,” concludes Henrik Signell about the 25-year-old, who has played 95 internationals for Sweden and scored 249 goals so far. She will reach 100 internationals at the EHF EURO 2016.

A shot like no one else in the world

Niels Agesen was Hagman’s coach at Holstebro and is now her coach at another Danish league club: Nykøbing Falster Håndboldklub, who participate in the EHF Cup this season.

While Hagman is mainly playing right wing in the Swedish national team, Agesen prefers to use her at the back position.

“There is no doubt in my mind that if ´Hagge´ specialised in playing the right wing position, she would be among the five best right wings in the world.

“However, I find that she is such a good reader of the game and that she is so good with the ball that it would actually be a pity to make her play the wing, where she would be much less in contact with the ball than she is in the back court line,” explains Agesen.

“Apart from being good with the ball herself, she is good at making her teammates good [with it] as well. She is good at adjusting her pace to the situation in the given match.

“Those are just further reasons to make use of her in the back court line.”

Hagman represented the Swedish league clubs Skuru IK and Lugi HF before moving to Denmark to join Holstebro in 2014. This summer, she moved on to Nykøbing Falster and it was there she reunited with her former Holstebro coach Agesen.

Before leaving Holstebro, Hagman won the last edition of the Cup Winners’ Cup with the club, scoring 13 goals in the second leg of the final against Handball Club Lada.

“Her way of shooting is probably not something one should try to teach any other player, as her shooting technique is so special and probably not like the shot of any other player in the world,” says Agesen.

“The way she holds her arm close to her body before firing the shot is so special that I doubt if anyone else would be able to adapt it. Of course, this is also a quality which makes it hard for the opponents’ goalkeepers to read her.”

Feeling good in both roles

Being used in different positions in her club team and in the national team does not seem to bother Nathalie Hagman herself, who says she feels good in the role as back as well as on the wing.

“In the national team, I have the attitude that I am mainly playing right wing, and I have got used to that, but it is still great fun to also get some minutes on the right back there as well every now and then,” she says.


TEXT: Peter Bruun / cg / ts
 
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