EHF: Gibraltar set to make history in Zagreb for women’s Championship III

Zagreb is set to host European competition for the second time in as many weeks with four teams battling it out for the EuroHockey Championship III title.

It will have a piece of history attached with Gibraltar playing in a women’s Euros for the first time, going up against the hosts, Switzerland and Türkiye. They will play an initial round-robin group before the top two go into the final and the bottom two contest the bronze match.

Below is a look at the teams in action.

** All games will be broadcast on www.eurohockeytv.org

EuroHockey Championship III Women

Croatia (WR: 45)

Croatia come into the competition off the back of two wins over Hungary with goals spread between Dora Jelcic, Lucija Nizek, Martina Petretić, Ana Čolić and Lucija Čepo.

Čepo was in outstanding form for HAHK Mladost in club action, top scoring with eight goals in Porto in the Club Challenge III.

Croatia. Picture: Will Palmer/World Sport Pics

16-year-old goalkeeper Tea Andrčić was one of the stars of the Under-21 EuroHockey Indoor Championship in January and she is growing in experience and shares the pad-duties with Nicole Stėpić. 

Their wider of panel of 20 players had eight teenagers in it, a number of whom were in action last week in the Under-18 championships. 

A top three finish would mark their best ever finish in EuroHockey Championship action having finished fourth at this level in 2005, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021.

Gibraltar (no ranking)

Gibraltar will make history when they hit the turf on Tuesday to take on Switzerland as they play in their first ever women’s fixtures in the EuroHockey Championships with every player making their debut for the country.

It is a side with a youthful profile with 15-year-old Ella Byrne the youngest of three teenagers in their line-up and 15 players 25 or younger. Alison Jessen captains the side.

The side is coached by Christian Zammit who also coached Europa in the Club Challenge III in June and he has Eva Silva, Ashley Garcia, Cara Macleod, Lorena Garcia, Emma and Louise Flower, Alexandra Casciaro and Nadya Riley from that side to call on for this competition.

Switzerland (WR: 44)

While the Swiss side have not played a senior outdoor international in 2023, it has still been a busy year on the international circuit for many of their players with a strong portion of their Hockey5s panel who finished fourth two weeks ago back again.

The likes of new Kampong signing Sofie Stomps (moving from UHC Hamburg), Carina Zimmerman, Sarah Zepf and Ursina Fazis are included in their long list from that event in Walcz. Under-21 rising stars like Paulina Appel, Charlene Heselhaus and Nele Pöhler.

Switzerland have been in the top three of this competition for the past three editons, taking silver in both 2017 and 2021, beating Croatia 4-0 and Türkiye 2-1 in the latter run. 

Switzerland. Picture: Rodrigo Jaramillo/World Sport Pics

Türkiye (WR: 36)

Türkiye are the highest ranked side and, perhaps, the most experienced of the line-ups in Zagreb and keen to emulate their gold medal from the last time they visited Croatia in 2017 for a Championship III tournament.

Perihan Çinar captains the side, as she does in both indoors and Hockey5s as well. She was the top scorer in the latter format in Walcz a fortnight ago with 22 goals in six games. Along with defender Sinem Yalçin, the strong running Fatma Songül Gültekin, they have a number of strong performers keen to make their mark.

They got the best of Croatia in three previous meetings on this stage but did fall to the Swiss two years ago in Lipovci. 

Türkiye. Picture: Ryan Treacy/World Sport Pics

by European Hockey Federation

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