Israel’s national youth team is completing preparations for the European Championship in Croatia. Here are a few details you should know about the blue-and-white team that will play in group A, along with the host team of Croatia, Serbia and Portugal. Israel’s youth team won the prestigious championship thanks to the impressive achievement of the previous junior team – winning the European Championship rank B. In a tournament held in Lithuania two years ago, Israel beat Greece; host Lithuania, Italy and the Netherlands (As opposed to a single defeat against Austria). They established this achievement thanks to Mr. Damir Aklich, the Croatian coach who is highly regarded in Israeli handball.
While junior team will take part in the European Championship U20 in Slovenia – the current Israeli youth team will try to surprise the tournament in Croatia and maintain its place at the senior level in Europe. The team finished in sixth place in the European Open Championship U17 in Sweden last year. Yoav Lamborozo , the centre of the national team and one of its main players, was the king of goals with 62 scores.
The players will continue the “Israeli handball 2024” project in Germany for a few more months. They will stay in Germany and conduct professional training activities under the supervision of the Bundesliga Gummersbach Club. The players will have weekly training games with youth groups from the first Bundesliga and junior leagues. This project has already taken place in the last two years and had contributed a lot to the development of future players in the Israeli handball. Israel’s youth team has participated in Nations tournament in Lubeck, Germany and has finished in a draw with Norway and Iceland, and won against the host Germany.
The team professional coaches are the veteran coach and former NT player Oleg Botenko and the assistance coach Asaf Levi, who worked for several years in the local Premier League. The two coaches have been working as a team for several years in the Israeli Handball Association. They have been coaching this team as juniors, and now they have been appointed as coaches of the Israeli national team in the European Championship 2020 qualifying campaign for mature teams.
The professional team includes:
GK coach: Mr. Alexandra Boligan, one of the world’s top goalkeepers
Fitness trainer: Mr. Alon Harel
Psychologist: Dr. Roi Samuel
Physiotherapist: Niv Cohen
Team manager: Dedi Keinan
The current national team players are integrated into mature teams in Israel, some of whom are already playing in the Premier League. Following the project in Germany, one of the leading players, Yonatan Dayan, joined the Gummersbach Handball Club and has already made his debut in the Bundesliga.
“This is an important step that contributes to the progress of the Israeli handball, and to the experience of our future players,” said Oleg Botenko, head of the Israeli national team, before the prestigious tournament in Croatia: “We are in the preparations for the championship. We certainly will not come to serve as a backdrop for the championship, and we have ambitions and desires to achieve good results and to maintain our position at the senior level in Europe. “
Israel at the EHF M18 EURO 2018 CROATIA:
Preliminary Round in Koprivnica – Group A:
- Serbia – Israel / 9.08.2018., 18:30
- Israel – Croatia / 10.08.2018., 20:30
- Portugal – Israel / 12.08.2018., 18:3