Three right backs who want to hit hard in Croatia

PLAYERS TO LOOK OUT FOR #5: Few left-handed players have the shooting power of Nedim Remili, Alex Dujshebaev or Kent Robin Tønnesen, who want to help their teams to glory at the EHF EURO 2018

Photo: Uros Hocevar

They are rare as they shoot with their left hand. They are even rarer as they also possess the strength to shoot from distance.

Great right backs are probably harder to find than excellent right wings. Still, here are three of the very best right backs who will star on the courts in Croatia this month.

Nedim Remili, France

France have always been blessed with good right backs. Nowadays, Nedim Rimili is one of their very best. The 22-year-old left-hander from Paris Saint-Germain Handball got his international breakthrough last season, when he contributed 81 goals on PSG’s road to the VELUX EHF Champions League Final.

He started playing handball at the age of 10 at US Créteil Handball and made his debut in the French league six years later, a year before joining PSG in 2013. The French national team have already benefited from Remili’s qualities on numerous occasions.

His 1.95-metre height is perfect for a backcourt player, and he is good at benefiting from this asset. He has an elegant style of playing, varying between jump shots and shots from the floor.

Remili has got a strong backup on the right back position as France are aiming for their second major title within 12 months after winning the World Championship on home court in January 2017. Dika Mem from Barcelona in particular will get his fair share of court time but Nedim Remili’s shots and elegance will be needed by Les Experts.

Alex Dujshebaev, Spain

Initially Alex Dujshebaev was mainly known as legend Talant’s oldest son. Those days are long gone now. Young Alex has stepped out of his father’s shadow, and today, at the age of 25, he is an asset to his club team, PGE Vive Kielce, as well as to the Spanish national team.

After playing an important role in HC Vardar’s Champions League triumph last season, he moved Kielce in Poland, where his father is the head coach. This change has definitely not been bad for either Alex Dujshebaev or for Kielce or Spain.

With his 1.87 metre, he is not among the tallest backcourt players. But his jumping power and the variety of his shots are compensating that. Having scored 43 goals in the EHF Champions League Group Phase so far, Dujshebaev can hardly be blamed for Kielce’s disappointing fifth place in Group B with eight points from 10 matches.

In Croatia, there is no doubt that a lot of the Spanish hopes for success will be resting on Alex Dujshebaev. Already in their preliminary round, with Denmark, Hungary and the Czech Republic as their opponents, Spain will need Dujshebaev to be at his best.

Kent Robin Tønnesen, Norway

Joining Telekom Veszprém HC and getting rivals for the right back position like Laszlo Nagy and Gabor Ancsin, but still leaving your mark in your first season at the Hungarian powerhouse: Kent Robin Tønnesen of Norway has done just that.

He got additional court time due to the injuries that struck both Nagy and Ancsin for parts of the autumn, but Tønnesen’s performances for Veszprém have been quite impressive anyway.

Having started his career at Haslum HK, his first foreign adventure was at IK Sävehof in Sweden, from where he moved on to Füchse Berlin. This summer he left the German capital for Veszprém, and so far the change has given him a boost in the competition for the right back position in the Norwegian national team.

That competition is at least as tight as at Veszprém, with Harald Reinkind (Rhein-Neckar Löwen), young Magnus Rød (SG Flensburg-Handewitt) and Eivind Tangen (HC Midtjylland) as the other contenders. Still, his great shot and his eye for when to shoot and when to pass seem to have made Tønnesen the current No. 1 choice by national coach Christian Berge for the right back position.

written by Peter Bruun / ew / ts