NEWS REPORT: New French coach looks to bring Romania back where they belong, but will begin with an attitude change against Sweden
Romania hopes for a fresh start
A disappointing defeat against Finland in the EHF EURO 2016 play-off phase rocked Romanian handball.
After winning 32:30 at home against the Finnish side, Romania lost the away leg, 29:32, therefore losing the chance to qualify for the qualification group phase.
Such a defeat for a team that had great ambitions was bound to have serious consequences. Therefore, Eliodor Voica, Romania men’s national team’s coach has quit and the search for a new coach, who would be up to the task to lead the “tricolori” in the World Championship playoff against Sweden, started.
After several weeks, the Romanian Federation confirmed that Christian Gaudin (47 years old) will be the men’s national team coach. The former goalkeeper, who amassed 247 appearances in the French national team, was seen as a perfect replacement choice, after an 11-year tenure at Saint-Raphaël Var Handball, a team that plays in France’s top flight.
As Alexandru Dedu, the Romanian Federation’s president, confirmed, Gaudin will have no objective in the World Championship play-offs against Sweden, the first leg of which will be played on 7 of June in Romania, while the second leg is scheduled for 15 June in Sweden.
However, Dedu wants to see a change in the players’ attitude, which was lacking in the games against Finland, even if beating Sweden, the seventh placed team at EHF EURO 2014, is almost impossible in these conditions.
“The time is very short, we have a huge task. Sweden are the favourites, but my main objective is to rebuild this team. I truly believe that Romania can become a great team once again,” suggested Gaudin in his first press conference as Romania’s national coach.
“The players are great individually; they are a group of very good players. However, they have to be more disciplined and more precise,” continued the French coach.
Gaudin’s word inspired three players to make a comeback for the national team, after they
were not in Eliodor Voica’s plans. Experienced right wing Valentin Ghionea, left wing George Buricea and line player Marius Novanc have been called up for the games against Sweden, bolstering Romania’s chances for a good outing against Sweden.
Goalkeepers: Ionuţ Ciobanu (HC Odorhei), George Şelaru (Energia Pandurii Târgu Jiu), Mihai Popescu (HCM Constanţa)
Right wings: Andrei Mihalcea (HC Odorhei), Valentin Ghionea (Wisla Plock), Marius Sadoveac (HCM Constanţa)
Right backs: Florin Acatrinei (Energia Pandurii Târgu Jiu), Bogdan Criciotoiu (HCM Constanţa)
Centre backs: Cristi Fenici (Ştiinţa Bacău), Ionuţ Rotaru (Ştiinţa Bacău), Alexandru Csepreghi (HCM Constanţa)
Left backs: Ciprian Şandru (Dinamo Bucureşti), Alexandru Şimicu (HCM Constanţa)
Right wings: Alexandru Asoltanei (Energia Pandurii Târgu Jiu), George Buricea (HCM Constanţa)
Line players: Dragoş Iancu (Ştiinţa Bacău), Marius Novanc (HCM Constanţa), Albert Cristescu (HCM Constanţa)
TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / cor
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