“Biggest honour”: Vasile appointed as Romania coach
The Romanian Handball Federation (FRH) has decided to overhaul the staff of the women’s national team following its 12th-place finish at the EHF EURO 2020, the team’s worst result at a European Championship.
Adrian Vasile will step in on a one-year deal after the federation has parted ways with head coach Bogdan Burcea.
The 38-year-old Vasile, who is currently plying his trade at club level at DELO EHF Champions League contenders CSM Bucuresti, will take command of a national team for the first time in his career.
He earlier served as Per Johansson’s assistant at the Montenegrin women’s national team between 2017 and 2020.
"It is an enormous opportunity"
“The biggest honour for a coach is to serve for his national team, so this is a huge step forward for me. A few years ago, I would not even have dared to dream about this, therefore it is an enormous opportunity and a bigger ask for me,” Vasile told eurohandball.com.
A former right wing who won the Men’s Challenge Cup with Steaua Bucuresti in 2006, Vasile retired in 2011. Initially serving as a fitness coach, he won the Champions League in 2016 as Kim Rasmussen’s assistant at CSM.
Vasile had worked as an assistant to 10 different coaches at CSM between 2014 and 2019 until he received a two-year contract as head coach in October 2019.
Vasile faces biggest challenge of his career
Vasile now faces the biggest challenge of his career, leading both CSM Bucuresti and the Romanian women’s national handball team.
“It is never easy to coach two teams, but I am ready for the challenge, I am prepared for everything. This means my spare time will be scarce, yet I love handball, it is both a job and a passion, therefore this is no sacrifice, rather than business as usual,” Vasile said.
Vasile will have his work cut out, though.
With the World Championship 2021 in Spain coming up in December, his first big objective is already looming in March, when Romania are set to meet reigning European champions Norway, hosts Montenegro and Thailand at an Olympic Qualification Tournament in Podgorica.
At stake are two tickets for the Olympic Games in Tokyo in July and August.
“The time is not on our side, but we will try to have virtual meetings and a small training camp, because everybody needs to be on the same page. It is a huge chance for us, the girls worked for this in the past four years, therefore we need to seal this qualification, which would boost our spirits,” Vasile said.
"Everything is put in place now"
One of the opponents is Vasile’s former team, Montenegro, which he knows inside out.
“Of course, I know them, but they also know me very well. At CSM, I also have a Montenegrin player, Andrea Klikovac, therefore there are not many secrets we can keep from one another,” Vasile said.
The Romanian coach will head an international staff, with former Siófok KC coach Bent Dahl of Norway as his assistant and Jaume Fort of Spain as goalkeeper coach.
FRH President Alexandru Dedu is full of confidence.
“Everything is put in place now. We have our new staff and I am very confident in them,” Dedu said. “Hopefully, they will make us extend the deal until 2024.”
It is never easy to coach two teams, but I am ready for the challenge, I am prepared for everything. I love handball, it is both a job and a passion.