Last summer, at the W17 EHF Championship, the Netherlands were a force to be reckoned with, conceding only 70 goals in six matches, proving to be a team that would have fit right in at the W17 EHF EURO.
Winning the competition meant that the Dutch side sealed their place at the next IHF Women’s Youth (U18) World Championship, for which they qualified for the sixth time, having never finished outside of the top 10 in the previous five editions they played in.
Facing two other European teams – Romania and Slovenia – and Guinea, the Dutch side will be favoured to progress to the next phase of the competition but will have to prove their mettle against stronger sides than the Faroe Islands or Serbia, against whom they won in the knock-out phase at the W17 EHF Championship 2021.
Their top scorer from last summer, centre back Jalisha Loy, made the step up to the junior team and won the bronze medal at Slovenia 2022 last month – yet, a strong back line was one of the Netherlands’ strong points in the past years at every level. Players like Lieke Jongejan or Elisa Marsman can slot right in, with the Netherlands definitely aiming to preserve their streak of finishing among the top 10 teams in the competition.
Key players: Alieke van Maurik (right back), Elisa Marsman (centre back), Lieke Jongejan (centre back)
Qualification for North Macedonia 2022: W17 EHF Championship – 1st place
History in tournament: 2008: 9th, 2010: 3rd, 2012: 10th, 2014: 6th, 2018: 7th
Group at North Macedonia 2022: Group E (Romania, Netherlands, Guinea, Slovenia)