The Men’s Olympic Games Qualification Tournament begins on Sunday in Rotterdam.
From 14 to 21 February, twelve teams will battle for the last three remaining Olympic tickets
The head coaches are allowed to come with 15-player rosters. The rules are the same as at the European Qualifications for the World League in Debrecen and at the women’s Olympic qualifications. The teams will start the tournament with 13-player rosters. The reserves will take part in the qualifications if some of the players test positive for coronavirus.
Most of the coaches announced the rosters.
All 13 players who won the gold medal at the European Qualification Tournament for the World League are on Theodoros Vlachos’ roster, together with Konstantinos Kakaris and Efstathios Kalogeropoulos.
A big surprise before Debrecen was that Vlachos didn’t invite Alexandrous Gounas, who played for Greece for 12 years. Nothing changed regarding Gounas. He won’t play in Rotterdam.
Goalkeepers: Emmanouil Zerdevas (Olympiacos), Costas Galanidis (Apollon Smyrnis), Field players: Konstantinos Genidounias Dimitris Skoumpakis, Marios Kapotsis, Georgios Dervisis, Stylianos Argyropoulos – Kanakakis, Konstantinos Mourikis, Konstantinos Kakaris (all Olympiacos), Ioannis Fountoulis (Ferencvaros), Alexandros Papanastasiou (Jug), Christodoulos Kolomvos (Enka), Angelos Vlachopoulos (Brescia) Konstantinos Gkiouvetsis, Stathis Kalogeropoulos (all Vouliagmeni). Head coach: Theodoros Vlachos.
An experienced defender Uros Cuckovic, who missed the World League tournament in Debrecen because of injury, returned to the Montenegrin team. But, in the meantime, Djuro Radovic, one of Montenegro’s best scorers, got injured. He still hasn’t recovered and won’t play in Rotterdam. Radovic missed the international tournament in Podgorica. A new player comparing to the roster for Debrecen is 18-year-old Vasilije Radovic.
Goalkeepers: Dejan Lazovic (Marseille), Slaven Kandic (Pays d’Aix), Field players: Drasko Brguljan (Vasas), Uros Cuckovic (Marseille) Marko Petkovic, Vasilije Radovic (all Jadran HN) Vlado Popadic (Pays d’Aix), Miroslav Perkovic (Primorac), Stefan Vidovic (Ortigia), Aleksa Ukropina (KVK Radnicki), Aleksandar Ivovic (Pro Recco), Vladan Spaic (Marseille), Dusan Matkovic (Primorac), Reserves: Petar Tesanovic (Jadran HN), Aljosa Macic (Primorac). Head coach: Vladimir Gojkovic.
The Brazilian team is a combination of experienced and young players. Former Serbia’s goalkeeper Slobodan Soro (42) and Franco Ruda (35) are the oldest in the squad, while Joao Pedra Fernandes (21) and Rafael Vergara (22) represent a new generation.
Several Brazilians play for European clubs: Slobodan Soro (Mataro), Gustavo Guimaraes (Mataro), Rafael Vergara (Partizan).
Goalkeepers: Slobodan Soro, Joao Fernandes; Field players: Gabriel Sojo, Marcos Pedroso, Gustavo Coutinho, Roberto Agulha, Bernando Gomes, Rafael Vergara, Guilherme Gomes, Bernardo Reis, Ruda Franco, Gustavo Guimaraes, Luis Ricardo, Ricardo Guimaraes, Eduardo Cinta. Head coach: Andre Avallone.
Most of the members of the Georgian team are players of Dinamo Tbilisi. Dejan Stanojevic will make his debut as a head coach of Georgia. Recently he was appointed as a head coach both in the national team and in Dinamo.
Goalkeepers: Irakli Razmadze, Nikoloz Shubladze; Field players: Sandro Adeishvili, Besarion Akhvlediani, Fabio Baraldi, Andria Bitadze, Valiko Dadvani, Marko Elez, Revaz Imnaishvili, Khvicha Jakhaia, Marko Jelaca, Beka Kavtaradze, Giorgi Magrakvelidze, Nika Shushiashvili, Boris Vapenski. Head coach Dejan Stanojevic.
The roster hasn’t been announced yet.
The roster hasn’t been announced yet.
Croatia’s head coach Ivica Tucak picked 14 players. Since the number of the persons in the delegation (players and staff) is limited to 22, Tucak decided to come to Rotterdam with one reserve and five assistants. The tournament is hard and long, and the Croats will have two physiotherapists to help players recover from a series of hard matches.
Centre-forward Luka Loncar is back in the team after he missed the World League Qualification in Tournament in Debrecen in January due to an injury. Loncar has recovered, and he will replace Niksa Dobud (Pro Recco), who was one of Croatia’s two center-forwards in Debrecen (together with Josip Vrlic). Marseille’s Ante Vukicevic, who also missed the tournament in Debrecen, is again on the roster.
Goalkeepers: Marko Bijac (Pro Recco), Toni Popadic (Jug Adriatic Osiguranje); Field players: Josip Vrlic (Mladost), Luka Loncar (Jug AO), Andro Buslje (Mladost), Marko Macan (Waspo 98 Hannover), Rino Buric (Jadran S), Lovre Milos (Mladost), Maro Jokovic (Brescia), Xavi Garcia (Jug AO), Luka Bukic (Mladost), Loren Fatovic (Jug AO), Ante Vukicevic (Marseille), Reserve: Franko Lazic (Mladost). Head coach: Ivica Tucak.
A 39-year-old center-forward Cosmin Radu will lead Romania in Rotterdam, but three experienced players who have been on the national team for years, Tiberiu Negrean (33), Nicolae Oanta (30), and Mihnea Gheorghe (27), aren’t on the roster.
Goalkeepers: Marius Tic (Steaua), Serban Abrudan (Crisul Oradea); Field players: Victor Antipa (Steaua), David Bota (Dinamo Bucharest), Ferenc Czenk (Oradea), Vlad Dragomirescu (Steaua),Tudor Fulea (Steaua), Vlad Georgescu (Oradea), Robert Gergelyfi (ASC Duisburg), Alexandru Ghiban, Andrei Prioteasa (both Steaua), Cosmin Radu (Mladost), Bogdan Remes (Oradea), Levente Vancsik (Steaua), Albert-Alexandru Vatrai (Oradea). Head coach: Athanasios Kechagias.
The Germans are arriving in Rotterdam with an experienced squad. Most of the 13 players took part at the 2020 European Championship.
New names compared to the 2020 ECH are a left-handed Fynn Schutze (22-year-old), who recovered from an injury, goalkeeper Florian Thom (24), and Zoran Bozic (18). The reserves are young players Aleks Sekulic (17) and Mark Gansen (18).
Goalkeepers: Moritz Schenkel (Waspo Hannover), Florian Thom (OSC Potsdam), Field players: Julian Real, Fynn Schutze (both Waspo 98 Hannover), Mateo Cuk, Lucas Gielen, Maurice Jungling, Marin Restovic, Marko Stamm, Denis Strelezkij (all Spandau 04), Hannes Schulz (OSC Potsdam), Timo van der Bosch (SV Ludwigsburg 08), Zoran Bozic (SSV Esslingen). Reserves: Aleks Sekulic (Spandau 04), Mark Gansen (ASC Duisburg). Head coach: Hagen Stamm.
The players of the Russian teams Sintez and Spartak are the base of the Russian national team, but there are a few “foreigners” on the roster: MVP of the Croatian Cup Final Four Konstantin Kharkov (Mladost), center-forward Nikita Krug (Radnicki), Daniil Merkulov (Jug), Ivan Nagaev (Hannover), Dmitri Kholod (Spandau 04).
Goalkeepers: Evgeniy Kostrov (Sintez), Viktor Ivanov (COP Moskomsporta); Field players: Sergey Lisunov (Sintez), Nikita Dereviankin (Sintez), Nikita Krug (KVK Radnicki), Ivan Suchkov (Sintez), Konstantin Kiselev (Spartak Volgograd), Ivan Stepanov (Spartak), Daniil Pronin (Sintez), Daniil Merkulov (Jug AO), Artem Ashaev (Spartak), Ivan Nagaev (Waspo 98 Hannover), Dimitrii Kholod (Spandau 04), Roman Shepelev (Sintez), Konstantin Kharkov (HAVK Mladost). Head coach: Sergey Evstigneev.
A few months ago, center-forward Jorn Winkelhorst announced that he would change the nationality. He planned to take a German passport and to play for Germany in Rotterdam. Meanwhile, Waspo Hannover’s player changed his mind, and he will help the Netherlands in efforts to reach the 2020 Olympic Games.
Winkelhorst is the only player on the roster who doesn’t play in the Dutch League.
Goalkeepers: Eelco Wagenaar (Polar Bears), Milan de Koff (SVH); Field players: Jesse Nispeling (SVH), Jorn Muller (Het Ravijn), Pascal Janssen (ZV De Zaan), Robin Lindhout (AZC Alphen), Bilal Gbadamassi (Schuurman BZC), Thomas Lucas (ZV De Zaan), Kjeld Veenhuis (Widex GZC Donk), Guus van Ijperen (Widex GZC Donk), Jesse Koopman (ZPC Amersfoort), Jorn Winkelhorst (Waspo Hannover), Guus Wolswinkel (Polar Bears). Reserves: Benjamin Hessels (UZSC), Tom de Weerd (Polar Bears). Head coach: Harry van der Meer.
France head coach Nenad Vukanic can’t count on experienced defender Alexandre Camarasa, the national team captain at the 2016 Olympic Games. Camarasa (Marseille) tested positive for coronavirus, and he won’t travel to the Netherlands.
Besides Camarasa, two players who competed at the World League Qualification tournament are missing –goalkeeper Hugo Fontani (Strasbourg) and Remi Saudadier (Spandau 04).
Remi Garsau, who was the 1st goalkeeper at the 2020 European Championships is back in the team, as well as Edo Khasz, who also didn’t play in Debrecen. New faces are Steven Vitrant, Hugo Lepoint and Alexandre Bouet. The latter was a reserve in Debrecen.
Goalkeepers: Remi Garsau (Nice), Clement Dubois (Tourcoing); Field players: David Babic (Strasbourg), Alexandre Bouet (Douai), Charles Canonne (Tourcoing), David Caumette (Noisy-le-Sec), Ugo Crousillat (Marseille), Enzo Khasz (Pays d’Aix), Hugo Lepoint (Douai), Romain Marion-Vernoux (Marseille), Mehdi Marzouki (Noisy-le-Sec), Nicolas Missy (Starsbourg), Pierre-Frederic Vanpeperstraete (Marseille), Thomas Vernoux (Marseille), Steven Vitrant (Douai). Head coach: Nenad Vukanic.
Day 1 (February 14), schedule
Georgia – Greece (13:00)
Canada – Brazil (14:30)
Turkey – Montenegro (17:30)
Netherlands – Germany (16:00)
Croatia – Romania (19:00)
France – Russia (20:30)
All times – CET.