10 captivating European League transfers
The summer of transfers has been a busy one in women’s handball, the evidence of which is plain to see as we cast our eyes on the EHF European League.
This new-look competition will pit a number of ambitious and exciting teams against each other and among their top signings we can spot world and Olympic champions, rising stars and some of the most exciting wing players around.
- Emma Ekenman-Fernis (from IK Sävehof to Thüringer HC)
Since bursting onto the international club scene with Sävehof as a 19-year-old in 2015, there has been plenty of interest in Ekenman-Fernis’ development.
After making an early breakthrough at club level and with the Swedish national team, the right wing’s progress has stagnated somewhat in recent years and a move abroad, working with Herbert Müller, could be what she needs to kickstart her career again.
- Victoria Zhilinskayte (HC CSKA to Kuban)
It is a tough market in Russia with Rostov-Don and CSKA throwing their weight around and Kuban have felt the effects of that in recent years, losing some of their top prospects.
But they have got one back here as 2016 Olympic gold medallist and former Kuban star Viktoria Zhilinskayte has returned from CSKA. Primarily a left back, but the Lithuanian-born veteran has proven to be versatile and can fill in as a playmaker or line player – a key attribute for this fairly young squad.
- Nadia Offendal (from Odense Håndbold to Paris 92)
There was no hiding Nadia Offendal’s excitement as she made her summer move to Paris. After eight seasons with Odense, the 25-year-old has made her first move abroad and to a club which has proven itself as good place for foreign talent to make an impact in France.
Paris 92 have made a name for themselves in Europe’s secondary competitions over the years and Offendal believes that tradition can continue this season: “There are no limits to our dreams of what we can achieve in the EHF European League. I am curious to see how far we can go.”
- Mikaela Mässing (from Thüringer HC to CS Minaur Baia Mare)
Her first season abroad did not go to plan, but Mikaela Mässing was not deterred from trying something new this season as she made the move to the resurgent Baia Mare.
The big shooting 26-year-old knows where she wants to improve and competing in Romania may help that development along. Joining the club with two fellow Swedes, one of whom is on this list, should make life easier and allow Mässing to thrive.
- Ingvild Bakkerud (Odense Håndbold to Herning-Ikast Håndbold)
Having lost three quality left backs over the summer, Herning-Ikast needed to act fast and big to restore some oomph into the position. They have done just that with the addition of Ingvild Bakkerud.
The 187 cm Norwegian enjoyed a whirlwind 2019, in which nine and 11-goal displays against Rostov and Györ saw people sit up and take notice, then taste her first World Championship action.
The 25-year-old has the chance to take the next big step in her career and make this position her own at her new club.
- Dinah Eckerle (from SG BBM Bietigheim to Siófok KC)
Siófok have regularly made the headlines in recent years with ambitious transfers and the summer of 2020 is no different.
With Silje Solberg leaving for the mighty Györ, a gaping hole in the goal needed to be filled and Dinah Eckerle is an inspired choice for the Hungarian club.
She made the second-highest number of saves at last year’s World Championship, producing some world class performances for Germany, and at 24 there is plenty of room for improvement.
- Linn Blohm (from Kobenhavn Handbold to CS Minaur Baia Mare)
The All-star line player in Japan 2019, who scored the highest percentage of shots among the top 20 scorers, is an absolute steal for Baia Mare.
Having spent the last six years in Denmark, this represents a big move for the Swede, who should be entering her peak years as a player, and she will be a focal point for this Baia Mare team aiming to break back into Europe’s elite.
- Nathalie Hagman (Odense Håndbold to Nantes Atlantique Handball)
Although she has not hit top form in the last couple of seasons at club level, there is every reason to believe Nathalie Hagman can rediscover her best on-court self at the right club.
The Swedish left-hander has proven herself to be among the world’s best on her day and Nantes have done well to land this signing and she is exactly the type of player they need to finally make a splash in European competition.
- Laura Flippes (from Metz Handball to Paris 92)
A fascinating move here by French lefty Laura Flippes – joining the mini-exodus from Metz and moving to the capital.
For an established national team player enjoying regular EHF Champions League action, the move may seem odd, but it could well be a further sign of what Paris 92 are building towards.
At 25, Flippes has her best years ahead of her and she could well become the star player for her new club.
- Danick Snelder (from FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria to Siófok KC)
This is one hell of a signing for Siófok and new head coach Bent Dahl as they try to usurp the very club they signed Snelder from as Györ’s main rivals in Hungary.
The World Championship 2019 winning captain plays a key role at both ends of the court, is well used to holding court among star players and knows how to win.
Snelder should form a formidable duo with Katarina Jezic on the line and will relish the prospect of combining with her new teammates at centre back, Nerea Pena and Gnonsiane Niombla.