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07.07.2017, 13:39
A player to shape Norway's handball future
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RISING STARS: Three weeks out of the Women's 19 EHF EURO in Slovenia, Henny Ella Reistad reveals the secret behind her success as playmaker for Norway
 

A player to shape Norway's handball future

Claiming that Norway have proud traditions in women’s national team handball would be an understatement. Consequently, expectations are high on the players who are going to try and maintain those traditions in the future.

Some of them are found in the Under-19 team, which will take part in the Women’s 19 EHF EURO 2017 in Slovenia from 27 July to 6 August.

Several of the players in the Norwegian squad already have considerable experience at senior level, like right back Mari Finstad, who has just joined record champions Larvik.

And it is also true for Henny Ella Reistad. Norway’s U19 coach Vigdis Holmeset sees her as a particular asset to her team ahead of the games in Slovenia.

“Henny Reistad is really a player for the future, and she is already on a high level considering her age. She is very good at organising our attacking play, and she is particularly good at feinting,” Holmeset says.

“Furthermore, she has gathered plenty of valuable experience during the past season, where she was playing at league level with Stabæk all the way.”

Learning not to take poor chances

Henny Reistad also has no doubt that her season in the Norwegian league has done her good.

“First of all, I have learned not to take poor chances but to wait for the right opportunities – both when it comes to shooting and when it comes to judging what passes to make,” she says.

“My role in the team is to lead and organise our attacking play, and obviously, experience is a must in that respect.”

Photo: Norway celebrate reaching the semi-final at the Women's Youth World Championship 2016

Henny Reistad is convinced that her experience at senior level will come useful at the Women's 19 EHF EURO.

“It will be crucial to make the right decisions as we are going to be up against some strong and clever teams,” she says.

“I also feel that my defensive qualities have improved a lot, and that is also very important to me as I want to be good at both ends of the court.”

Henny Reistad has rather high expectation regarding the Norwegian chances at the championship, calling them “real good.”

“In my opinion, we have improved a lot lately, and I believe that a top-three placement is absolutely realistic this time,” says Reistad, who calls Dutch international Nycke Groot her biggest idol.

“She is the kind of centre back I want to become someday. The fact that she is able to organise the attacking play in Györ the way she does is awesome to me, and furthermore, she is good at both ends of the court, just as I want to be.”

The national team and a foreign top club

But what about the weight of expectations for female handball talents in Norway? Does  Henny Reistad think she could be one of the players who carry on the country’s proud traditions in the future?

“I certainly hope for a career in the senior national team, where I hope to become a regular player,” she says.

“I also hope to be part of a great future for the national team – a future which is just as great as the present. My ambition at club level is to travel abroad and play for an absolute top club in Europe, a club playing in the (Women’s EHF) Champions League every year.”


TEXT: Peter Bruun / ew / ts
 
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