Through the 1990s and the beginning of the 2000s, the Sweden women’s national team played in the shadow of the men’s squad, but they slowly came closer to the top nations in women’s handball and now rank among the best. Their sixth-place finish at the EHF EURO 2006 at home started the journey toward greater achievements and more confidence came after Sweden qualified for their first Olympic Games, in 2008.
In 2010, Sweden won their first medal at a major championship, when they made it to the final of the EURO – but Norway, who Sweden had beaten earlier in the tournament, proved too strong on that occasion. In 2014, Sweden made it to the podium again, winning the bronze medal at the EURO in Croatia/Hungary and in 2017, the Scandinavian side reached the World Championship Semi-finals for the first time in history.
In recent years, Swedish players have also had key roles in some of the biggest club teams in the world. With a relatively young squad, they aim to fight for the medals in future championships and travel to France with high hopes.
No matter which team ‘Bella’ Gullden is in, she is a key player. During the EURO 2018, the centre back will play her 200th game for Sweden, aiming to surpass Åsa Mogensen’s (nee Eriksson) record of 251 caps. Gullden (as of September 2018) is the all-time third top scorer for Sweden, with 753 goals, behind only Mia Hermansson-Högdahl (1,091) and Åsa Mogensen (1,087).
Gullden made her debut for Sweden in 2007 and played her first championship, the Olympic Games, in 2008. She has been a key player since – often the key player. With unique playing intelligence, tactical understanding and all the tools necessary for success, she has been considered one of the best in the world in recent years and is often the recipient of individual awards. No Swedish player has played more championships than Gullden, for whom the EURO in France will be the 13th.
Left back Jamina Roberts has played 138 games for the national team and represented Sweden at nine major championships since making her debut at the EURO 2010. She is a spectacular player, with speed and movements few can compete with. After assuming many different roles and positions, she has recently focused on left back and was one of the key players for Sweden at the World Championship 2017. Roberts is now back in Denmark with Randers following two seasons with Danish side Tvis Holstebro, one season in her youth club IK Sävehof and then one year with Hungarian team Erd.
The coach: Henrik Signell
After Thomas Sivertsson led the Sweden team at the World Championship in Denmark in 2015 and Helle Thomsen took charge for the successful Olympic qualifications in March 2016, Henrik Signell made his debut on the bench at the 2016 Olympics. Signell, who was the first Swedish player to represent the youth, junior and senior national teams in the same season, won the Swedish championship for the eight first years of his coaching career: the first three times with the IK Sävehof men’s junior team, twice as assistant coach with the senior men’s team and then on three occasions as head coach of the women’s team.
After reaching the quarter-final at the 2016 Olympics and finishing eighth in the home EHF EURO 2016, Signell led Sweden to the World Championship Semi-final last year. Shortly after, he extended his contract with the national team to 2020.
Past Performance at EHF EURO Events
|2008||FYR Macedonia||9th place|