Over the past two years the Netherlands have established themselves at the top of European women's handball. They were already close to qualifying for the semi-final at the EHF EURO 2014, but then went (almost) all the way when they won silver at the Women's World Championship 2015. They reached the semi-final again at the 2016 Olympic Games but eventually finished fourth after they lost the semi-final to France and the bronze medal game to Norway.
Another sign of the rise of Dutch women's handball is the fact that two of the team's key players ply their trade for one of Europe's best club teams: Nycke Groot and Yvette Broch both play for Hungarian champions Györi Audi ETO KC.
In qualification for the Women's EHF EURO 2016, the Netherlands firmly occupied the top spot in Group 3. After having beaten Spain 31:21 at home, they could even afford a 32:29 loss away and still finish on top of the group.
A mere two months out of the EHF EURO 2016, the Dutch saw a switch of head coaches with Helle Thomsen taking over from Henk Groener. Thomsen with her EHF Champions League experience will look to build on Groener's success that has put the Dutch ladies firmly placed on the handball map.
Recent Team News
Nycke Groot is the Dutch national team’s playmaker, leading the team to two consecutive EHF EUROs and to silver at the World Championship 2015. Her talent for handball was visible early on. She played her first European Cup matches in 2003 when she was just 15. Only one year later, in December 2004, she played her international for the Netherlands.
In 2006 she moved to Denmark where she first joined Team Tvis Holstebro and eventually FC Midtjylland in 2011, winning the Cup Winners’ Cup in 2015. Since the 2015/16 season she plays for Hungarian powerhouse Györi Audi ETO KC.
Lois Abbingh rose through the ranks of the Netherlands' younger age category teams and it looked clear back then that she had all the potential to become a household name also in the senior national team. She was the top scorer and member of the All-star Team at the Women's Youth World Championship 2010 and the top scorer again at the Women's 19 EHF EURO 2011. Furthermore she was the top scorer of the Dutch league in the 2009/10 season at the age of just 18.
In 2010 she moved to Germany where she played for VfL Oldenburg. At the beginning of the 2014/15 season she transferred to HCM Baia Mara in Romania and since the summer of 2016 she plays for Issy Paris Hand in France. Her biggest success to date is the silver medal she won with the Netherlands at the World Championship 2015.
Helle Thomsen took over at the helm of the Dutch national team only at the beginning of October. She succeeded long-time head coach Henk Groener who had announced his resignation come January 2017 but was then actually replaced earlier.
Thomsen, who was coaching Danish side FC Midtjylland up until the summer, is no stranger to national teams. Together with Thomas Sivertsson she won bronze with Sweden at the Women's EHF EURO 2014 and she was again coaching the Scandinavian side on a short-term interim basis during the Olympic qualifiers in March this year.
Past Performance at EHF EURO Events