FEATURE: Two outstanding performers from Sweden and France are awarded the EHF Player of the Month awards for July/August.
Shooting stars scoop summer awards
A 17-year-old centre back from Sweden and a 19-year-old French right back scooped the summer EHF Player of the Month prizes for their performances in Younger Age Category events as voted by journalists and EHF experts.
Hoping to take after Hansen
Ludvig Hällback not only had the pleasure to win the European Open at home in Sweden, winning by twelve goals in the final against Austria (34:22), but he was also elected MVP of the competition, finishing three of the four games he took part in as the top scorer.
“This is really amazing and very unexpected. I never thought it would even be possible to be awarded Player of the Month at my age,” he told eurohandball.com.
The centre back changed sides this summer when he moved from Aranäs to Ystads IF, a club which has revealed talents such as Lukas Nilsson.
Although Hällback had already played in the Swedish league last season, he admits: “It was ambition which drove me and it is really cool to train with and learn from Kim Andersson and the other experienced players here,” says young Hallbäck, who can play the centre back as well as the left back and is not doubt who his greatest idol is – Mikkel Hansen.
“He is good with his shots as well as on breakthroughs and in his ability to read the game. I would really to take after him, and of course, I also hope to play in a top club in Europe someday,” he concludes.
“I cannot get my head around it”
The outstanding performer of the women’s summer championships was surely Jannela Blonbou at the Women’s 19 EHF EURO.
France won the gold medal and had the pleasure of seeing one their right back named on the All-star team in Slovenia. Jannela Blonbou, who will turn twenty in two weeks, could not quite believe it.
“When I was elected best right back, I could not believe it and now to be elected player of the month, well, I cannot get my head around it either,” she laughs in disbelief.
“It gives me an extra dose of motivation, I want to carry on making progress, be it in the national team or with my club.”
The right back, who scored six in the final against Russia, was a key element of her team, but she has not allowed that to get into her head.
“I do not want to think I am someone else just because of these awards. Of course, it is a pleasure, but you have to get your feet back on the ground earth and carry on working,” says the left-hander who made her debut in the LFH, the top French league, just two seasons ago and has yet to sign a professional contract.
TEXT: Kevin Domas, Peter Bruun / cor
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