Poland enter the Women's EHF EURO 2020 with a new head coach following Arne Senstad’s arrival in August 2019. The Norwegian took over from Leszek Krowicki and got off to a great start with five successive victories, including two wins in the EHF EURO qualifiers against the Faroe Islands and Ukraine.
This year the Polish team will be aiming to improve on their previous EHF EURO performances that have seen then not finish higher than eighth since 2006. The Poles’ best record in the competition came back in 1998 when the team finished fifth, but Senstad’s side face a tough ask in their bid to progress from the group phase.
The task is made harder by the lack of stars Karolina Kudlacz-Gloc (shoulder injury), Monika Kobylinska (torn ligaments) and Kinga Achruk (maternity leave), who represented the backcourt axis at the World Championships in 2013 and 2015, when Poland reached the semi-finals.
However there are other players who may well step up, such as left wing Kinga Grzyb, goalkeeper Adriana Placzek and line player Joanna Drabik.
Recent Team News
At the age of 38 Grzyb is the oldest and most experienced player in the Polish squad for EHF EURO 2020. The left wing has played 263 matches in national colours, for which she scored 724 goals. Grzyb is a record holder in terms of the number of matches played in the national team. She participated in four final tournaments of the World Championship (2005, 2007, 2013, 2017) and played four times in the EHF EURO (2006, 2014, 2016, 2018).
A strong point in the Polish team, Płaczek’s effectiveness lies in interventions which bring peace to the game. A member of the team at the past two EHF EURO events, she has already made 50 national team appearances. Her club career has seen playing in France for the past four seasons, firstly with Fleury Loiret Handball and now with Nantes Atlantique Handball. Płaczek was nominated as the best goalkeeper, most successful in this position (32 per cent efficiency) in division 1 in 2018/19.
Known in Norway as a coach who can make big things happen with small budgets, Senstad is a very strong tactician and he gets the best out of each player. Between 1989 and 1999 he was a top-level player in Norway and Switzerland and is a two-time Coach of the Year winner in Norway with Storhamar. With the Poles without their so-called ‘fabulous three’ of Kinga Achruk, Karolina Kudłacz-Gloc and Monika Kobylińska, who are unavailable for the EURO 2020. Senstad has already hinted that he will need to find some other players to go at the forefront of the side. “I think everybody understands that playing against Norway, Romania and Germany, is going to be a huge challenge for us,” he said.
Past Performance at EHF EURO Events