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02.11.2016, 22:45◄ last page     

NEWS REPORT: Some of these players are barely old enough to have driver’s licence but they will dominate the world of handball in the years to come.

Top rookies to look out for in 2016/17

The VELUX EHF Champions League is loaded with young guns who are ready to shine this season. Choosing the top five is far from easy, as for example a goalkeeper and a wing cannot be compared, but below you will find those who have impressed most in the early stages.

Among those worthy of a mention who did not get in are MOL-Pick Szeged’s Richard Bodó, who is 23 but still a newcomer, and Luka Maros, who is already the hottest player of Schaffhausen in his second year in the competition.

How can one leave out Dika Mem, the 19-year-old sensation of Barcelona? How about Filip Ivic and Blaz Janc, who despite their young age are already key figures in their clubs? And the Gebala brothers, Maciej and Tomasz from Plock?

Well, some have to be left out at least for now and here are those who made the cut.

5. Vuko Borozan (Vardar)

The 22-year-old Montenegrin giant is already a force to be reckoned with. The 2.03 metre tall Borozan has already played in four leagues and made his international debut in the Montenegrin national team.

Borozan has returned to Skopje having played for Metalurg in 2014 and the powerful left back was not signed to make up the numbers. He has a ferocious shot from nine metres out and will be an important addition to the notorious defence of the Macedonian side.

The youngster has already made his mark in the VELUX EHF Champions League as he scored seven goals against Meshkov Brest in Round 2.

4. Lukas Nilsson (THW Kiel)

Sweden is famous for producing world class left backs of epic proportions and it seems the latest of the long line of marksmen is the 19-year-old Nilsson. The Ystads IF youth product made a big jump and joined THW Kiel this summer where he was immediately thrown in at the deep.

He is already a member of the Swedish national and made his major tournament debut at January’s EHF EURO 2016 in Poland. The 1.92 metre-tall heavy shooter has stepped up in Kiel, having already scored 20 goals in the VELUX EHF Champions League.

The fact he scored 5 goals against PSG speaks volumes about how well he can take the heat of elite handball.

3. Jerry Tollbring (IFK Kristianstad)

Here is yet another Swede who is making his way to the top of the handball world. Tollbring is already the most prolific player of Kristianstad in this year’s Champions League season with 27 goals after five games. The speedy left wing has been one of the hottest up-and-comers of the game and in early October it was announced that he will join Rhein-Neckar Löwen in the summer of 2017.

To celebrate the move to the Mannheim outfit he scored five goals against his future club while his eight-goal tally against Celje remains his best performance so far this season. The 21-year-old has also been a regular at the Swedish national team and featured at the 2016 Olympic Games.


2. Filip Taleski (Metalurg Skopje)

The Macedonian shooting star started this season with a boom. Taleski scored 13 of Metalurg’s 18 goals, including the last one that sealed the 18:17 victory against Elverum. The 20 year-old left back, who is his team’s most prolific scorer of this season, is considered to be the most promising talent in the country.

The two metre-tall back court started his career in the handball school of Metalurg and had played for his youth club as an amateur before signing a professional contract.

Taleski still has room to improve both physically and tactically, but there is little doubt he will become a household name in the future.

1.Nedim Remili (PSG)

If it wasn’t for his injury-hit 2015/16 season, the world of handball would have been shocked by the talent of the 20-year-old a year earlier. Remili, son of former Créteil player and coach, Kamel, was considered to be the best young handball player in France but he was not rushing into anything and took his time to show his true potential at the elite stage.

Remili is competing in his first VELUX EHF Champions League season but what a debut he is having. Only fellow new singing Uwe Gensheimer has scored more goals for PSG this season than the left-handed marksman (he is one ahead of Mikkel Hansen and six ahead of Nikola Karabatic) and he truly made the difference with his ten goals in the hard-fought victory over Wisla Plock.

After the Xavier Barachet’s serious injury and some lacklustre performances by Sergiy Onufrienko last season, PSG decided to move for the youngster and it seems Remili might have been the last missing piece of the Parisian’s puzzle as they strive to win Europe’s top flight club competition.

TEXT: Bence Martha / cor

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