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29.11.2016, 05:16
Hungary lack firepower, not determination
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TEAM CHECK HUNGARY: New coach Kim Rasmussen is in for a rough ride at the Women's EHF EURO 2016, his first tournament at the helm, but with a list of injuries the pressure for Hungary is a little lighter than usual
 

Hungary lack firepower, not determination

An injury crisis is making life difficult for newly appointed Hungary head coach Kim Rasmussen, who is preparing for his first international tournament at the helm of the national team.

The Danish coach is taking only the first steps in a long-term project, but results are not irrelevant.

Almost three years have passed since the tragic death of former head coach Karl Erik Böhn, and finding a long-term solution for the late Norwegian coach has proven no easy task for the Hungarian Federation.

After a series of interim and part-time head coaches, EHF Champions League winner Kim Rasmussen was appointed. The Danish mastermind is contracted until the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

One of the two recurring problems has been solved but the other seems to remain an important factor: waves of injuries continue to batter the Hungarian national team.

Rasmussen must do without injured Szandra Szollosi-Zacsik (shoulder), Szabina Mayer (knee), skipper Zsuzsanna Tomori (knee) and recovering Gabriella Toth, who is still not fit to join the team in Sweden.

The roster

There were no major surprises in the 21-strong squad announced for the training camp followed by Kárpát Cup, where Hungary faced Romania A and B along with Netherlands B.

Supporters have been longing to see FTC goalkeeper Melinda Szikora in the national team and she has finally made the cut, along with some promising up-and-comers who join the squad for the first time.

21-year-old line player Luca Dombi and Debrecen left wing Eva Kelemen may not make it to the EURO squad, but they have two weeks to convince Kim Rasmussen of their worth.

The attack

Hungary have excellent wings and top-drawer centre backs but with the absence of the above-mentioned players Kim Rasmussen may have problems in the back positions and on the line too – Hungary simply lack the firepower most of their opponents will deploy at the EHF EURO.

Rasmussen will most likely field two (sometime three) playmakers in attack, but for this plan to work the pivot position is vital, and the line players’ lack of considerable international experience may be evident.

However, with Anita Görbicz back in full fitness Hungarian attacks are likely to rely heavily on individual plays, quick passing with patient build-up, and as many fast-break goals as possible.

Aniko Kovacsics and Zita Szucsánszki, who are now teammates at FTC, are both excellent defenders and it is highly likely that one of them will play at right back from time to time, while young Dunaujvaros right back Anna Kovács provides Rasmussen with a left-handed option.

Attack will be where Tomori and Szollosi-Zacsik’s absences hurts Rasmussen the most.

The defence

Hungary will only be successful at the EURO if their defence plays to its full potential and their goalkeepers rise to the challenge.

The Hungarian defensive wall is centred around FTC specialist Klára Szekeres, but as her reliable partner in the centre area, Zsuzsa Tomori, is sidelined, Rasmussen has limited options. Krisztina Triscsuk could be an ideal solution because transitional changes are of great importance for Hungary and the Siófok left back is also a possible source of goals for her team.

Other than that Hungary’s defence looks great. With fast-legged defenders such as Szucsánszki and Kovacsics the wall can play aggressive defensive without too many two-minute suspensions, and with the help of in-form goalkeepers like Eva Kiss they can put even the toughest opponents to the test.

The coach

Kim Rasmussen surprised many by taking over the Hungary national team as the current best club coach in the world, after winning the Women’s EHF Champions League 2015/16 with CSM Bucuresti. The Danish coach, who also plays an important role as an advisor for the Hungarian Federation, has a lot of work to do.

Ever-growing public expectations mean great pressure for results, which this team may not be able to deliver. With such a tough preliminary, and a potentially even more difficult main round group ahead, the quality of play and signs of improvement are more important than results this time.

Rasmussen resolutely claimed he has a squad full of potential and that he will work hard to get the best out of it. Despite the problems there is therefore a good feeling about the European championship in Hungary, and it is mostly because of the Danish coach.

Outlook

Hungary had Norwegian, Hungarian and Spanish coaches in the last three years, but with Rasmussen’s arrival turbulent times seem to be over. However, the Danish coach has just started working and the long-term project may not bear fruit so soon.

Hungary face Montenegro, Denmark and the Czech Republic in Group C and for the minimum requirements to be met Görbicz and Co must make it to the main round. They beat Denmark recently at the IHF World Championship 2015, but lost against the Montenegrin team in the same competition.

The main round (if Hungary reach it) appears even more daunting with Norway, Russia and Romania possibly lining up there, but the EHF EURO 2016 will be more about development than results for Hungary.

The Hungarian squad nominated for the final Women's EHF EURO 2016 preparations

Goalkeepers: Kinga Janurik (Érd), Eva Kiss (Györi Audi ETO KC), Melinda Szikora (FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria)

Right wings: Bernadett Bodi (Györi Audi ETO KC), Viktoria Lukacs (FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria), Adrienn Orban (Györi Audi ETO KC)

Right backs: Dora Hornyak (FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria), Anna Kovács (Dunaújvárosi Kohász KA), Szimonetta Planeta (Thüringer HC)

Centre backs: Anita Görbicz (Győri Audi ETO), Aniko Kovacsics (FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria), Zita Szucsanszki (FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria)

Line players: Luca Dombi (Mosonmagyaróvár), Anett Kisfaludy (Érd), Rea Meszaros (FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria)

Left backs: Kinga Klivinyi (Érd), Klára Szekeres (FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria), Krisztina Triscsuk (Siófok)

Left wings: Ildikó Erdősi (Siófok), Eva Kelemen (DVSC-TVP), Nadine Schatzl (FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria)


TEXT: Bence Martha / cg / ts
 
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