Ambros Martín (Arrecife, Las Palmas; 55 years old) will replace José Ignacio Prades at the head of the women’s handball team, according to advance Brand and confirmed this newspaper. The coach, winner of four Champions Leagues, will be presented next Tuesday with a very clear immediate objective: to qualify the Guerreras for the 2024 Paris Games. Prades, who took office a year and a half ago, will continue as second, since he already He practiced with his predecessor, Carlos Viver.
The sensations that the team has left in its last important commitments have pushed the federation to a replacement on the bench, which will now have a coach who offers a first-rate record. He lifted his four Champions Leagues with Gyori ETO, from Hungary (2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018), the team he currently leads, although he will not continue next season, as he already announced a few months ago.
The movement is part of the aspiration to qualify for the Olympic event, the fourth in a row. For this, Spain should reach, at least, the quarterfinals in the World Cup that will be held between November 29 and December 17 in Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and then play the pre-Olympics. If they are champions or finalists with France, who already have the position secured, they would get a direct pass, although it is an option that seems unlikely given the level recently shown.
The latest results had spread a blanket of hopelessness. The 2022 European Championship ended in ninth position, far from reaching the final phase, and in the recent qualifying round for the World Cup, against discreet Austria, he suffered a great deal to carry out the crossing. In the first leg they could not maintain the initial advantage (28-28) and in the second leg they turned to a comeback in the second half (26-24). In the other major international event of the Prades stage, the 2021 World Cup hosted by Spain, the Guerreras finished fourth, benefiting from their status as hosts (they were able to choose the itinerary in the tournament) and the absence of top-level rivals. top until the semifinals.
A world silver without continuity
The renewed illusion that the unexpected and very meritorious world silver medal in 2019 awoke has been diluting in recent championships. That team, led by Carlos Viver and second-year Prades, seemed to open a new era of rubbing shoulders with the elite after the renewal undertaken a few years earlier with the departures, above all, of Marta Mangué and Macarena Aguilar, and the mix of players like Jennifer Gutiérrez, Alicia Fernández, Eli Cesáreo or Ainhoa Hernández, with other veterans such as Silvia Navarro, Nerea Pena, Shandy Barbosa or Carmen Martín. However, that success did not continue, along the way they have been losing, due to the effects of age, some very silent names such as Pena and Martín, and emerging players lowered their level with the Guerreras, such as Hernández and Fernández. The level of the League, 15th of the ranking European and without access to the Champions League, has not helped either.
The Tokyo Games, in which the Warriors showed the usual irregularity and did not reach the quarterfinals, marked the end of Carlos Viver’s period. His assistant, Prades, took over the bench just two months after the World Cup that Spain had to organize, but the overall results did not leverage. Now the federation is looking for a new change of screw so as not to be left out of the Olympic event in Paris and for this it has recruited a top-level coach.
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