The team of Paraguay
2018 june 26.
Coach: Enrique Menendez
Key Players: Fernanda Insfran (Left Back), Paula Fernandez (Left Wing)
Qualification for Hungary 2018: 2018 Women’s Junior Pan American Championship, Goiania (BRA) – 3rd place
History in Tournament: 1977-2016: DNQ
From 21-25 March, Paraguay took part in the Women’s Junior Pan American Championship in Goiana, Brazil. They booked their 2018 IHF World Championship tickets in the last match of the competition, as they defeated a strong Chile side 28:25.
It will be the first time they participate in the IHF Women’s Junior (U20) World Championship, while they made it three times to the Youth event — in 2012, 2014 and 2016. Therefore, this generation of players count on the experience they acquired at Slovakia 2016 but, more importantly, some of them are members of the Paraguay women’s senior team and played at the last World Championship in Germany.
Left back Fernanda Insfran was Paraguay’s top scorer in Slovakia with 41 goals and that interesting performance gave her the chance to play her club handball at Mavi Nuevas Tecnologias La Calzada, in Spain’s first division, together with left wing Paula Fernandez.
Insfran – now a Balonmano Bolanos athlete in the second division of Spain – made 21 goals at Germany 2017, while left back Fatima Insfran scored 26 and Paula Fernandez contributed 17. Other players who will be at Hungary 2018 and also represent their senior national team are centre back Camila Feschenko and right wing Delyne Leiva.
Argentinian-born coach Enrique Menendez – who coached the Argentina men’s senior team in 1995 and claimed bronze at the Pan American Games – signed a contract to guide all Paraguay female national teams a few months ago. The women’s junior and senior teams were training in parallel during the preparation for the South American Games in Cochabamba, Bolivia, considering that six players of the junior team were there too. For the last two months, the junior side had nine training sessions per week and they are using men’s teams for practise.
For the experienced coach, Paraguay’s strengths are “the individual skills of our offensive players, while probably our biggest flaw is the goal, as our first two goalkeepers won’t travel to Hungary due to different injuries.”
At Hungary 2018, Paraguay will share Group C with Denmark, the Netherlands, Romania, Angola and Japan. “Our aim is to make it out of the groups phase – says ‘Quique’ Menendez – from then on everything will be fine.”
Group at Hungary 2018:
Group C: Denmark, Netherlands, Romania, Angola, Japan, Paraguay
Games at Hungary 2018:
All times local
Monday 2 July: NED-PAR (12:00)
Wednesday 4 July: PAR-ROU (16:00)
Thursday 5 July: DEN-PAR (16:00)
Saturday 7 July: PAR-ANG (17:30)
Sunday 8 July: JPN-PAR (16:00)