Many young players and one newcomer make up Russia's squad for the Golden League tournament in France
New players force Krokhin to experiment
As head coach Vitaly Krokhin prepares his players for the Golden League tournament in France, it becomes clear that the three months since the conclusion of the EHF EURO 2012 in Serbia have brought along several changes to the Russian women’s national team.
For various reasons, many Russian EHF EURO 2012 players do not form a part of the national team that has been nominated for the Golden League as they have either been dropped or are just temporarily not available.
Polina Kuznetsova announced her pregnancy already before the start of the new year, while Maria Sidorova asked for a break from international handball but indicated that she is willing to support the team in the lead-up to and at major competitions.
Lyudmila Postnova uses the short break in her club’s (Zvevda Zvenigorod) playing schedule for a family trip to Portugal where she will also receive some medical treatment for a back injury.
National team captain, Tatiana Khymrova, was injured in a domestic match at the end of February and is currently recovering.
Triple world champion, Emilia Turey, and double world champion, Ekaterina Andryushina, have not been nominated, while Elena Avdekova is still recovering from an angina.
Following a short training camp in Novogorsk over the weekend with a group of mainly younger players, Maria Basarab, one of the team’s goalkeepers at the EHF EURO 2012, also stayed home and did not join the team on its way to France.
That means that Krokhin nominated players of which some have hardly any international experience, forcing the national team head coach to experiment with some new starting line-ups in France.
However, there is only one true newcomer. Right back Inga Gayzhutite was the leader of Belarus’ national team until 2010, before she received Russian citizenship and now her first call for Krokhin's team.
Due to the needs of the national team, the season in the Russian Superliga will come to an end very early on 30 April 2013.
The entire May will be dedicated to the team’s preparations for the World Championship Play-Offs against the Netherlands, for which the Russian team will prepare with a training camp in South Korea and a tournament against the hosts, Spain and Brazil.
Russian team for the Golden League
Goalkeepers: Victoria Kalinina (Zvezda), Galina Gabisova (Rostov-Don)
Left wing: Polina Gorshkova (Lada)
Left backs: Victoria Zhilinskaite (Lada), Anna Sen (Rostov-Don), Ksenia Milova (Dinamo)
Middle back: Ekaterina Ilyina (Kuban)
Right backs: Ekaterina Davydenko (Lada), Anna Punko(Kuban), Inga Gayzhutite (Luch)
Right wings: Olga Chernoivanenko (Lada), Marina Yartseva (Rostov-Don)
Line player: Ksenia Makeeva, Alexandra Stepanova (both Dinamo), Yana Zhilinskaite (Lada)
TEXT: Artem Shmelkov / ts
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