Ten Successful Romanians

1. Irina Nagy Klimovschi (1936-2001)


Medals

Gold at the WCh 1956, 1960 (11 players) and 1962 (7 players)

1960/1961 European Champions’ Cup winner with Stiinta Bucuresti

1963/1964 European Champions’ Cup winner with Rapid Bucuresti

Awards

All-Star goalkeeper WCh 1956 and 1960

Club teams

Progresul Targu Mures, Stiinta Bucuresti, Rapid Bucuresti

National team

136 caps (2 goals)

WCh 1956, 1960, 1962, 1965


2. Mariana Tirca (1962-)


Medals

1995/96 ChL winner with Podravka Koprivnica

Awards

All-Star playmaker WCh 1995

Club teams

Rulmentul Brasov, CS Stiinta Bucuresti, Oltchim Ramnicu Valcea, Podravka Koprivnica, GAS Anagennisi Artas

National team

All-time top-scorer 335 caps (2043 goals)

WCh 1986, 1987, 1989, 1993, 1995, 1997

ECh 1996

Active

NO

* Interview with Tirca


3. Valentina Cosma (1963-)


Medals

1995/96 ChL winner with Podravka Koprivnica

Awards

Club teams

Terom Iasi, Oltchim Ramnicu Valcea, Podravka Koprivnica, ESC Yutz Handbal

National team

All-time third top-scorer 322 caps (980 goals)

WCh 1986, 1987, 1989, 1993, 1995, 1999

ECh 1996

OG 2000

Active

NO


4. Luminita Dinu (1971-)


Medals

Silver at the WCh 2005

2000/2001 and 2002/2003 ChL winner with Krim Ljubliana

2001/2001 ChL winner with Kometal Skopje

2006/2007 CWC winner with Oltchim Ramnicu Valcea

Awards

All-Star goalkeeper ECh 2000 and WCh 2005

Club teams

Oltchim Ramnicu Valcea, Krim Ljubljana, Kometal Skopje

National team

201 caps (9 goals)

WCh 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007

ECh 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2008

OG 2000, 2008

Active

NO


5. Steluta Luca (1975-)


Medals

Gold at the Junior WCh 1995

Silver at the WCh 2005

2006/2007 CWC winner with Oltchim Ramnicu Valcea

Awards

Club teams

Oltchim Ramnicu Valcea, Dossobuono Verona, Randers, FCK Copenhagen

National team

All-time second top-scorer 223 caps (1013 goals)

WCh 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007

ECh 1998, 2000, 2002

OG 2000

Active

NO


6. Simona Gogarla (1975-)


Medals

Gold at the Junior WCh 1995

Silver at the WCh 2005

Awards

Top-scorer of the ECh 2000

Club teams

CSS Focsani, Oltchim Ramnicu Valcea, Krim Ljubljana, SD Itxako, Gyori ETO, Rulmentul Brasov, Rapid Bucuresti

National team

93 caps (455 goals)

WCh 1997, 2001, 2003, 2005

ECh 1998, 2000

Active

Coach of HCM Ramnicu Valcea

* Profile on Simona Gogarla


7. Carmen Amariei (1978-)


Medals

Gold at the Junior WCh 1995

Bronze at the Junior WCh 1997

2002/2003 EHF Cup Winner with ESBF Besançon

2004/2005 and 2006/2007 ChL winner with Slagelse

Awards

Top-scorer of the WCh 1999

Club teams

Oltchim Ramnicu Valcea, ESBF Besançon, Randers, Slagelse, U Jolidon Cluj, Rulmentul Brasov, FCK Copenhagen, Viborg, Terom-Z Iasi, SCM Craiova

National team

All-time 4th top-scorer 182 caps (855 goals)

WCh 1999, 2001, 2003, 2009, 2011

ECh 1998, 2002, 2004, 2008

OG 2000, 2008

Active

NO


8. Cristina Varzaru (1979-)


Medals

Gold at the Junior ECh 1998

Gold at the Junior WCh 1999

Silver at the WCh 2005

Bronze at the ECh 2010

2005/2006, 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 ChL winner with Viborg

Awards

All-Star right winger Junior ECh 1998

All-Star right winger Junior WCh 1999

Top-scorer of the 2009/2010 ChL

Club teams

CSS Corabia, Oltchim Ramnicu Valcea, Rapid Bucuresti, Viborg, CSM Bucuresti

National team

178 caps (493 goals)

WCh 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2011

ECh 2000, 2002, 2004, 2010

OG 2000

Active

Plays for CSM Bucuresti (ROU)

* Profile on Cristina Varzaru


9. Valentina Ardean Elisei (1982-)


Medals

Gold at the Junior ECh 2000

Silver the  WCh 2005

Bronze at the ECh 2010

2006/2007 CWC winner with Oltchim Ramnicu Valcea

Awards

All-star left winger at the WCh 2005 and ECh 2008

Club teams

Universiteatea Remin Deva, Oltchim Ramnicu Valcea, ZRK Knjaz Milos, HCM Baia Mare

National team

All-time fifth top-scorer 181 caps (735 goals)

WCh 2005, 2011, 2013

ECh 2004, 2008, 2010

OG 2008

Active

Plays for HCM Baia Mare (ROU)


10. Cristina Neagu (1988-)


Medals

Silver at the Youth ECh 2005

Bronze at the Youth WCh 2006

Bronze at the Junior ECh 2007

Bronze at the ECh 2010

2014/2015 ChL winner with Buducnost

Awards

MVP of the Youth ECh 2005

MVP and all-star left back Youth WCh 2006

All-Star left back Junior ECh 2007

IHF Rookie of the year 2009

Top-scorer and all-star left back ECh 2010

IHF World player of the year 2010

All-star left back ECh 2014

Nominated for the IHF World player of the year 2014

Top-scorer of the 2014/2015 ChL

Club teams

Rulmentul Brasov, Oltchim Ramnicu Valcea, Buducnost Podgorica

National team

111 caps (455 goals)*

WCh 2007, 2009, 2013

ECh 2008, 2010, 2012

OG 2008

Active

Plays for Buducnost Podgorica (MNE)


Some thoughts…

  • Longest NT career: Cosma 1986-1999.
  • One player has won an international cup with every team: Dinu.
  • Except for Nagy, all players have played for Oltchim Valcea.
  • Two players have never won a European Cup: Gogarla and Neagu**.
  • Two players have never won an NT medal: Tirca and Cosma.

The five all-time national team top-scorers are on the list: Tirca, Luca, Cosma, Amariei and Elisei.

In listing the ten most successful Romanians in the history of women’s handball, I have taken into account international medals, awards and recognitions, as well as the players’ contribution to the national team in  goals scored and matches played. But let us not forget the difference between our times and the previous era of handball: the IHF award only exists since 1988, the European Championship was first played in 1994, youth competitions were implemented only a couple of decades ago. In short, contrary to the heydays of Romanian handball in the 1960s, today, our players get plenty of chances to stand out.

* Selections and goals of all players until 2012 according to FRH. ** Eventually, Neagu won the Champions League with Buducnost in 2015.

Romania’s Next Generation Update

PerianuThanks to GSP, who has interviewed Gabriela Perianu, I can update my post on Romania’s most promising players, written two and a half years ago.

Gabriela Perianu …

 

Born: 20/6/1994

Plays for: HC Dunarea Braila

Position:LB/RB

Favourite player: Bojana Popović – “She was sensational! I wish to reach her level. This is what I train for.”

Dreams of: playing for Gyor or Buducnost, in five-years’ time

International competitions:

ECh U17 – 2011 – best LB

ECh U19 – 2011

WCh U18 – 2012 – best LB

WCh U20 – 2012

ECh U19 – 2013

WCh – 2013

Another December

Yesterday’s match between Romania and Denmark proved there is a lot to look forward to this winter.

New faces on both sides of the court, glowing with youth and determination. Past queens making their comeback with dignity. Slowly but steadily, Romania is rebuilding the lost citadel of its dreams.

Elisei

Valentina Ardean Elisei returns after a one-year absence. Fierce, right?

ALice

Don’t let appearances fool you. She’s actually a sweet and gentle girl.

C2C3

C5C6

C7C8

The most talked about Romanian player, Cristina Neagu is but a step away from her old form and may leave deep footprints in Serbia.

Paula

Defence?  Easy! Paula Ungureanu giving Tadici the signal:  “got it covered, boss!”

Pintea

Crina “What did I do?” Pintea will be glad to give a helping push.

JANP

Romania was leading without any fuss and Pytlick had had enough; “Damn, these Romanians are back in business”.

ChiperZamfir

Tadici has discovered this oasis of players called Corona Brasov, not far from Dracula’s castle. They can jump and are, as you can surely imagine, thirsty for glory.

AM&gabiAM2Denisa

But hey, we grant you this victory. For the joy and smile of little miss Hansen.

Til December,

Yours ever handball-loving country,

Romania

Repost. The IHF Olympic Qualification Tournament #1 Lyon: A review

Montenegro rising

France, the conqueror of a mighty army of medal contenders last winter, in Brazil, must question its short-handed back court line. Alexandra Lacrabère, troubled by injuries during the spring season, could not cope with the meanders of a strong and driven defence. And that is exactly what this Montenegrin defence was: feeding from within, from both wins and defeats, an outburst of pride. Most importantly, it is a thoroughly worked sector of their game, mastered by coach Dragan Adžić.

Olivier Krumbholz discussed what made the difference between the two teams on the last day: aside from the obvious lack of attacking ideas, “in Montenegro one can behave maturely at 22, whilst in France, this does not happen at 30” (source). Looking at his roster, we deduce he’s referring to taking responsibility, thus opposing Milena Knežević to someone like Sophie Herbrecht or Amélie Goudjo. What he did not say or did not want to consider, is that the match was a revelation for Knežević herself and that it will become a reference in regard to her future ratings.

This slight motivation drop on the French side, previously nourished by a massive correction in Skopje, has to be fixed in a few months’ time. The factors that interfered with them medaling in Beijing were problems within the group and in preparation. This time, Krumbholz repents and starts, not without fear, from another standpoint. Some facts keep him going: his team is based on a young and powerful generation, who has hardly exhausted its resources. His team has two goalkeepers who have made their way to success in pair (counter-examples: Győr, Croatia, Germany). His team has been confronted with failure post-Brazil. So instead of bearing the pressure of one wintery result, they can go on with testing and fixing playing systems, which is what they do best.

This last point is supported by the Montenegrins’ recent experience: disastrous WCh followed by a blossoming spring.

The bottom runners, Romania and Japan, have confirmed their current status. The former has delayed its generation change to the point where a counter-performance occurred twice in one season (WC and OQT), reducing them to outsiders of top handball. Meanwhile, the latter has been challenging and pushing the opponent into unknown territory, becoming an inspiration for the European powerhouses, both game and mentality -wise.

Gabriela Perianu and Eliza Buceschi, two of the most promising Romanian youth players, have started their senior team career with two failures: WCh and OQT. With them and with some other well hidden names, Romania will have to rebound in two to three years’ time in order to take back Brazil.

Despite its surprising mental block against France, Japan was a crowd-pleaser. While the commentator was referring to the Romanian side as “the beautiful team of Romania”, the audience was cheering loudly for Japan’s comeback in their last Lyonese game. So maybe Romania is beautiful, but only in retrospective.

Last but not least, I would underline Bojana Popović’s role in the course of this week-end’s events. She was player, colleague, coach, mother; she gave them water when they were thirsty. Highlight of the last day: the Popović – Krumbholz clash from the distance. At a legitimate two minute suspension for France, the coach throws his arms into the air in disagreement. A regal Popović turns to him and settles the account with an icy look and an imposing gesture. She had not stepped on French land as a guest, but as a conqueror.

I hope that happiness will remain here, with this club” she said after winning the EHF Champions League (source). Her kingdom is rising. Her legacy? The continuous quest for excellence.

LOH

Results:

MNE – JPN 30:24 (14:13)

FRA – ROU 24:19 (12:9)

ROU – MNE 23:34 (13:17)

JPN – FRA 17:30 (7 :13)

ROU – JPN 28 :26 (18 :10)

FRA – MNE 20 :22 (9 :9)

Gentlemen of handball

Hello, visitor! How is your handball life? I have recently made an acquisition I would like to share. It is a poster of Gheorghe Gruia, comprised in a series of images of the Montréal Olympics. Until the day I came across this vintage photo, I had never suspected Gruia was such a star in the 70s.

DSCN0298

This is the story of my discovery in short. I have very limited knowledge of men’s handball. I have heard wonderful stories about Gatu, Birtalan, Penu and Gruia, but never actually watched a game of theirs (remember the interview I translated once, in which Gruia was mentioned). The moment I set my eyes on the poster, I knew this must be Gruia. He was just like I had imagined him, beautiful, flying, a god with arms spread. I find the blue-yellow-red lined bands of his sweatshirt cute.

Browsing the internet for information, I came across the page of the 2013 World Championships which lists four Romanians among the best players of all times. According to them, “Gruia played for Romania 126 times and, in the 1992 IHF news bulletin he was called the best handball player ever.” It seems we can’t compare him to any of the right backs of today. Nagy, Lazarov, Andersson – none prevails the way Gruia did.

TQO/OQT Lyon – Useful Links

! LOH on Twitter, depending on WIFI coverage:

https://twitter.com/ladiesofhand

The official Facebook page is regularly updated:

http://www.facebook.com/tqo.hb.feminin.lyon.2012

The French Federation (+Hand TV for video):

http://www.ff-handball.org/

Permanant link for the OQT:

http://www.ff-handball.org/liens-permanents/evenements/tournoi-de-qualification-olympique.html

The Romanian broadcaster with exclusive news and video:

http://www.dolce-sport.ro/sporturi/handbal/

Romanian handball website with on-the-spot reporters:

http://eurohandbal.ro/

French sports websites and publications:

http://www.lequipe.fr/Handball/; http://www.handball.fr/; http://www.sports.fr/handball/

& http://www.handzone.net/

Montenegrin publication:

http://www.vijesti.me/rukomet/