At the meeting in Stockholm (Sweden) held on 15th of December 2006 during the European Handball Championship, The EHF Executive Committee has awarded the organisation of the European Beach Handball Tour Masters Finals to the organiser of the EBT tournament "HBT Nagyatad".
The tournament will take place in Nagyatad, Hungary, a town near the Croatian-Hungarian border from 2-3 June 2007.
After Salerno (Italy) in 2004, Suances (Spain) in 2005 and Paralia (Greece) in 2006, Nagyatad is the 4th organizer of the EBT Masters tournament.
Nagyatad is not completely unknown to beach handball community cause there was played one of the Central Europe Beach Handball League tournaments during the year of 2005. Beach handball courts are of good quality (there are three of them) and they are placed within very popular thermal spa with springs of hot water which has some curative properties and several pools.
1. WBHC Kontesa Nera (Croatia) – defending champion
The only team that has been participating at all 3 of the Masters Finals so far and the only team that has brought home a medal from each and one of them - 2nd place in Salerno 2004 and the champions in Suances 2005 and Paralia 2006. Six of the players are the proud owners of a silver medal from the European Championship (Turkey 2004) and two of them have bronze medals from Cuxhaven (Germany, 2006). Kontesa Nera is surely one of the favorites for wining the trophy.
2. Trešnja Club (Croatia)
One of the best Croatian teams has finally qualified for the Masters Finals. With lots of Croatian national team players they are too aiming for the trophy.
3. Trahomakedones (Greece)
Their appearance in Paralia 2006 was their debut on the international beach handball scene and the only thing that stopped them from reaching the result higher than the 5th place was the lack of experience and just a few mistakes during the game. But we can assure you, if the national team players join their lineup, they will give their opponents a hard time.
4. Playadettes Luzern (Switzerland)
Multiple beach handball champions of Switzerland have participated at the last European Championship in Germany as a national team. They’ve been playing on EBT since 2003 and it is certain they will play a major role at this one as well.
5. Beach Girls (Hungary)
Winners of the Central Europe Beach Handball League in 2005, 3rd place in Greece and best ranked Hungarian team on EBT 2006. All of that plus a few Hungarian national team players tells us this team is aiming very high and is definitely one of the EBT Masters favorites.
6. Flying Kangaroos (Germany)
This year’s German champions haven’t been participating at any of the Masters tournaments so far and it is really hard to say anything about them but if we bare in mind they have overcame all other German EBT Masters participants it would be hard to say anything bad. They are truly the biggest mystery of this tournament, and with three players of German national team that won gold at last European Championships, they ar not a team to be underestimated.
7. WBHC PMF (Croatia)
Newcomers in this company and in Croatian beach handball as well. It is hard to say anything about them concerning this particular tournament. Nevertheless, if we take into the consideration their last year’s quality and fast, clearly visible progress with the fact that no one knows them, could be placing them very high. But still, for anything more than that, experience is needed.
8. Euronics Nagyatad Beach Handball Team (Hungary)
The home team with an invitation from the organizer. They are very good and firm players but have no greater international experience which could be the biggest obstacle for anything more than just participation on the Masters finals. But you never know, they might have some luck.
9. Team G-Sola (Spain)
The best Spanish female team, reached 4th place in Greece 2006, was waiting for one of the other teams to drop out of the competition. But, with the wise decision of EHF they got the opportunity to show what they can do, they will most certainly rank high for they are always at the top of every EBT Season and are a very good team, indeed.
Picture by Alex Broadway/SWpix.com