Best Of 2010/2011

Best player: Heidi Loke

There isn’t any doubt about that. She was also the most redoubtable player, the name on  everyone’s lips.

Most improved player: Jovanka Radicevic

She has become one of the pillars of Buducnost, listed along with Bulatovic and Popovic as the best players of the team. On her NT, she is wing, pivot and leader. Cristina Neagu would have been a candidate provided she had kept her ECh level in ChL.

Best newcomer: Carmen Martin

A very efficient player that big teams will look for next seasons. Other names: Nora Mork, Maja Zrnec, Isabelle Gullden, Nerea Pena.

Best veteran: Tonje Larsen

Valentina Ardean Elisei was crucial for ORV and the NT. Bojana Popovic, of course.  Aurelia Bradeanu – fine in Gyor, but not so helpful to the NT.

Best ECh performance: Cristina Neagu

Best ChL performance: Cecilie Leganger

Best transfer: Bojana Popovic

Surprise player of the year: Laerke Moeller

Because she is as exciting to watch as Lekic or Gorbicz. And, Europe lacks this kind of playmakers. The entire Danish team is full of surprises, Dalby, Throsgaard, Kvisgaard are very nice handballers.

Surprise team of the year: Sweden

Itxako had made the impressive transfers, so it was expected for them to do well. But Sweden… no one saw them coming.

Best match by a NT: Montenegro against Denmark (ECh)

It was surreal. The Montenegrins were all very tired, really worn out, but still, they gave it everything. That was the essence of what a final tournament should look like. Another great game was Romania’s bronze final, the outcome let us in tears of joy and made us forget about the low quality of the attack.

Best match by a club team: Gyor against Larvik (ChL)

Team of the year: Norway NT

Because  there was no challenge out there for them. If they win the WCh , they will become one of the best squads of all times. Other teams: Denmark, Itxako, Buducnost, Larvik.

Best coach: Thorir Hergeirsson

Martin Ambros, Jan Pytlick accomplished really difficult tasks also.

Dream team of the season:

Ann Grete Norgaard (EHF cup final, best LW scorer and best Danish scorer at the ECh)

Emilia Turey is out there but didn’t get a chance at the ECh. Elisei is close too. 

Bojana Popovic (3rd scorer of ChL and ECh, ChL semifinal)

Neagu, the clear contender, but… long time, no see. Barbosa no NT, Torstenson EHF cup winner and MVP of the ECh. Penezic VIP of her NT and of Krim.

Andrea Lekic (7th scorer of ChL, best Serbian scorer at the ECh)

Laerke on second place and Gorbe will be the one taking it next year.

Camilla Dalby (best scorer of Randers in ChL and 2nd best Danish scorer at the ECh)

Kochetova is always no 1 in Dinamo, but a mess on the NT. Bulatovic, no NT. This is a poor category.

Jovanka Radicevic (best RW scorer in ChL and ECh)

She did fantastic in both competitions and no one can touch her at the moment.

Heidi Loke (best scorer ChL, best pivot at the ECh)

Stanca would easily be above her, were it not for the injury. Spiridon and Djokic, fantastic in ChL, but no NT.

Katrine Lunde Haraldsen (best GK at the ECh, ChL semifinal)

Nothing to add.


Yet Another Moving Good Bye: Andrea Lekic

Andrea’s leaving Krim is almost incredible to me.  I expected her to lead that team for a very long time, if not for the rest of her career. She could have become what Indira Kastratovic was for Kometal. I guess Krim will be transformed during the next years and fans just have to get used to it.

Also, a clin d’oeil to Barbara Varlec, who will be missed in next year’s CL. All the best to her in these happy times!

More here.

Website Review Part 1: ORV

Aside from the in-joke staring you in the face “The first professional handball club in Romania”, girls’ pictures smiling are just perfect. On the left, you have Elisei’s jump, which could without a doubt make the frontcover of Oltchim’s history.

To get this out of the way, I quickly check the Facebook link (working), the Search gadget  (I type Yeliz Ozel, but the first thing I get is not the news on her contract prolongation, so, clearly, not working!), the translation option (in Google translation, ouch!). Regarding the translation, if your browser is Google Chrome, you activate/install Google translation, and it will ask for your permission to translate foreign pages into any language you want, without altering the graphics!!!

Then, you have News, Results, Pictures and Video which seems ideal… sauf que. The latter 2, are a complete mess. The pictures are sorted into categories by year. I do not understand why the 2006/2007 CWC celebration gets only one picture… you would be better without, because it is one bad picture. If they really wanted to sell their background, they should have asked jurnalists for photos. This way, otherwise forever forgotten snapshots from let’s say May’s 2007 Prosport, would become accessible.

To access all videos, you have to click on Arhiva Stiri in the menu. You get a list of this year’s matches in CL, which are also available on ehftv, so no point really! There is also some important news, which is a great idea, but instead of the matches in CL, who wouldn’t prefer seeing ALL news on tv in one place? It can be hard to hunt for handball videos on Romanian tv websites, especially for a non-native speaker.

All in all, it is a good remake, provided it will not become a relic.

Radu Voina’s Obsession

TO1 “If Bojana is not on court, 6:0 defence!”

TO2 “One step forward on Bojana! The match is ending and we still haven’t understood this: one step forward on Bojana!”

TO3 “… there is little time left, we are down by 7 goals. In defence, focus on Bojana! Come on!”

TO4 “…they are 5, there is no pivot, so we defend 2 on 1! There’s Grit and Bojana who covers her! 2 on 1!”

TO5 “Girls, there is nothing left we can do. Ramo, on Bojana!  Cristina, you take the center! The rest of you play 4 to 4!”

TO6 “Very well Cristina! Careful when she’s on the opposite side!” (She = Bojana)

TO7 “So, continue with what you are doing! Keep Bojana from touching the ball!”

La Grande Dame: Alina Dobrin

CSM Rapid finished third in the Romanian League. Today, I am celebrating their leading lady, Alina Dobrin. Any wings-addicted person like me, surely remembers the 1999 WC perfect LW-RW couple, Dobrin-Varzaru.

Here she is, winning against the silver medallist, U. Jolidon Cluj. She scores at 00:09, assists Avadanii at 00:25, scores again on second phase counter at 00: 50 and from central position at 01:09.

Celebration and coach’s words:

A united team that we started forging 5 years ago. But what no other team has and we do, is a leader and a coach on the court,  Alina Dobrin.

She was part of the 1994/1995 junior team. These girls were all going to be part of the senior NT at some point. They won gold at the 1995 Junior WC,  beating Denmark in the final. Some unforgetable names: Ildiko Kerekes, Cristina Mihai, Narcisa Lecusanu, Simona Gogarla, Carmen Nitescu, Carmen Amariei…

On senior level, she played at the 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001 and 2003 WC, at the 1998 and 2002 EC and at the 2000 OG.  She has 154 games and 418 goals for the NT.

She spent all her career in Rapid, took a break, and this year, she started playing for the newly promoted CSM Bucuresti.

With Rapid, she won the EHF Challenge Cup (EHF City Cup at that time) in 1999/2000, defeating Randers in the final. Other members of the team: Cristina Dogaru, Cristina Mihai, Nicoleta Gasca (just the names that would sound familiar to the youngest acro). Very interesting thing: the cup still is in Rapid’s showcase because the EHF had to produce a new one the next season, for the reinvented competition.

Rapid with Alina Dobrin, but also Cristina Varzaru and Aurelia Bradeanu, on board becomes national champion in 2002/2003.