PolandCoach: Arne Senstad
“It's a strong group, where the Olympic medallists RHF must be the big favourites,” asserts Poland coach Arne Senstad. In Group B, the Polish side will also play Serbia and the 2021 African Championship runners-up Cameroon.
“You can have the biggest dreams, but it's also important to be realistic... The first goal is to try and get to the main round. And then, everything can happen.”
32-year-old playmaker Kinga Achruk is one of Poland’s most remarkable names. The MKS Lublin athlete has recorded 527 goals in 190 appearances with her national team. Back in 2015, Achruk won the EHF Champions League with Montenegro’s Buducnost.
At 26, right back Monika Kobylinska is playing her third consecutive EHF Champions League season with French side Brest Bretagne. Her development in recent years is reflected in her numbers with the Poland uniform – 208 goals in 68 matches.
“We are starting to look like a team,” believes the 52-year-old Norwegian-born coach Senstad. “That means that we may not have the biggest international stars, but we are really trying to act like a strong unit! We should have some more players abroad, playing in bigger clubs in Europe. Let’s hope some get their chance after a strong World Championship.”
After missing the 2019 IHF Women’s World Championship, Poland were awarded a Wild Card but later named as first substitute nation of the Continental Confederation of Europe to compete in Spain. They will fly to the Iberian peninsula earlier to take part in a friendly tournament in Madrid. Their opponents will be the hosts and Kumamoto 2019 silver medallists Spain, Germany and Slovakia.
“This will give us an optimal preparation. Then I hope we are ready for the others,” concludes Senstad.
Key players: Kinga Achruk (centre back), Monika Kobylinska (right back)
Qualification for Spain 2021: First substitute nation of the Continental Confederation of Europe
History in tournament: 1957: 7th, 1962: 7th, 1965: 8th, 1973: 5th, 1975: 7th, 1978: 6th, 1986: 13th, 1990: 9th, 1993: 10th, 1997: 8th, 1999: 11th, 2005: 19th, 2007: 11th, 2013: 4th, 2015: 4th, 2017: 17th
Group at Spain 2021: Group B (RHF, Serbia, Cameroon, Poland)