Since 1991, women's handball in the Ukraine has rapidly developed. The women’s national team has participated at every edition of the EHF EURO since the inauguration of the competition in 1994.
However, laudable success continues to evade the team. With the exception of a silver performance in Romania (2002), the team has never ranked in the top five. At their last appearance at the EHF EURO, the team only finished on a disapointing 14th place in Serbia after losing all three preliminary round matches.
The other handball success story of the women’s national team that can be told, was the surprising performance at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens; in their first and only appearance at Olympic Games, the national team won bronze medal under the leadership of Leonid Ratner.
In the qualification for the Women's EHF EURO 2014, Ukraine had to wait until the very last game when a 33:24 victory against Austria eventually secured the berth at the final tournament.
Anastasiya Pidpalova, the 32-year-old back court player standing at over 1.90 metres, seems to have found her handball home in France where she has been playing for two years, currently taking to the court for Cercle Dijon Bourgogne.
Her greatest success at club level was reaching the Women's EHF Champions League Final in 2010 with her former club Oltchim Valcea, despite losing out to the Danes from Viborg. In 2013 she reached the final of the EHF Cup with French side Metz Handball, but once again lost to a Danish team - this time to Team Tvis Holstebro.
26-year-old Iuliia Managarova has been playing professional handball since 2003, first for HC Sparta in Ukraine, the for Oltchim Valcea from 2010 until 2013 and since for Rostov-Don in Russia.
With Rostov she reached the semi-finals of the Women's Cup Winners' Cup in 2014, a feat she had already achieved twice in the Women's EHF Champions League with Oltchim Valcea (in 2012 and 2013).
For Ukraine she has scored 219 goals in 50 matches (as of September 2014). By playing the EHF EURO 2014 she comes to the home country of Hungarian Anita Görbicz, whom Managarova names as the best foreign handball player.
THE COACH - Leonid Ratner
It was under the guidance of Leonid Ratner that Ukraine celebrated their biggest success in women's handball, the bronze medal at the 2004 Olympic Games.
If you are 100 per cent precise, the 76-year-old Ratner has only been in charge of the again since 2011, but the breaks since 1996 when he wasn't the squad's coach have been so short, that even the Ukrainian Handball Federation lists his employment as "1996 until today".
Ratner is known for putting emphasis on a physical game, a solid defence, great back court players and fast wing players with strength in counter attack.
EHF EURO History
|2008||FYR Macedonia||10th place|