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27.11.2016, 09:51
A new coach, a rejuvenated squad and a captain in question
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TEAM CHECK POLAND: The Women's EHF EURO Preliminary Round is far from being a walk in the park for Poland, but new coach Leszek Krowicki says Group B’s strength is not only due to France, Netherlands and Germany, but also because of Poland
 

A new coach, a rejuvenated squad and a captain in question

After six years with Kim Rasmussen the Polish Federation appointed Leszek Krowicki as the new head coach, on a long-term contract until 2020. The EHF EURO 2016 will be the first big tournament for the coach – and the new, much younger national team.

Poland qualified for the EHF EURO 2016 comfortably with 10 points gained in Group 5, including two earned from a prestigious victory against Hungary in Erd.

Krowicki has chosen to start an evolution and lower the average age of the team, which means only five or so players on court at the last World Championship in Denmark – where Poland ranked fourth – will go to Sweden.

The biggest issue is team captain Karolina Kudlacz-Gloc’s back problems. It is hard to imagine the Polish squad without this world-class left back, chosen twice this year as EHF Player of the Month (June and September).

The decision regarding Kudlacz-Gloc and the official squad will be published on Monday, 28 November.

“The result is always important but we have a long-term plan for the team, so I would like to see progress in the elements we have been working on recently,” says Krowicki.

“I want new young players to be satisfied with their performance and to confirm from them that my choice was correct. The goal is first to qualify to the main round.”

The roster

The Poland squad will feature many new faces for people who do not follow the domestic league.
If Karolina Kudlacz-Gloc is able to play, the smallest changes will occur among the back players with trio Alina Wojtas, Kinga Achruk and Monika Kobylinska ready to help the team captain.

Left wings Agnieszka Kowalska and Kinga Grzyb also have plenty of international experience, while line players Kamila Szczecina and her club teammate at Pogon Baltica Szczecin, Patrycja Krolikowska, will have their first big opportunity to perform with the national team at the EHF EURO 2016.

Experienced Weronika Gawlik, team captain of Polish champions MKS Selgros Lublin, will be supported by one or two other goalkeepers with a small number of international games.

The attack

Poland’s attack presents a dangerous blend of potential and experience with shooters like Kobylinska and Wojtas, creative Achruk, and one of the best young line players in Europe, Joanna Drabik.

The biggest problems during the last four years were on right wing where Rasmussen generally preferred to choose one young and one experienced player.

On right wing in Sweden, Krowicki will rely on two domestic league players born in the 1990s, including Katarzyna Janiszewska, who was a second choice at the EHF Euro 2014 in Hungary.

The defence

A last preparation tournament in Elche from 25 to 27 November and three friendly games against Japan, Argentina and Spain will show more about Poland’s planned system in defence.

However, Wojtas, Drabik and Achruk are the usual pillars at Poland’s end of the court and they will likely be key players for this element of the strategy in Sweden, with Gawlik supporting between the posts.

The coach

59-year-old Krowicki has experience with various German clubs, and currently works with Vfl Oldenburg, who just qualified for the group phase of the EHF Cup.

Krowicki has lived in Germany for nearly 30 years but has never forgotten his roots and mother tongue. His statements for media are never boring, and he even has some journalistic experience gained in the late 80s.

Krowicki has the full trust of his players, and he is considered a wise man full of energy and passion.

The outlook

Krowicki called on 18 players for the tournament in Elche and will name his official squad for the EHF EURO 2016 on Monday the 28th.

Team captain Kudlacz-Gloc will miss the preparation games and travel to Warsaw, also on Monday, for her last medical tests.

The 18 players nominated for final Women's EHF EURO 2016 preparation

Goalkeepers: Weronika Gawlik (MKS Selgros Lublin), Adrianna Placzek (Pogon Baltica Szczecin), Weronika Kordowiecka (Vistal Gdynia)

Left wings: Agnieszka Kowalska (MKS Selgros Lublin), Kinga Grzyb (Metraco Zagłębie Lubin)

Right wings: Patrycja Krolikowska (Pogon Baltica Szczecin), Katarzyna Janiszewska (Vistal Gdynia)

Left backs: Alina Wojtas (Larvik HK), Marta Gega (MKS Selgros Lublin), Joanna Kozlowska (Vistal Gdynia)

Centre backs: Kinga Achruk (Buducnost), Emilia Galinska (Neckersuler SU), Aleksandra Rosiak (MKS Selgros Lublin)

Right backs: Monika Kobylinska (Vistal Gdynia), Ewa Andrzejewska (Kram Start Elbląg), Natalia Nosek (MOSiR Bochnia/SMS Plock)

Line players: Joanna Drabik (MKS Selgros Lublin), Kamila Szczecina (Pogon Baltica Szczecin)


TEXT: Michal Pomorski / cg / ts
 
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