The guerreras (Spanish for warriors), the nickname for the Spanish women’s national team on social media, enter the Women’s EHF EURO 2014 in Hungary and Croatia with the aim to take it step by step, given the difficulty of their games Group A and of the tasks that potentially lie ahead should they reach the main round.
Spain, however, have showed in past events that it is able to overcome all odds because willpower is one of the defining characteristics of the team led by head coach Jorge Dueñas.
Developments in recent months, however, have forced the Spanish coach to introduce young players to the team, especially on the line, as two vital line players retired from international handball: Begoña Fernandez and Veronica Cuadrado.
Strong players such as Alexandrina Barbosa Cabral and Lara González at the same time make the team nevertheless hope for success and so do goalkeeper Silvia Navarro and centre back Macarena Aguilar who are among the best on their positions in Europe.
Macarena Aguilar Díaz is the unquestioned leader of the women’s team on the court. At 1,70 metres she is comparably small for a centre back, but she makes up for it with her unique physical abilities and skills to always find the gap in her opponents’ defence.
She had been playing at Randers HK in Denmark for two years, but at the beginning of the 2014/15 season she joined Women’s EHF Champions League winners Györi Audi ETO KC. In Györ she is coached by fellow Spaniard Ambros Martin, who had already been her coach when she played for Itxako from 2009 to 2012 and reached the final of the EHF Champions League in 2011.
Another player that is small in height (like Macarena Aguilar she stands at 1,70 metres), but great when it comes to performance is 35-year-old goalkeeper Silvia Jimenez Navarro. Without a doubt she has been the best goalkeeper in Spanish women's handball over the past five seasons and also one the main reasons for the success the guerrera enjoyed in recent years, i.e. winning bronze at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Navarro stands for safety and a calm performance between the posts, qualities that she also passes on to her teammates, stressing again and again that it is to be vital to preserve the strong defence that Spain displays in every game.
THE COACH - Jorge Dueñas
Jorge Dueñas Galarza is the most experienced coach ever sitting on the Spanish bench, with a total of 161 games under his belt.
Under his leadership the team has acquired a unique identity and style, based on fighting spirit and devotion. The team’s nickname, Guerreras, was earned game by game, stressing the point that they never surrenders to any opponent.
Dueñas’ challenger right now is to introduce young key players without losing the competitiveness which is one of the squad’s trademarks – and also never lose sight of the very big goal out there which is to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
Past Performance at EHF EURO Events