Croatia Handball Begins Final Preparations for Men’s European Championship

Daniela Rogulj

January 2, 2019 –  The Croatia handball team will compete in the European Handball Championship, to be held from January 9 to 26. Coach Lino Cervar finally has the complete squad in Porec ahead of the competition. reports that the Croatia men’s handball team gathered in Zagreb on Wednesday before heading to Porec where they will hold the last part of preparations for the European Championship, which will be held in Sweden, Norway and Austria from January 9 to 26.

The Croatia squad is finally complete, as the players who compete in Germany have joined. Thus, coach Lino Cervar can finally begin playing the team according to his visions and wishes.

An unfortunate circumstance of these preparations, as well as for the Euros, is that Croatia will not be able to count on the three players with injuries – Lovro Mihic, Fran Mile and Luka Sebetic. Their absence will significantly change Cervar’s plans and ideas for the team, especially in the defense.

Namely, two of these three players were to find their place in Croatia’s final team in Graz for the first round of the European Championship. Croatia captain Domagoj Duvnjak said that despite this bit of bad luck, he and Croatia are ready to perform at the Euros. 

“The group looks easier on paper, but it’s not like that. I think it’s very tough and that we have difficult games. Like every year, I repeat that the first game is the hardest one, and this one is against Montenegro. I’m healthy and I can’t wait for it to start,” Duvnjak said.

As part of the third cycle of preparations, the Croatian Cup will be played in Porec, with Bosnia and Qatar participating alongside Croatia. It is these two teams that open the tournament on Friday, January 3, at 6 pm in Zatika. A day later, on January 4, at 4:50 pm, Croatia and BiH will play. The tournament ends on Sunday, January 5, with Croatia and Qatar, which also begins at 4:50 pm.

At the European Championship, Croatia will play in Graz against Montenegro, Belarus and Serbia in the first round.

List of players for the third phase of preparations;

Marin Šego – Montpellier

Matej Ašanin – PPD Zagreb

Zlatko Horvat – PPD Zagreb

Vlado Matanović – Gorenje Velenje

David Mandić – PPD Zagreb

Valentino Ravnić – PPD Zagreb

Željko Musa – Magdeburg

Marino Marić – Melsungen

Marin Šipić – PPD Zagreb

Domagoj Duvnjak – THW Kiel

Marko Mamić – Leipzig

Josip Šarac – Celje PL

Matej Hrstić – PPD Zagreb

Luka Cindrić – Barcelona

Igor Karačić – Vive Kielce

Luka Stepančić – MOL-PICK Szeged

Josip Vekić – PPD Zagreb

Ivan Martinović – Hannover-Burgdorf

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