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05.04.2017, 11:00
All-star team nominees profiles
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OVERVIEW: Profiles of all nominees for the Women's EHF Champions League 2016/17 All-star team presented by UNIQA

»EHF CL Channel »2016-17 Women's News

All-star team nominees profiles

45 players and 5 coaches to choose from: Who is going to be the best of the best of the Women's EHF Champions League 2016/17?

Divided in ten categories fans will get to vote for the best players of each position as well as best defender, best young player and best coach.

Players from 18 nations and 12 clubs from the current season have been nominated for the All-star team.

The Women's EHF Champions League All-star team will be announced during the TIPPMIX EHF FINAL4 in Budapest on 6 and 7 May 2017. The vote will be open until Tuesday 2 May.

Before voting here take a closer look at the nominees:


Amandine Leynaud (FRA) – HC Vardar

• played the CL for seven years straight with the club she began handball with, Metz
• moved to Valcea, Romania in 2012, where she suffered a knee injury
• “Doudou” has been one of the crucial players in Vardar’s squad in 2015/16
• CL All-star team nominee in 2015/16
• in the three seasons she spent with Vardar won three bronze medals in the CL


Sandra Toft (DEN) – Larvik

• her 25th birthday on 18 October 2014 marked her debut in the CL (against Metz); 2014/15 was her 1st season outside her native Denmark after she came from Holstebro
• became number one for Denmark when Karin Mortensen and Christina Nymand Pedersen quit the national team after the London Olympics 2012
• broke a neck vertebra in a car accident in 2009 and was close to being paralysed from the neck down – she was back on the court in five months


Kari Aalvik Grimsbø (NOR) – Györ Audi ETO KC

• joined Györ from Danish Team Esbjerg during the 2014/15 season, as Croatian Jelena Grubisic, a replacement for pregnant Katrine Lunde, got injured; before joining Esbjerg, had a long career in Byasen
• due to injury in the 1st match at the EURO 2014 missed the Norwegian triumph
• started her career at the age of 5, had her debut for Byasen in the Norwegian league at the age of 17


Laura Glauser (FRA) – Metz Handball

• having joined in 2011 is now the longest serving Metz player alongside Luciano
• one of the few who have ever played in the CL
• always in the happy mood, always says yes to autograph hunters
• with 41 % saving efficiency one of the key French players at the Rio 2016 Olympics leading the team all the way to the final


Sabine Englert (GER) – FC Midtjylland

• former German national team player started playing at the age of 5 in Aschaffenburg, in the same mixed team with Nantes winger Dominik Klein
• only a few days after signing the contract with FCM in the early spring 2008, she played in her future home, the Ikast Brande Arena, with Hypo NÖ
• on the same occasion she sustained a knee injury, but since then, she has had happier memories of the hall

Left wings

Manon Houette (FRA) – Thüringer HC

• before she joined Thüringer in 2016 spent her entire career in Fleury Loiret
• fun fact, played every minute of every game in Fleury’s Cup Winners’ Cup 2014/15 campaign
• elected best left winger of the French league in 2013/14 and 2014/15
• made her national team debut in 2014 season
• CL All-star left wing nominee in 2015/16 (scored 41 goals)


Camilla Herrem (NOR) – HC Vardar

• started her career in Sola and also played for Team Tvis Holstebro, Byåsen HE and HCM Baia Mare
• at the beginning of the 2016/17 season joined HC Vardar and became the first Norwegian player that moved to Macedonia
• best left wing in the WCh 2009 All-Star team
• her husband Steffen Stegavik plays the CL for Elverum


Majda Mehmedovic (MNE) – CSM Bucuresti

• her mother played handball as a goalkeeper; started handball in Bar at the age of 12 with her brother Musa and immediately loved it
• it took her two years to get into the first team after being signed by Buducnost
• voted for the 2013/14 CL All-star Team as the best left wing


Thea Mørk (NOR) – Larvik

• until 2016 Nora Mørk’s twin has been playing in the same team as her sister since the age of five – except for the 2009/10 season
• technically skilled left winger with a fine variation of shots
• 2012/13 was her breakthrough season scoring 31 goals in the CL, but she surpassed that mark in 2015/16 and 2016/17


Nadine Schatzl (HUN) – FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria

• youngster is already a two-time Hungarian champion and cup winner and played in the CL final with Györ at the age of nineteen in 2012
• despite her young age she has already featured in the EHF Cup and the Cup Winners’ Cup with Érd
• born in Munich, Germany but started playing handball in Mohács at the age of 10
• member of the Hungarian national team, is getting more and more time on the court at FTC

Left backs

Nerea Pena (ESP) - FTC – Rail Cargo Hungaria

• Spanish international signed from Itxako in 2012 and has been a clutch player for Elek ever since
• injury-prone sharp shooter has been through difficult times injuring the same knee twice but when fit she is the focal point of FTC’s attacks
• finished as runner-up in the CL with Itxako in 2011; voted to the All-stars of the EURO 2010


Cristina Neagu (ROU) – Buducnost

• named the World Handball Player of the Year after leading Romania to bronze medals at the EHF EURO 2010
• top scorer (53 goals) and All-star member of the EHF EURO 2010 and the 2014/15 CL season (102 goals), also MVP of the WCh 2015
• missed nearly two years, after a shoulder injury and a torn knee ligament
• lost two CL finals, one with Oltchim (2013) and one with Buducnost (2014)


Stine Jørgensen (DEN) – FC Midtjylland

• joined Midtjylland from Aalborg DH in 2013
• tall (180 cm) movable left back with a good and varied shot
• key player in the Danish national team as well as with Midtjylland; awarded Danish national team player of the year 2016
• has a prominent boyfriend, Danish badminton star Jan E. Jørgensen


Andrea Penezic (CRO) – HC Vardar

• extended her contract with Vardar until 2017
• raised the Slovenian title and cup four times with Krim Mercator
• best left back in the All-Star Team at the WCh 2011
• became Croatian player of the year six times with Lokomotiva and Podravka
• together with Cristina Neagu the top scorer of the 2014/15 season with 102 goals
• EHF Player of the Month in March 2016 and CL All-star team nominee in 2015/16


Jenny Alm (SWE) – Team Esbjerg

• started playing handball at five years old for Kroppskultur in Uddevalla
• joined Esbjerg in the summer of 2016 from Sävehof, where she played from 2011
• part of the Sweden national team
• also worked with marketing for Sävehof and its handball school in local schools

Centre backs

Nycke Groot (NED) - Györ Audi ETO KC

• Dutch playmaker made an immediate impact in Györ becoming the focal point of the team’s attacks in the 2015/16 season, when Györ finished as runners-up in the CL
• has had her entire career at top level in Denmark until she joined Györ in the summer of 2015 (started in Team Tvis Holstebro and since 2011 in FC Midtjylland)
• helped FCM reach the FINAL4 in 2014 and was the tournament’s top scorer (20 goals)
• CL All-star centre back 2015/16 , player of the year in the Danish league in 2014


Veronica Kristiansen (NOR) – FC Midtjylland

•  joined FCM from Norwegian runners-up Glassverket ahead of the 2015/16 season
•  succeeding her teammate in the Norwegian  national team Ida Alstad in the left back position which she will be sharing with Stine Jorgensen
•  out of a handball family, as her sisters Jeanett  and Charlotte also play handball. Jeanett is playing in Glassverket which Veronica has just left
•  has played 46 internationals for Norway


Anita Görbicz (HUN) - Györ Audi ETO KC

•  being among the best players in the world over the last decade
•  the team captain was waiting to secure one of big prizes at either club or national level for many years until 2013
• individual titles: 2011/12 CL top scorer and World Handball Player of Year (2005), voted for
the best centre back at three WCh in a row (2003-07)
• missed almost the entire 2014/15 season due to maternity leave


Andrea Lekic (SRB) – HC Vardar

• competed in karate and reached the blue belt before moving on to ball sports including volleyball, basketball, football and tennis
• 2013 World Handball Player of the Year, All-star team at the EHF EURO 2012
• organises her own handball camp every other year
• her only CL title is from her time with Györ in 2012/13
• won three consecutive bronze medals in the CL; extended her contract until 2017


Isabelle Gulldén (SWE) – CSM Bucuresti

• played for three clubs in her whole career: Sävehof, Viborg and CSM Bucuresti
• her uncle, Christer, was an Olympic wrestler, who came close to the bronze medal in 1988, her boyfriend, Swedish goalkeeper Linus Persson plays in CSM’s men’s team
• creative playmaker, also deadly efficient from the 7m line, scoring all 27 goals from as many shots at the EHF EURO 2014
• MVP & top scorer (58 goals) of the EURO 2014; top scorer of the CL 2015/16 (108)

Line players

Marit Malm Frafjord (NOR) – Larvik

• used to play for Larvik’s rivals Byasen, but joined Larvik in 2014 after a three - year long foreign adventure at Viborg HK
• crucial in the centre of defence as well in the attack, to Larvik and the Norwegian national team
• an Achilles tendon injury kept her out of the last part of last season, and the first half of this one, but since new year, she has been back at full strength


Yvette Broch (NED) - Györ Audi ETO KC

• Dutch international also known for being the runner-up in Holland’s Next Top Model in 2008
• modelled in fashion shows during Amsterdam Fashion Week
• left this world for handball when she signed with Amsterdam in 2009 but plans to return to the fashion industry after her handball career is over
• joined Györ in the summer of 2015 from Metz, also played for Spain’s Alcobendas


Danick Snelder (NED) - FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria

• member of the Dutch national team with more than 100 caps to her name, Snelder was a vital part of the Dutch team that won silver in the WCh 2015
• made it to the All-star team at the U19 EHF EURO 2009 in Hungary
• having won four German championship titles with Thüringer she decided to relocate to Hungary in 2016
• voted best Dutch line player in the 2009/10 season, when playing for Hellas


Sladana Pop-Lazic  (SRB) – Metz Handball

• was one of the rising Serbian stars at the EHF EURO 2012 in Serbia and second best scorer of her team at the EHF EURO 2016 in Sweden (21 goals)
• missed the World Championship 2013 on home court due to an injury
• plays for French clubs since 2012, first for ES Besancon, and since 2015 for French champions and EHF Champions League participants Metz Handball
• was awarded best line player of the French league in the 2015/16 season


Anastasiya Lobach (BLR) – CSM Bucuresti

• in 13 years Belarusian changed nine teams including Zvezda where she tasted the CL in 2012/13
• her third experience in Romania, after playing one season (2011/2012) at HC Dunarea Braila and another in Baia Mare in 2014/15
• bolstering the Romanian Champions’ depth in both defence and offence
• sharing her duties in CSM mainly with Oana Manea

Right backs

Nora Mørk (NOR) - Györ AUDI ETO KC

• best scorer of the Norwegian team at the EHF EURO 2014 (41 goals); voted the best right back of the EHF EURO 2014 and the CL 2015/16
• her twin sister and former Larvik teammate Thea plays on the left wing
• joined Larvik in the 2009/10 season and debuted in the national team in 2010 as 19-year-old, in 2016 she transferred to Györ
in 2015/16 had her record-breaking CL season with 93 goals


Laura van der Heijden (NED) – Team Esbjerg

• came to Esbjerg from German Bundesliga side VfL Oldenburg in 2014
• has also represented the clubs LHV Leusden, Venus Nieuwegein and VOC Amsterdam in her homeland, the Netherlands
• had her debut in the Dutch national team already at the age of 17 and played over 120 internationals


Amanda Kurtovic (NOR) – Larvik

• made a comeback to Larvik in summer 2015 after three years joining from league colleagues Oppsal
• for a long time, seemed to be heading for Danish Nykobing, but ended in Larvik
• due to injury missed the Cup Winners’s Cup triumph with Danish Viborg HK
• first choice in the right back position after Nora Mørk has left for Györ


Katarina Bulatovic (MNE) – Buducnost

• Serbia-born shooter arrived to Buducnost in 2014 after one-year stints with Oltchim and Györ
• made it to the CL final for the first time in 2007 with Slagelse
• won the CL title with three different clubs - Slagelse, Buducnost and Györ
• key player in Montenegro’s biggest achievements, when she was the top scorer at both the London Olympics and EHF EURO in 2012


Ana Gros (SLO) – Metz Handball

• after playing for European powerhouses Györ, Krim Mercator and Thüringer HC, she landed in Metz in the winter of 2014
• was only meant to stay in France for six months, but has proved her value as best scorer in the French league 2014/15 and 2015/16
• after playing the CL final in 2012 with Györ, she dreams of making it again with Metz
• being watched by many of the best clubs in Europe

Right wings

Linn-Kristin Riegelhuth (NOR) – Larvik

• one of the most decorated players in the handball history: World Handball Player of the Year (2008), All-Star Team member at EHF EURO 2008 and WCh 2009, EHF EURO 2008 topscorer (51 goals)
• scored over 950 goals for Norway’s national team
• married to Norwegian international Einor Koren


Carmen Martin (ESP) – CSM Bucuresti

spanish player started handball when she was only 7 years old, in Roquetas del Mar, her hometown
• best right wing of the EHF EURO 2014, after ranking third in the top scorers
• reached the CL final in 2011 with Itxako and the semi-final in 2013 with Krim
• loves drama movies, her favourite being “The Notebook”, also listens to a lot of Spanish movies, her favourite song being “Ojitos rojos” by the Spanish band Estopa


Jovanka Radicevic (MNE) - HC Vardar

• as the daughter of a handball player, started playing handball at the age of 12
• best right wing at the EHF EURO 2012 and at the WCh 2015
• voted for the 2015/16 CL All-Star Team as the best right wing
• won the CL title with Györ together with Andrea Lekic in 2012/13
• with Buducnost, she won seven championships and cup titles in Montenegro (2005- 2011), two regional league titles (2010, 2011) and two titles in the Cup Winners’ Cup


Aneta Benko (CRO) – RK Krim Mercator

• the summer 2016 addition to the team from Lokomotiva Zagreb
• part of the Croatia national team, a valuable defender, and fast in counter attacks
• plays with her right hand
• spent four seasons in Serbia with RK Zajecar before returning to Lokomotiva, where her handball career began
• better known by her maiden name: Peraica


Jurswailly Luciano (NED) – Metz Handball

• the speedy Dutch winger joined Metz in 2011
• did not have the chance to play in the WCh final 2015, but went to the Olympics in Rio
• played the EHF Cup final with Metz in 2013, but lost against Holstebro
• one of the ten players from the roster to have been brought up in Metz


Kinga Achruk (POL) – Buducnost

• the third Polish player in Buducnost’s history, after Monika Marzec and Izabela Puchacz, who played in Podgorica from 2003 to 2005
• her mother Malgorzata played handball for Montex Lublin and Zaglebie Lubin
• with Zaglebie Lubin she won a Polish title in 2011 and three Polish cups in 2009, 2011 and 2013, when she scored 14 goals in the final
• named Poland’s best player in 2012


Eduarda Amorim Taleska (BRA) - Györ Audi ETO KC

• 2014 IHF Player of the Year
• Brazilian international arrived in Europe in 2006
• first joining Kometal Skopje in FYR Macedonia, transferred to Győr in 2009
• passed the 300 goals milestone in the European top flight in the 2013/14 season
• All-star left back at the WCh 2013 and the CL 2013/14


Beatrice Edwige (FRA) – Metz Handball

• only signing of the 2016 summer, she arrived from Nice, where she had played for two seasons
• mainly focused on defence, while Sladjana Pop-Lazic usually attacks
• being branded by Olivier Krumbholz, the national team coach, as one of the five best defenders in the world


Alexandra Lacrabere (FRA) – HC Vardar

• in 2016 signed one-year contract with Vardar, the club number 10 in her career
• best player of the French championship in the 2011/12 season
• best scorer in the French championship in 2011/12 (125 goals) and in 2013/14 (129)
• besides France, spent one season in Russia – Zvezda Zvenigord and Spain - Akaba Bera Bera


Sabina Jacobsen (SWE) – FC Midtjylland

• had been awarded best defender at EHF EURO 2014
• is the core player for the Swedish middle block
• in attack, she shares the position with Ida Oden
• as many other Swedish national team players joined a Danish club, moving from Lugi HF
first to Randers HK and then to FC Midtjylland

Young players

Karina Sabirova (RUS) – Astrakhanochka

• 18-year-old was born and raised in Astrakhan
• despite her young age, became one of the leaders of Astrakhanochka following the departure of many players in summer
• member of the Russia junior national team
• in the autumn of 2016 was called up to the Russia senior team for the Golden League tournament


Xenia Smits (GER) – Metz Handball

• born in Belgium, raised in Germany and now playing in France, she still has a German passport
• her and Isabell Klein are the first two German players to ever play in the French first league
• arrived in the summer of 2015 after three seasons in HSG Blomberg-Lippe
• already a regular fixture in the German national team


Djurdjina Jaukovic (MNE) – Buducnost

• started with handball at nine in her home town Niksic, thanks to her father Jovo,former president of Sutjeska
• joined Buducnost in 2013 at the age of 15, but was on loan two years in Danilovgrad
• named best young player in Montenegro twice (2104, 2015) and considered one of the biggest talent of Montenegrin handball alongside Djurdjina Malovic
• scored four goals in her debut in the CL against IK Sävehof in 2015/16
• top scorer and MVP of Women’s 19 EHF EURO 2015 in Spain (71 goals)- as a debutant in the senior national team scored 31 goals in nine games at 2015 WCh in Denmark


Blanka Biro (HUN) - FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria

• born and raised in Vác, where she played there for eight years
• after stints at the EHF Cup and the Cup Winners’ Cup she was first capped at the age of 18 and made her debut in the EURO held in Hungary in 2014
• the 1,86 m tall goalkeeper is one of the hottest up-and-comer in Hungarian handball as Bíró is expected to be the first choice goalie of the national team
• one of her saves was voted Save of the Round by EHF in the 2014 EURO


Elizabeth Omoregie (BUL) – RK Krim Mercator

• widely considered among the most talented players of her generation
• very versatile, playing across the back-court as well on the wing, with inherent ability to find space and create her own chances to score
• made her CL debut in 2014/15 aged 17, scoring 34 goals for Krim
• student of Economics was selected CL Rookie of the Round 4 in 2014/15


Gabor Elek (HUN) - FTC – Rail Cargo Hungaria

• son of legendary Ferencváros coach, who led the team for almost three decades, now plays in the arena that is named after his father, Gyula Elek
• has been at the helm in Ferencváros since 2008 but he won his first domestic gold medal in 2015 having already won an enermous amount of silvers behind Györ
• won back-to-back Cup Winners’ Cups with his team in 2011 and 2012
• respected member of the Ferencváros family, apart from his father his mother also played for the club


Tor Odvar Moen (NOR) – Larvik

• has made a comeback to the job as head coach ahead of the 2015/16 season, suceeding Ole Gustav Gjekstad, to whom he was assistant coach for the previous three and a half years
• has been with Larvik since 1997, taking care of several different jobs in the club
• head coach in the club fort he second time, as he took over at New Year 2011, as now late Karl Erik Bohn left with immediate effect
• led Larvik tot he club’s only CL triumph so far – in 2011
• has his strongest qualities in the tactical area and in communication with the players


Ambros Martin (ESP) - Györi Audi ETO KC

• born in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, joined Györ in 2012
• previously coached top Spanish side Estrella Itxako for seven years, winning the EHF Cup in 2009
• also eliminating Györ in the semi-final on the way to the CL final in 2010/11 during that spell
• in his first season with Györ he won their first European trophy


Emmanuel Mayonnade (FRA) – Metz Handball

• the youngest coach in the 2016/17 CL season (33 years)
• started coaching at 23 in Mios Biganos, a club he left last winter for Metz when it suffered bankruptcy
• before leaving, he had won two Challenge Cups with Mios-Biganos
• very appreciated by his players for his closeness and his ability to understand their problems


Dragan Adzic (MNE) – Buducnost

• retired due to injury in 1998
• almost a decade was an assistant to many coaches in Buducnost
• became head coach in 2010; in 2012 won the CL in May with Buducnost and EHF EURO in December with Montenegro
• met his wife Timea after she came to the club as an interpreter to former coach, Hungarian Gyula Zsiga


TEXT: EHF / br