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10.06.2016, 08:00◄ last page     

NEWS REPORT: Playmakers took the title at both women and men, as the Isabelle Gullden and Aron Palmarsson were awarded EHF Players of May.

Gullden retains the EHF Player of the Month title alongside Palmarsson

Two playmakers took the titles as EHF Player of the Month in May for both women and men.

Swedish centre back Isabelle Gulldén from EHF Champions League winners CSM Bucuresti was awarded Player of the Month for the second month in a row, while MVM Veszprém's Icelandic playmaker Aron Palmarsson took the title for the first time.

With her CSM teammate, Croatian goalkeeper Jelena Grubisic in second place, Isabelle Gullden became a clear winner by the women in May.

Not only did she win the Women's EHF FINAL4 in Budapest with Romanian Champions League debutants CSM after extra-time and seven-metre shootout against Györi Audi ETO KC in the final.

She also scored no less than 15 goals in Bucuresti's 29:26 win, which was enough to make her a clear top scorer in the European top flight this season.

This was enough to make her the first player to take the title as EHF Player of the Month for the second time.

Despite her stellar performance at the Women's EHF FINAL4 and in the final in particular, she was surprised by receiving the award for the second month in succession, though.

“Again? Oh my God, that is so big!" she said.

“After we won the Champions League gold, I am obviously happy, and this award makes me really proud too. It was a dream coming true when we won the Champions League and now this! I simply walk around with a big smile on my face and I am just so happy,” was Isabelle Gullden's reaction, as ehfCL.com told her about the award.

Consolation for a losing finalist

Just like Isabelle Gullden, Aron Palmarsson was also involved in extra-time and a shootout in the Champions League final. Unlike his playmaker colleague from Bucuresti, however, the 26-year-old Icelandic international was part of the losing side in the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne.

His team, MVM Veszprém lost 39:38 to Polish KS Vive Tauron Kielce, but the award as EHF Player of the Month may come as a certain consolation to Palmarsson, who won the award in front of Danish left back Mikkel Hansen from third-place Paris Saint-Germain Handball.

Still, it was hard for Palmarsson to feel happy about the award considering the way his team lost the Champions League final against Kielce – having led by nine goals along the way before losing it all in the penalty shooting.

“Maybe after my career, I will look back at it and be proud of it,” he said already after receiving the MVP trophy in Cologne.

On the third place, we find a player from Champions League winner Kielce, goalkeeper Slawomir Szmal followed by his teammate Krzysztof Lijewski, while THW Kiel centre back Domagoj Duvnjak also made the short list of nominees.

Not entirely for Champions League players

However, a player does not have to be involved in one of the Champions League competitions to have the chance to become EHF Player of the Month. Nathalie Hagman is a proof of that fact.

The 24-year-old Swedish international's 23 goals for Team Tvis Holstebro in the Cup Winners' Cup finals against Handball Club Lada did not only contribute to the Danish team's 61:52 win on aggregate.

It also turned a sufficient number of eyes in European handball to the efficient right back who was fourth in the race for the women's title, among four players who were all part of the Champions League Final - Gullden, Grubisic and Györ's Heidi Loke and Eduarda Amorim.

TEXT: EHF, Peter Bruun / br

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