The World Cup is now underway and Croatian handball players will kick off their campaign on the first day of December in Gothenburg, Sweden against Senegal. Two days later they will face China in another group match. According to the team’s coach, Ivica Obrvan, they believe that a derby for first place with Sweden will be a fitting end to their group stage.
Compared to the last European Championship qualifiers, Obrvan has a new team to work with and only ten days to prepare. However, he believes that they will be ready for the World Cup. Although there were some injury problems in recent weeks, he stated that they have improved and will focus on refining small details. He also expressed optimism that they can finish among the top two teams in their group and reach the quarterfinals, which would mean qualification for the Olympic Games.
As part of their preparation, Croatia will play matches against Congo and Montenegro during the Croatia Cup in Novigrad. Since the last campaign, one of their biggest challenges has been the absence of Ana Debelić who became a mother. However, Obrvan is confident that they can adapt to these changes given that they have been together for a long time as a team. Despite being unknown to them, Obrvan believes that this group is interesting and he is looking forward to seeing how his players perform on this new stage. Ultimately, Paris is where this generation’s dream lies – qualification for the Olympics – and they are determined to make it happen.