Croatia Handball Team Heads to Sweden Without Duvnjak; Červar Announces New System?

Daniela Rogulj

The Croatia men’s handball team, led by Lino Červar, gathered in Zagreb on Monday. 

The Croatia national handball team met in Zagreb yesterday for training, before heading to Sweden this morning where they will play two friendly matches against the European finalists on April 5 and 7, reports on April 2, 2018. 

The first game is scheduled on April 5 in Eskilstuna at 19:15, while two days later the teams will play in Norrköping at 16:00. Lino Červar announced the two games against Sweden and presented the action plan for the national team this year.

“We have come together in a slightly changed composition. First and foremost, we are delighted to welcome Mirko Bašić, a coach who started with me in 2003 when we were at the World Cup in Portugal. We also included my former player Davor Dominiković. This coaching staff I am grateful for because they worked well together,” Červar said.

In Sweden, Croatia begins preparations for the World Cup qualifying rounds against Montenegro.

“We are going to Sweden for two friendly matches. Of course, keeping in mind that we have a critical June where we have to compete for the 2019 World Cup. This is the most important thing for us this calendar year. This is just a staircase to the playoffs, which involves some players who are not on the team because we have injured players like Domagoj Duvnjak who will not be in Sweden with us. We also have some players who have not been in the European Championship thus far, and we will try them now in Sweden.”

The coach also uncovered his plans for the future, which revealed that some younger players would get a chance at the national team. 

“It is about creating a competitive national team that can go to the World Championship and show something new there. We will work all year on a changed game system that matches the structure of players I have at this time. This year we have another task that is also important, which is in October when we play the qualification for the European Championship in 2020. The interplay is in June after the qualifications for the Mediterranean Games in Spain where I will also take several players who play on the A team and several young players because we need to give the opportunity to new players who can refresh the team.”

The new staff member Mirko Bašić will be in charge of the team’s goalkeeping. He briefly explained what he expected of this representative action in Sweden:

“This is my first engagement in handball after five, six years, but I’m not sure how accurate that is. I watched and followed this side so I was not entirely ‘out’ of it. I think for Sweden, as a new part of the staff, I’m just going to watch the situation because in these few days we cannot change anything. We will try to see what the capacity of the goalkeepers are, given that I am in charge of the goalkeepers and eventually decide on what we will want for the most critical qualifications in June.”

Croatia lineup against Sweden:

1. Mate Šunjić – CSM Bucuresti

2. Marin Šego – MOL-Pick Szeged

3. Zlatko Horvat – PPD Zagreb

4. Josip Božić Pavletić – PPD Zagreb

5. Manuel Štrlek – PGE Vive Kielce

6. Lovro Mihić – Orlen Wisla Plock

7. Krešimir Kozina – Frisch Auf Göppingen

8. Marino Marić – MT Melsungen

9. Ilija Brozović – TSV Hannover-Burgdorf

10. Marko Mamić – PGE Vive Kielce

11. Halil Jaganjac – Metalurg

12. Stipe Mandalinić – Füchse Berlin

13. Luka Cindrić – Vardar

14. Domagoj Pavlović – PPD Zagreb

15. Luka Stepančić – Paris Saint-Germain Handball

16. Jakov Vranković – Grundfos Tatabánya KC


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