NEWS REPORT: After missing out on the Women's EHF EURO 2014 by the narrowest of margins, Czech Republic want to make sure they set things straight this year
Czech Republic want to forget their nightmares
After missing out on the Women’s EHF EURO 2014 two years ago in the last qualifier by a single goal, Czech Republic this time are eager not to repeat history and qualify for the EHF EURO 2016, what would be their fifth participation at a European Championship.
“I have good feelings about the matches we have played so far, we are in good position to qualify, we just need to make two more steps,” said head coach Jan Basny.
His team currently ranks second in Group 2 with five points, two below Serbia in first and one ahead of Ukraine in third. Their final two qualifiers they play are against Italy on 1 June and against Ukraine on 4 June.
“Italy have improved a lot recently. They have played two good matches against Ukraine, despite the fact that the final results may suggest differently.
“It can be an advantage that we play in Italy first, as we can decide about our destiny already there, but also it gives us more time to prepare for Ukraine in case the last match will decide.“
Everything in their own hands
There are many ways how Czech Republic can qualify. Jan Basny is aware that his team has everything in its hands, but insists that his players should concentrate on winning the next match only.
Depending on Czech Republic’s own match against Italy and Ukraine’s game against Serbia on the same day, the home match against Ukraine on 4 June might very well become a “winner takes it all” game.
It was a situation the Czech Republic found themselves in already two years ago when they played against Poland in their last EHF EURO 2014 qualifier.
And things seem to repeat themselves: In this campaign Czech Republic won the away match in Ukraine just they had done against Poland two years ago – only to lose at home and miss out on the EHF EURO 2014 by a single goal.
“This is still a nightmare for me, I think about it almost every day. But if we qualify this time, I am sure it will wash away all the bad memories.”
After a long and stressful season for everyone, Jan Basny has decided to take team into the countryside for two days of team building to refresh their minds.
“Players were in different emotional states. Some had won their leagues, some had avoided relegation and some lost their finals, were relegated.
“We have decided to take them outside to get them on the same line, to work on the mental and physical strength before concentrating on handball,” explained Basny.
The Czech Republic coach can count on all players he nominated. “The players know they have two games left and we play for the European Championship. I expect fatigue to have no impact. Emotions and desire to win will prevail,” said Basny.
The Czech squad for the Women’s EHF EURO 2016 qualifiers against Italy and Ukraine
Goalkeepers: Dominika Müllnerová (Baník Most), Barbora Raníková (Nantes Loire Atlantique), Lucie Satrapová (Kristianstad)
Right backs: Michaela Hrbková (Frisch Auf Göppingen), Helena Ryšánková (Sokol Poruba)
Centre backs: Kateřina Keclíková (Slavia Praha), Iveta Luzumová (Thüriger HC), Petra Růčková (Baník Most), Martina Weisenbilderová (Kristianstad)
Left backs: Markéta Jeřábková (Baník Most), Kamila Kordovská (Slavia Praha)
Right wings: Lenka Hradilová (Koblenz/Weinbern), Jana Knedlíková (Györi Audi ETO KC), Michaela Janoušková (Bayer 04 Leverkusen)
Left wings: Veronika Malá (Slavia Praha), Kristýna Salčáková (Achenheim Truchtersheim)
Line players: Petra Adámková (Koblenz/Weinbern), Alena Stellnerová (Slavia Praha)
TEXT: Tomas Cuncik / ts
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