Euro Handball Poland 2014

Meet the competitors of Men’s 18 EHF EURO: Croatia

Repka 1996_Bugojno

Croatian national team is coming to Poland to reach the podium and as one of the favorites. Are the players of Hrvoje Horvat able to fit the bill and come back to the Balkans with medal?

Croatia is very strong team with a great tradition in handball. From many years they are in the group of the best teams and said to be one of the teams who can win the championship. So far both them and Germany won the biggest amount of golden medals during European Championship in U18 category. They stood on the highest step of podium in 2006 and 2010. It is worth to mention that at both events the MVP were Croatian players – firstly well known Domagoj Duvnjak and then Ante Kaleb.

In the current team of Croatia it is pretty hard to point the best players, who would be the brightest star of the team. – Our team consists of many great individual players – says Marin Šipić, the line player of Balkan team - The thing is that our target is to play like a team, we don’t rely on one or two players, every player is equally important. I think that we have potential to be in the first four teams, but it could only happen if we listen to our coach Hrvoje Horvat and always do what he thinks is best. Nothing is impossible, and if we play like we know, I think we could easily achieve our goal.

It seems to be that for Croatian team the most important will be group games. In the first phase of tournament they will face very strong and challenging opponents, such as France, Hungary and Romania. It is true to say that this group is (next to group B) the toughest one during the championships. The level of all teams is quite similar and every result seems to be possible. Our first match with Hungarian team is for us very important, in order to start tournament with victory – said after the draw Hrvoje Horvat - As we have seen, the French have very good team and I think they are the strongest one in the group. Till now, we don’t have lot of information about Romania, but regarding their handball tradition, they must be respected.

Players from Balkans have already shown their strange during the qualifications, when they easily won the tournament in Umag. At the beginning they defeated Macedonia 26:18, although at the half time they were losing by one goal. Then they did much better – firstly they won by thirty goals with Georgia and then 18:32 with Netherlands. Will they do so good in the final tournament as well? - If we win first game with Hungary, then our moral will raise and it will be much easier to play against France and Romania – said Marin Šipić.



Preliminary Round in Gdynia (Group C):

  • Croatia – Hungary / 14.08.2014, 15:30
  • Romania – Croatia / 15.08.2014,  15:30
  • France – Croatia / 17.08.2014, 13:30