FIGH has started a new project with 19 aspiring young women
Italy look for bright handball future
'Futuro' means future in Italian. It's a masculine noun ending in 'o' but the Italian Handball Federation FIGH recently decided to give 'future' a feminine touch.
In co-operation with the National Olympic Committee and the Italian army the FIGH founded the 'squadra futura', a team of 19 aspiring young women aged between 14 and 21 aiming to make an impact on the international handball stage in the years to come.
For about one year now the players have been living together, training together and playing together. They go to school in the morning and train nine times a week.
The newly founded 'Esercito-FIGH Futura Roma' also played in the Italian national league last season and finished respectable fourth straight away.
To grant the players additional experience as well as competition and following negotiations with the Slovenian Handball Federation, Futura joined the Slovenian national handball league at the start of this season.
"We want to give our players as much international experience as possible," says Marco Trespidi, the women's national team's technical director.
For 10 of them a first test will come on Thursday, October 4, as they have been selected for the Italian team that will face Poland in a qualifying match for the 2013 World Championship in Serbia. Italy then play Lithuania on October 7.
"We don't have any particular expectations for those matches but are taking it step by step. Our first goal is to gain experience," says Trespidi.
"Right now, where we want to get through are the qualifications for youth and junior tournaments, like for 2013 Women's 17 and 19 European Championships. And we have good hopes for that."
According to Trespidi the FIGH is aiming to play with Futura players only during the qualification for the Women's EHF EURO 2014 before another challenge will be looming on the horizon - qualification for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
TEXT: EHF / ts
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