HungaryCoach: Vladimir Golovin
Hungary have been rebuilding their side in the last few years, as head coach Vladimir Golovin started to mould the team to his liking. Since taking over from Gabor Elek in 2021, he and his assistant coach Krisztina Pigniczki have been eager to recreate the performances sealed in the younger age categories, as Golovin himself has been Hungary's coach at the youth and junior level.
Still, with placements around the tenth place in the last major competitions, Hungary are still trying to find a ground and provide some good results. They always have high ambitions and hope the 26th IHF Women's World Championship will be their springboard ahead of the EHF EURO 2024 which they are co-hosting.
The team are not able to count on Szandra Szöllősi-Zácsik who is out for the most part of the season, however, Golovin has a wide range of young, but experienced players to count on. One of them is certainly Katrin Klujber. FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria's right-back has been among the top 10 EHF Champions League Women top-scorers over the last years and has also been delivering for the national team. Her teammate, Blanka Biró, can be crucial between the posts in combination with Melinda Szikora, just like Gréta Márton on the left wing.
Can the players with medals from the youth championships and vast experience from the top-tier leagues with the mix of knowledge finally make a step forward and return to the early 2000s when Hungary used to finish among the top six teams? If you ask them, they always believe.
Hungary booked a ticket for Denmark/Norway/Sweden 2023 with two wins against Iceland in the Qualification Round 2 (25:21 and 34:28) and the above-mentioned players had one of the main roles in reaching the set goal.
As the co-hosts of the EHF EURO 2024, they will miss the qualifications at the beginning of October, but Golovin will be able to make the first test for his teams at the EHF EURO Cup where they will play against Norway and Austria. They still have some way to go, as Hungary lost their first match there, 31:38 against Norway, underlining their need for growth.
Ahead of Denmark/Norway/Sweden 2023 they have only one change in the coaching staff as Péter Tatai filled in the position of the goalkeeper coach. Golovin hopes it will bring an additional push to the defence.
The toughest opponent in the preliminary round for the Hungarians will be Montenegro. Two sides met seven times so far and Hungarians have three wins while Montenegro took four. Two of those were at the World Championships – in 2015 Montenegro beat Hungary 32:15, while the 2019 edition was a close one but again the opponents beat the Hungarians 25:24. Paraguay and Cameroon will be a slight challenge as Hungary never played against them.
Key players: Blanka Biró (goalkeeper), Katrin Klujber (right back), Greta Márton (left wing), Dorottya Faluvégi (right wing), Petra Vámos (centre back)
Qualification for Denmark/Norway/Sweden 2023: Qualification Europe Phase 2 - Winners versus Iceland
History in tournament: 1957: 2nd, 1962: 5th, 1965: 1st, 1971: 3rd, 1973: 4th, 1975: 3rd, 1978: 3rd, 1982: 2nd, 1986: 8th, 1993: 7th, 1995: 2nd, 1997: 9th, 1999: 5th, 2001: 6th, 2003: 2nd, 2005: 3rd, 2007: 8th, 2009: 9th, 2013: 8th, 2015: 11th, 2017: 15th, 2019: 14th, 2021: 10th
Group at Denmark/Norway/Sweden 2023: Group B (Montenegro, Hungary, Cameroon, Paraguay)