The Argentina Confederation of Handball moved swiftly this week to
announce the experienced Manuel Cadenas as new coach for their men’s national
team following the decision by Eduardo Gallardo to step aside after nine years
in the hot seat.
The 61-year-old Cadenas will arrive in the South American country to
start his new job and announce his backroom team in May, in the initial stages
of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic ‘cycle’ – the four-year period after one Olympic Games finishes and the next
His task will be to lead a side to Japan, with the key milestone the
2019 Pan-American Games in Lima, Peru, where the qualification for the PATHF
spot at Japan will be decided.
In his career with ‘Los Gladiadores’ Gallardo, amongst other successes, led Argentina to two Olympic
Games (London 2012 and Rio 2016) where his side finished 10th both times, and
to the IHF Men’s World Championship in Qatar (12th) and France (18th).
Cadenas is not the first Spanish coach to take charge of Argentina – Jordi
Ribera, later Brazilian women’s national team coach at Rio 2016 and now current Spanish women’s coach – took charge
of them from 2004-05.
Born in Valdevimbre, León, Spain, Cadenas led the Spanish side to
bronze at EHF EURO 2014 in Demark and silver at EHF EURO 2016 in Poland, but
lost out narrowly on a medal at Qatar 2015, as his side were defeated by Poland
in the bronze medal match. He left the role before France 2017.
“He was the
candidate we liked the most because of the history, the language and because he
knows very well the Argentine players who are abroad,” said Mario Moccia, President
of the Argentina Confederation of Handball upon the announcement of his
Argentina have numerous male and female players in Europe playing
and with his experience of the continent and having coached players himself in
the continent, Cadenas is expected to conduct training in Europe and South America
throughout his tenure.
In the most recent Argentina squads – for Rio 2016 and
France 2017 – there were players playing their club handball in France,
Switzerland and Spain – including Gonzalo Carou, Sebastián Simonet and
Federico Vieyra who all play for Ademar de León, the club based
just 20km from Cadenas’ birthplace.
Over his 30-year career Cadenas has coached for a variety of Spanish
club sides including Naranco Oviedo (1986-1989), Cantabria (1989-1991),
Valladolid (1991-1995), Ademar León (1995-2007 and 2012-2013), FC Barcelona
2007-2009) and Granollers (2010-2012). He also led Wisla Plock (2013-2016) in
For more information about
handball in Argentina, visit www.handballargentina.org.