Following a period of notable successes, Poland’s rankings at major events dropped dramatically in recent years. The fourth-place finishes at the World Championships 2013 and 2015, under the guidance of now Hungary coach Kim Rasmussen, remain their best results. At the World Championship 2017, Poland finished 17th overall.
Poland’s top EHF EURO result came in 1998 – fifth. In 2016, they ranked 15th. Poland’s record at the EHF EURO is generally not comparable with that of the World Championship. The 2018 edition in France marks the team’s sixth qualification and third consecutive after a period of non-qualification from 2006 to 2014.
“We want to make 100% out of every minute that we will spend together before the start of the tournament,” said coach Leszek Krowicki. “We focus mainly on our own tactics, but of course we pay much attention to the way that our group opponents play. Serbia, Denmark and Sweden are teams that you don’t have to introduce to anyone. Our team is a mix of the experienced and young players and we are all very hungry for success.”
Key sharpshooter and captain Karolina Kudlacz-Gloc returned to the national team at the end of 2017 after a maternity break. With 884 goals in 171 national team games, Kudlacz-Gloc is the definition of a goal-scoring machine. She has a reputation as an absolute professional, who always delivers at the highest level; however, she was on the sideline for the first weeks of the 2018/19 season due to a muscle injury.
In the beginning of her career Kudlacz-Gloc represented AZS-AWFiS Gdańsk, but since 2006, her home has been the German Bundesliga, where she played for HC Leipzig (2006-2017) and now SG BBM Bietigheim (since 2017).
“Everybody knows the European championship is the toughest competition in handball. However, if we want to develop as a team we can’t be afraid of any opponent. Therefore, we will be well prepared for our rivals,” said the back.
Centre back Kinga Achruk is one of Poland’s most experienced players. She won the EHF Champions League 2014/15 and two Montenegrin championships (2014, 2015) with Buducnost.
After four seasons in Montenegro, Achruk returned to Poland, winning the domestic league and the Challenge Cup 2017/18 with MKS Perla Lublin. In 2011, Achruk won the Polish league with MKS Zaglębie Lubin, as well as the Polish Cup in 2009, 2011 and 2013.
“We are very excited to be part of the EHF EURO once again. It’s a great chance to face the best teams in the world,” said Achruk. “We can achieve a lot but have to stay focused on each opponent. To win against such strong teams as Serbia, Denmark and Sweden, you have to play 100% of your game for 60 minutes.”
The playmaker has made 160 appearances and scored 412 goals in the national team.
The coach: Leszek Krowicki
Leszek Krowicki debuted as the head coach of the Polish national women’s team in October 2016. He has almost 20 years of experience as a coach in the German Bundesliga, where he won three championship titles (1991, 1992 and 1994 with TuS Walle Bremen) and two German Cups (2009 and 2012 with VfL Oldenburg), as well as the EHF Cup Winners’ Cup (1994 with Bremen) and Challenge Cup (2008 with Oldenburg). Krowicki also worked with the Netherlands men’s team from 1995 to 1998. As a player, he represented Poland 12 times.
Krowicki’s first championship leading the Poland women’s team was the EHF EURO 2016 in Sweden (15th place), followed by the IHF World Championship 2017 in Germany (17th place). Now the goal for the EHF EURO 2018 is clear – qualify for the main round and fight for the best possible place among Europe’s top teams.
Past Performance at EHF EURO events