After failing to reach the main round of the EHF EURO 2014, the then head coach Vladimir Canjuga resigned and Goran Mrdjen took over.
He was not able to lead the team to the World Championship 2015 in Denmark, however, he started a transition within the team that looks as if it slowly paying off - with the successful qualification to the EHF EURO 2016 being the first reward. Experienced players such as team captain Andrea Penezic and and Vesna Milanovic-Litre are still in the squad
Croatia's best result to date at an EHF EURO was 5th in 1994. But they reached the quarter-final at the World Championship 2011 and at the 2012 Olympic Games, losing to eventual bronze medallists Spain. Missing out on the qualification for the 2016 Olympic Games means the team will be eager to show their true strength again come the EHF EURO 2016.
Andrea Penezić is one of the most famous Croatian handball players. She was voted best handball player in Croatia seven times in a row, surpassing Snježana Petika who achieved the same feat six times. Penezić's first club was Lokomotiva from her hometown Zagreb where she spent eight years. In 2008 she moved to HC Podravka and after another two seasons she joined RK Krim Mercator in 2010. In 2014 she transferred to her current club HC Vardar. With Vardar she came third at the Women's EHF FINAL4 in 2015 and 2016. In 2015 she was also the Women's EHF Champions League's top scorer with 102 goals.
When it comes to the national team, she has scored 622 goals in 139 internationals as of September 2016, making her the team's leading scorer. Her biggest achievement with the national team is the quarter-final at the 2012 Olympics and the nomination as All-star left back at the World Championship 2011.
Vesna Milanović-Litre has been a standout line player in the Croatian national team for many years. She started playing handball in her hometown Sinj from where she moved to nearby Split at the beginning of the century. In 2003 she joined Lokomotiva Zagreb where she stayed until 2010. For the next four seasons she played for HC Podravka, being part of the team that won Croatia's domestic league and the national cup four times in a row. She then left Croatia, playing for Györi Audi ETO KC in the 2014/15 season and since last year for RK Krim Mercator in Slovenia.
Milanović-Litre was part of the Croatian national team that reached the quarter-final at the London 2012 Olympics. As of September 2016, she scored 176 times in 99 international matches for Croatia.
Goran Mrdjen began his coaching career in 1990 at the Graničar handball club. He had been Graničar's assistant coach for seven years when he was offered a position as the head of the Podravka handball school in Koprivnica where he is currently the head coach of the women's senior team. Between 1998 and 2013 he also trained - at different times - HC Tvin Trgocentar, HC Zelina and HC Podravka.
When it comes to national teams, he first had the chance to work with Croatia's women’s junior national team in 2000 and he led the junior teams at the European Championship 2004 and the World Championships in 2001, 2003 and 2005.
When Zlatko Canjuga resigned as women's head coach after the EHF EURO 2014, the Croatian federation appointed Mrdjen. While he still lost the World Championship 2015 Play-offs against Sweden, the qualification to the EHF EURO 2016 was more comfortable for Croatia, with the team recording wins against Slovenia, Montenegro and FYR Macedonia to eventually place second in Qualification Group 4.
Past Performance at EHF EURO Events
|2008||FYR Macedonia||6th place|