Do you know the little red-haired, freckled girl living with her monkey Mr Nilsson in Villa Villekulla? Of course, you know! Everyone does. The icon of Swedish culture is very important for the youth handball team from Sweden, as Pippi Langstrumpf is with them before each match! “She truly symbolises the spirit of Sweden and at the same time the crazy fighting spirit of our team,” laughs coach Harris.
The national team of Sweden is in between their groupings ahead of the World Championship in Poland. Within their preparations they already had a training camp, which finished at the beginning of July. Ahead of them there is still the Scandinavian Open tournament, that will take place in 27-29 July. Sweden will play there against South Korea, Norway and Denmark.
Scandinavian team has got a good defence, which allows them to build fast breaks and makes the play really fast. Niklas Harris’s girls can make use of the opponent’s turnovers and score a lot of goals in counterattacks, where huge role is played by Josefine Hultgren Dahlgren, a calm goalkeeper with good game-reading ability. Another key players are Nina Dano, a very fast and agile right back with a strong throw and Isabelle Andersson, strong and versatile left back with an excellent game vision.
The Swedish team is focused on the achievement. They minimum plan is to be a part of the 1/8 final stage. When they achieve it, they will hope for a good result in every next game. As they say about themselves, their strongest point is their team spirit. “No player is more important than the team,” says the coach Niklas Harris.
The team took part in only one big tournament before – last year they finished the European Championship in Slovakia on 9th place.
An interesting fact is that before the games the team sings a song from a movie “Pippi Langstrumpf”. The red-haired, freckled girl is an icon of Swedish culture, created by a famous writer, Astrid Lindgren. “It truly symbolises the spirit of Sweden and at the same time the crazy fighting spirit of our team,” laughs coach Harris.
Let’s get to know the song!
Well, it will be fun with the girls! Vi längtar efter att komma till Polen, ladies!
Check the full Swedish National Team profile including the full roster HERE.
Sweden will play in the group B, together with Hungary, Denmark, Egypt, Chile and Croatia.