U20 EURO 2012 – Hot prospects

By 12 août 2012 News No Comments

The U20 Men’s European Championship took place in Turkey in July. Only players from 92-93 generation were concerned by this event and some of them had already shone at the Youth World Championship last summer. What should you retain from this competion? Handball Talents will give you some players to follow during the upcoming season..

 Czech Republic

Ending the competition at the 13th place with a success over France , Czech Republic was all about Tomas Babak who carried the team on his shoulders. Playing pivot and not really having the usual morphology  (1m84, 72kg), his 53 goals (second scorer of the tournament) in 7 games are even more impressive. Fifth top scorer in the Czech championship at 18, it’s a safe bet to say that he shouldn’t last long in Jičín.


Harald Reinkind, 19 years old norwegian right back is a nice baby (1.96m and 91kg). Scoring 41 goals in 7 games, he was the best player of Norway which finished at a respectable sixth place after beating Germany in the cross matches. While he has signed a new 2 year contract with his club Fyllingen, he is already followed by Ademar Leon but its price (Fyllingen asks for 60.000€) seems to move away potential interested clubs.


Alex Dujshebaev, son of. While some athletes struggle to succeed their illustrious father, the young Alex seems to be on the  good way. Leader of the Iberian selection, he has been crucial in the semifinals, where he scored 10 goals to get rid of Swedish. Right back with Naturhouse Rioja last season, he will play next season for Aragon to replace Maqueda who leaved for Nantes. He climbs the stairs slowly but surely leading him to a successful career, only the future will tell if it will be as beautiful as its Talant(ed) father.

Others players: Ferran Sole Sola (Right Wing, Granollers), Juan José Fernandez (Defender/Left Back, Ciudad Encantada)


Playmaker of the croatian junior team and voted best player of the last U18 European Championship, Ante Kaleb is senn in Croatia as the new Duvnjak but he denies it and prefers the style of Nikola Karabatic. 38 goals in 6 games for the croatian middle back who plays since September 2011 in Zagreb. After a year of learning alongside Balic, he will have more time to play and responsibilities since the magician has left the Croatian ship.

Stipe Mandalinic, left back, 1m95, 19 years old and an arm that never falters. Minimum 10 shots per game, more than 60% success rate, he has been the number one Croatian scorer throughout the tournament and especially the most consistent player. To prove it, he was rewarded as best left back this Euro and especially best player of the tournament. Transferred from Karlovac to Split this summer, he will aim to bring down Zagreb which is weakened this year.

Other player: Filip Ivic (Goalkeeper, Zagreb)


He qualified Poland for the Euroby himself with 44 goals in three matches in qualification round. Pawel Niewrzawa, middle back, 19 years old (1.90m, 88kg) showed a flawless regularity through this Euro despite a halftone performance   of Poland ending at the 12th place. Scoring 48 goals in 7 games, he is called upon to take over of Jaszka in senior team of Poland. He just signed for Lübbecke in Bundesliga, it will be pretty interesting to follow his games.

Other player: Pawel Paczkowski (Left Back, Wisla Plock)


Voted best middle back of this EURO and best scorer of the competition with 54 goals, Rui Silva has splashed this EURO with his talent, especially against Switzerland with 20 goals scored. Player of Sporting in the portuguese league, he embodies the new generation Portuguese with his colleagues Joao Ferraz and Gilberto Duarte from the previous generation.


Best scorer of the European Open last year, russian left back Alexander Dereven isn’t really a stranger at this level. 40 goals in 6 games during this Euro, he was incontestably the best russian player. Dereven who plays for…suspense..Chekhov, obviously, should play with the first team in Champions League this year considering the ageing of its members.

Other player: Dimitry Kantemirov (Middle Back, Zarya Kaspya)


There wasn’t a player who shine among the others in the danish team apart Theis Baagöe occasionally. The left back of Silkeborg has already a small experience in Champions League with some games played last year but he didn’t succeed to use it efficiently. Whereas he was voted best left back of the Youth World Championship 2011, he did only two great games at the beginning of the Euro and then he disappeared progressively to finish the competition with 31 goals in 6 games.


Recruted by Flensburg from 2013/2014 season, middle back Jim Gottfridsson is a rising star in Sweden. Voted best player at the Youth World Championship 2011, he is a key player of his club Ystad which he reached the sweden championship playoff semi final with. Unfortunately someone broke his nose against Germany during the main round and he was deprived of playing the lost semi final against Spain.

The quality of sweden goalkeepers needs no further proof and it may well be that a new great sweden goalkeeper is starting to emerge in Sävehof with Peter Johannesson. Voted best goalkeeper of the competition, he helped a lot his teammates to achieve a great victory over Slovenia, which will finish third. Already on the flooring last year in Champions League, he did a great game against Zagreb and we should see him more this year.


Geir Gudmunsson has only some physical similariness with Aron Palmarsson but he has the same strong arm for sure. Right back playing in Akureyri in Island, he was the first asset of his team with 45 goals in 7 games. He  beat the french team almost alone with 9 goals. Already watched by the biggest clubs (he did some trainings with Kiel when he was 17) he should leave his island in a near future.


Switzerland continues to progress and this Euro has shown 3 interesting players in swiss rows.

The first one is the last swiss defence who helped his team to reach the main round with two great victories against Denmark and Island. Voted best goalkeeper of the Youth World Championship 2011 Nikola Portner has already some appearance with the swiss first team, especially against France in April. Bern won’t be able to keep him in Switzerland for a long time and we should attend a takeoff to one of the biggest championships.

The two others players, Sergio Muggli and Nicolas Raemy compose the helvetian duo which did some great things in attack. The first one is middle back, he plays for Schaffhausen and is a big part of the club’s ambitious project which want to create a young and talented team (especially with Dissinger and Mamic). Wih 37 goals in 7 games and multiple times best player of the game during this Euro, allowing Switzerland to end at a nice 8th place. The second one, Nicolas Raemy, is right wing in Luzern and was  a great scorer too with 43 goals in 7 games. Already impressive in Challenge Cup with Luzern last year (22 goals in 5 games), he will have to wait patiently this season due to absence of an european cup.


With a whole bunch of wounded players, France wasn’t in his best configuration at the beginning of this Euro. It partly explains the 14th place, the other part is about lack of motivation of some players. In this mess, we can note the good performance of Baptiste Bonnefond, the left back of Montpellier, with 27 goals in 6 games and Hugo Descat, less biting than in LNH but still regular through competition (32 goals in 7 games).


The german left side was impressive and it was due to two players.

First Julius Kühn, a left back of 2 meters and 95kg who will play in Bundesliga for Essen this season. This little baby scored 36 goals in 7 games and the potential showed during this Euro wil have to be confirmed this year with the young team of Essen.

The next one is Patrick Zieker, a left wing 1 meter and 93 centimeters for 88kg, not really the style of Michael Guigou but pretty efficient with 41 goals in 7 games and an award of best left winger of the competition.


Bogdan Radivojevic is maybe already known by Montpellier staff. He scored one goal at both home and away game in Champions League with Partizan. This right winger whose morphology is similar to Uwe Gensheimer (1m86, 84kg) is a child of Belgrade, playing for Partizan since he was 8. He did speak the powder on his wing during the Euro, scoring 42 goals in 7 games. He has also been the only in his team to float, Serbia pointing to 15th place this Euro after finishing 5th in U18 Euro.


Surprise team of this Euro finished at the third place, Slovenia has relied on two major players to pull them up.

Borut Mackovsek, 2m05, 95kg and a devastating right arm, ask the French, Croatian or Swedish. 45 goals during the competition, as good as the croatian Mandalinić, he has already begun to make the heyday of Celje on the left back position, especially in Cup Winners’ Cup where he scored 29 goals with 10 against Benfica. You should watch him closely in Champions League where he will be able to gain experience against Kiel, Atletico and Veszprem.

On the other side of the field, we find Mario Sostaric, « giant » right wing  (1m92/88kg, a morphology which now seems to be the norm among young wingers), loaned to Maribor last season and will play in Velenje this year. Like his fellow left-back, he has chances of playing in the Champions League this season. In any case it shows a high accuracy in this Euro with 44 goals in 7 games and was a leading architect of the bronze medal of Slovenia.

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