How Do You Feel, Girls?

We have survived two games at the World Cup in Denmark. Yes, survival is the word, because, as far as I’m concerned, what happened there was as tragic as life itself. Painful looks thrown at each other, lack of enthusiasm and shadows of skill turned our girls into clear targets for their frantic supporters.

“Down with Voina” – “Amariei, the old lady” – “Geiger, the lost talent” – “Bradeanu, the expired” – “Bring a new generation!” – ” No Olympics for this team!” – “Neagu, our hope!”

One could put these phrases together and write a song for all those who think they know better. I believe the selection was in accordance with FRH’s (Romanian Handball Federation) strategy for this Olympic cycle. Two months before a crucial competition is not the time for radical experimentation. In consequence, you hope your established profiles will act their part and carry the team one last time. And so they did: Elisei is still the uncrowned leader, Amariei once again plays the altruistic team mate (which could not be harder for her), Bradeanu is still the patch on every position, Farcau shows that serene ability of hers that wows us still.

I would ask them how they feel. Are they tired and disappointed? Are they thinking the cherry will fall off of the cake? Are they mad at each other or at their coach? Do they fear Brazil? I am sure their answers would silence us all and I am even surer they will hide them deep down and fight like mad for the qualification.

Cristina Neagu

This team misses one player from the EC 2010: Cristina Neagu. Her goals are, of course, important, but even more so is her spirit: “When I am on the court, I don’t think about injuries, to break nail or neck. I just want to win every game in that 60 minutes. I know that I am like a Lion. I love that. Handball is my life…” she said for Planet Handball. She brought to the game that kind of arrogance that only heroes are allowed to have. Our 2010 team was far from the best of the last 10 years. However, its fighting spirit, bursting through the cold of Denmark, brought home a medal.

Fierceness

This is what we should teach to the next generation. Teach them they have one of the most important jobs in the world; they work for 22 million individuals who, once a year,  feed their life from all that is good and noble in the game of handball! Teach them to work for that moment, knowing the reward will not come from the state, or from the government, or from the sponsors, but from the heart of plenty! Teach them to worship only themselves and the ball, but to remain humble in victory and temperate in defeat!

Results:

20.09.2011 France-Romania 30:25; Spain- Sweden 19:24; Norway-Germany 25:13; Denmark-Russia 28:31;

21.09.2011 Germany – Romania 31:29; Russia-Sweden 28:21; France-Norway 34:27; Denmark-Spain 24:30.

P.S. I will try and reflect on what is happening with other teams right now. So, it is to be continued. As you know, I am particularly intrigued by new and resurrecting teams.

Mihaela Ignat

Mihaela (35y)  played at the 1999 WC, the 2000 OG and the 2000 ECh. At Euro, in Romania, she topped the assists ranking with 42 (trivia: Neagu had 36 in 2010).  At that point, she was perceived as an element of stability in this new Romanian NT and as a leader of a magnificent generation.

She was playmaker of HC Zalau and Tomis Constanta. In 2001, she became national champion with Zalau. Another of Tadici’s bets was about to surprise us, as the thread broke somewhere between international glory and success at club level.

She stated here that offers came from Hypo and two Danish clubs at that time. However, she chose to focus on her private life alongside Ieremia Paraianu, also a NT handball player, instead of pursuing an international career. In 2003, she transfered to Tomis Constanta where she put an end to her player career, taking over a trainer position in 2011.

Ignat in 2000, Prosport

In retrospective:

Cristina Varzaru

Alina Dobrin

Team Romania – GF World Cup 2011

Mediafax informed us today on the team Radu Voina will start preparation with:

GK: Talida Tolnai (Oltchim), Tereza Pîslaru (RK Zajekar), Denisa Dedu (Corona Braşov)

Wings: Valentina Ardean-Elisei (Oltchim), Iulia Curea (Oltchim), Ramona Farcău (Oltchim), (Oltchim) Ada Nechita (Oltchim), Magdalena Paraschiv (Jolidon Cluj)

Pivots: Oana Manea (Oltchim), Ionela Stanca (Oltchim), Florina Chintoan (Jolidon Cluj)

Back court: Adina Fiera (Oltchim), Carmen Cartaş (CSM Cetate Deva), Aurelia Brădeanu (Oltchim), Oana Chirilă (Oltchim), Mihaela Tivadar (Jolidon Cluj), Roxana Han (Oltchim), Carmen Amariei (Terom Iaşi), Melinda Geiger (Oltchim), Patricia Vizitiu (Oltchim), Amelia Busuioceanu (HCM Roman)

For comparison, here is the squad (final 17) he chose for Romania’s last friendly meet in May. The match was against Serbia. The outcome: one win, one loss.

GK: Talida Tolnai , Tereza Pâslaru

Wings: Iulia Curea, Nicoleta Dincă (Jolidon Cluj), Ramona Farcău, Ada Nechita, Magda Paraschiv

Pivots: Oana Manea, Florina Chintoan

Back court: Patricia Vizitiu, Melinda Geiger, Adina Meiroşu, Mihaela Tivadar, Ada Moldovan (Dunarea Braila), Eliza Buceschi (HCM Baia Mare), Andreea Luciana Marin (HCM Roman), Oana Alexandra Gogoriţă (SCM Craiova)

Let’s reason here!

GK: Paslaru made a statement lately in Zajecar, delivering in preparation games. The CL qualification tournament against Viborg, Rostov and Cluj can only raise her condition. Denisa Dedu (7th place at U17 Euro and 6th place at U19 Euro) will be very happy to train with the senior NT and deservedly so.  Voina is finally reconsidering his Mihaela Smedescu.

Wings:  Nicoleta Dinca was used against Serbia, while Elisei was taking a break. Iulia Curea must have “won” the competition on left wing. No chance for the currently injured Camelia Balint. On right wing, the ever lasting Farcau-Nechita-Paraschiv triplet. Depending on their health (read: Farcau’s), their lucidity (read: Nechita’s) and their mental strength (read: Paraschiv’s), two will be chosen. I place my bets on a “Nechita – Farcau” reasoning from Voina.

Pivots: As with Serbia, Stanca is called for the first preparation phase. Everyone acknowledged her retirement after Euro 2010, but Romanians are famous for their change of minds. I saw Chintoan at the Supercup, in August, and thought “What a player!”.  If she gets a fair chance, she will surprise with technique and strength.

Back court:

The defence stays the same with Bradeanu, Meirosu and Tivadar, with the addition of Carmen Amariei.

The impressive 30y  old Amelia Busuioceanu (PM) gets her much deserved invitation, just because Ada Moldovan is pregnant. As Voina “works” with only one playmaker, it will be either her or Gatzel-Han.

Why would he bring Geiger, Vizitiu and Soit to NT trainings? This is a waste of effort, putting the players he evaluates daily through the selection process. Unless he plans to bring 3 lefties to Denmark … What a laugh that will be!

Youngsters Buceschi, Gogorita and Marin were left out this time in favor of the slightly older Carmen Cartas (top scorer of the Romanian League) and in that of the experienced Carmen Amariei. This is understandable. One real left back that should not have been left out is Cristina Zamfir of Corona Brasov, Cristina Neagu’s generation team mate. The “Right back dilemma” prevents her from making the team whilst she is on the verge of becoming a top shooter of the Romanian League.

Next: could he have done more?