Team presentation: Hungary
2018 june 08.
Coach: Vlagyimir Golovin
Key Players: Noémi Háfra (left back), Katrin Klujber (right back), Dorottya Faluvegi (right wing)
Qualification for Hungary 2018: Qualified as hosts
History in Tournament: 1977: 6th, 1979: 4th, 1981-1995: DNQ, 1997: 10th, 1999: 4th, 2001: 2nd, 2003: 2nd, 2005: 4th, 2008: 5th, 2010: 5th, 2012: 3rd, 2014: 7th, 2016: 10th
Hungary are not only the hosts of the 2018 IHF Women’s Junior World Championship, they are also a powerful team which came in 4th at last year’s U19 European Championship and count on players who already have EHF Champions League experience.
The 2017 EURO saw Hungary win Group A with two solid victories – 26:21 versus Romania and 34:26 against the Netherlands – and a close loss 23:24 versus Sweden. In the Main Round, the Hungarian side also finished on top after defeating Russia 27:24 and Norway 26:18 to qualify for the semi-finals, where France stopped their run with a 31:26 win.
Their final loss versus Denmark 26:28 in the bronze-medal match did not affect the positive experience and the team spirit built along the whole tournament, not to mention the outstanding performance of players such as FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria left back Noémi Háfra – who scored 54 goals at the continental competition – or DKKA Dunaujvaros right back Katrin Klujber, who contributed 63 goals.
Háfra scored 16 goals for FTC-Rail Cargo in the 2017/18 EHF Champions League to help them make the quarter-finals, the same amount as left wing Greta Marton. Right wing Dorottya Faluvegi is also part of the team and she accumulated 33 goals in her third Champions League season.
Other Hungary junior players who have already experience in the most important club handball competition in Europe are goalkeeper Bino Boglarka and left wing Csenge Fodor, as they were part of the Györi Audi ETO KC squad that won the last two editions of the Women’s EHF FINAL4.
For Hungary head coach Vlagyimir Golovin, that Champions League experience of some of his athletes is “obviously a big advantage”. He has been able to train the team during the regular club season, playing eight matches against senior teams from the Hungarian National League. In the final preparation stage for the IHF Women’s Junior (U20) World Championship they will organise a friendly tournament in Debrecen against U19 European Champions France, the Netherlands and Ukraine.
“It was important for us to avoid Group D with five European teams, and our group is quite well-balanced with various styles, with European, African and Pan American teams. We would like to maintain our place in the eight-finals first and of course to take the best rank in Group A,” says Golovin.
Hungary hold two IHF Women’s Junior (U20) World Championship silver medals and one bronze, and it may be time to go for more. “We would like to fight for the medals in front of our home crowd – the coach declares. I think we have the chance to qualify for the semi-finals.”
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Group at Hungary 2018:
Group A: Hungary, Norway, Montenegro, Brazil, Portugal, Côte d’Ivoire
Games at Hungary 2018:
All times local
Sunday 1 July: HUN-BRA (18:00)
Wednesday 4 July: POR-HUN (18:00)
Thursday 5 July: HUN-CIV (16:00)
Saturday 7 July: MNE-HUN (13:30)
Sunday 8 July: HUN-NOR (18:00)