Sports halls are empty and summer is here but it’s time for Handball Talents to review the performance of some of the most promising talents this season. Some players of last year review like Jesper Konradsson, Sander Sagosen, Lasse Andersson, Fabian Wiede, Tim Suton or Ignacio Plaza had a successful season while some others like Michal Kasal, Lovro Mihic or Niclas Kirkeløkke didn’t fulfill our expectations. But new talents always show up, so who will be the big next ones ?
(This review is based only on players born after 01.01.1995)
Tobias Thulin (19 years old – Redbergslid)
Best goalkeeper of the last U20 European Championship, Tobias Thulin is also ont of the best goalkeepers of swedish championship (127 saves – 34% of efficiency). He signed a two years contract extension with Redbergslids this season, following in the footsteps of other great goalkeepers form Redbergslids as Peter Gentzel or Andreas Palicka.
Ignacio Biosca (19 years old – Ademar Leon)
As many other young spanish players, Ignacio Biosca has frequented youth teams of FC Barcelona during a long time before taking off to land in a less ambitious spanish team. And Leon was the first team to welcome him last summer to give him a lot of playing time. His season wasn’t impressive (173 saves – 27% of efficiency) but Leon should continue to trust him next season.
Magnus Landin (19 years old – KIF Kolding)
The little brother of Niklas Landin managed to carve out a first name for himself this season. At only 19, he was the first option of danish champion KIF Kolding on his left wing. Brilliant in championship (88 goals – 70% of efficiency), Magnus Landin also made his debut with the national team in June. And he will return with the danish junior team this summer to defend the title won in 2013 in Hungary.
Dan Emil Racotea (19 years old – Wisla Plock)
Dan Emil Racotea is the first product of the new scouting system created by Manolo Cadenas in Plock. Recruited by the polish club last summer, he took advantage of some injuries to prove everyone his value. Even if he is the youngest player of the romanian junior national team for the upcoming U21 World Championship, he will be the main threat for every opponent.
Lukas Nilsson (18 years old – Alingsas)
Sweden is full of wonders. As Jim Gottfridsson only shines at the highest level, Sweden already has already producted a big talent on the same position. At only 18, he has already scored more than 100 goals in swedish championship, two seasons in a row. Outclassed with the junior national team, he will show all his talent in Brazil for the U21 World Championship before showing it to Europe in EHF Cup with Ystad next season.
Paul Drux (20 years old – Füchse Berlin)
Leader of the new german generation, Paul Drux is already a well known player in the handball world. After a gold medal in the last U20 European Championship, Paul Drux took his chance with Berlin this season. 89 goals in 36 games and a ticket for Doha to play the World Championship with Germany. Fourth most used player of the team, Paul Drux is already a key player for Dagur Sigurdsson and a future star for sure.
Miguel Martins (17 years old – FC Porto)
Miguel Martins is only 17 but it didn’t prevent Rolando Freitas (coach of Portugal senior and junior team) to write his name on the list for the U21 World Championship. It must be said that Martins totally deserves it as he was amazing with FC Porto this season in a style that reminds of Andy Schmid.
Nikola Bylik (18 years old – Fivers Margareten)
2014/2015 season was perfect for Nikola Bilyk. Voted MVP, best center back and best scorer of the last U20 European Championship, he finally found himself in a plane for Doha six months later. Despite a mitigated performance, he received a contract offer from Kiel and didn’t wait long to sign it. So Bilyk will be a Zebra in 2017 and we can bet he will already be an handball star at this time.
Lukas Urban (20 years old – Tatran Presov)
Since Martin Stranovsky, Slovakia isn’t able to produce great young player. But it could change with Lukas Urban, the youngest of the Urban siblings. After a nice 14/15 season in a back up role, he should see an increase of playing time next season in a rejuvenated team of Presov. And despite his young age, he has already been a part of senior national team in June for the European Championship Qualifiers where he scored six goals in two games against Austria and Sweden.
Matyas Györi (18 years old – Balatonfüredi)
Hungarian handball has a dreadful generation made up of Hornyak, Banhindi, Juhasz and Ligetvari, but Matyas Györi could be the icing on the cake. At only 18, he is a key player of Balatonfüredi with which he showed some great things in EHF Cup this season. Voted best left back of the last U18 European Championship, it will be interesting to see what he is capable of at the U19 World Championship this summer.
Blaz Janc (18 years old – Celje)
Gifted. There is no other word to describe this slovenian diamond. U20 European Championship, Champions League, Slovenian championship, Blaz Janc suceeds to impress people in each game. His speed and his great shooting skills allow him to play efficiently as right back or right wing. Vid Kavticnik can retire quietly, future is already here.
Alexandre Tritta (20 years old – Chambéry)
We have become accustomed of physically strong player like Karabatic, Accambray or Grébille by french training. But Alexandre Tritta is not of this type, he looks more like a french Alexander Petersson, quick and hothead. With Joao Silva and Timothey N’Guessan, he represents Chambéry’s future ans should be one of the leader of the french junior team at the U21 World Championship.
Timo Kastening (20 years old – Hannover-Burgdorf)
176cm, 69kg. While tall wingers are the new hype in modern handball, Timo Kastening still belongs to this old fashioned tradition of small wingers like Michael Guigou, Mattias Zachrisson or Anders Eggert. And after a gold medal at the U20 European Championship last summer, Timo Kastening suceeds to find a spot on the right wing of Hannover and kept it. Seems that Groetzki has found his successor.
Mikita Vailupau (19 years old – SKA Minsk)
Bielorussian right wing is far from being the most well known player of this list but he deserves some attention. Best scorer of the Baltic League with almost 7 goals/game, Mikita Vailupau should show his skills in EHF Cup next season with Minsk. But before it, he should make some deadly fast breaks in Brazil at the U21 World Championship.
Bence Banhidi (20 years old – Balatonfüredi)
Bence Banhidi is Szabolcs Szöllősi 2.0. As Szöllősi needs a little more talent to be a dominant pivot, Bence Banhidi seems to be the perfect fit for Hungary. Great in offense and defense, especially to block shots, Banhidi has already signed a contract with Pick Szeged from 2016/2017 season. Until then, he will have time to develop in Balatonfüredi, where almost every hungarian talent plays right now.
Jannik Kohlbacher (19 years old – Wetzlar)
After a great season in 2. Bundesliga (89 goals – 80% of efficiency), Jannik Kohlbacher has decided to test his skills at the highest level as he signed a two years contract with Wetzlar. Youth and Junior European champion with Germany, Jannik Kohlbacher is seen as the next Patrick Wiencek. Unfortunately, an injury will prevent him to show it at the U21 World Championship.