Six names in early lead for Player of the Year

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Competition for the first-ever EHF Player of the Year is hotting up after four rounds of the EHF Champions League.

A total of four EHF Champions League Women players, and two from the Machineseeker EHF Champions League, have already received two nominations in the Team of the Round.

On the women’s side, Metz Handball left wing Chloé Valentini, Team Esbjerg centre back Henny Reistad, FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria right wing Angela Malestein and SG BBM Bietigheim goalkeeper Melinda Szikora have all been nominated twice.

Valentini scored seven times in both round 3 and 4 matches, against Györi Audi ETO KC and WHC Buducnost BEMAX, helping Metz to two decisive wins.

Reistad continues to deliver for Esbjerg, with her round 2 and 3 nominations coming after 10 and eight-goal outings against Buducnost and Storhamar Handball Elite. She also dished out six assists against Storhamar, and was named best defender of the round too.

Malestein netted seven times in FTC’s round 1 victory over Odense Håndbold and six in their away win against Krim Mercator Ljubljana in round 4. Three steals were also important against Odense.

Szikora’s outstanding start to the season saw her first nomination in round 2 as she was instrumental in Bietigheim's 20-goal victory against FTC. But her most important contribution came in round 4, as Bietigheim took a 32:30 win against defending champions Vipers Kristiansand and Szikora made 17 saves (36 per cent efficiency) – including denying 2022 EHF FINAL4 Women MVP Markéta Jeřábková on a penalty.

On the men’s side, Telekom Veszprém left back Rasmus Lauge and Barça line player have both received two Team of the Round nominations. Lauge produced 11 goals to help Veszprém beat Paris Saint-Germain in round 1, and in round 3 against C.S. Dinamo Bucuresti scored five and assisted a further six goals.

Fabregas was Player of the Match in round 2’s Match of the Week against Lomza Industria Kielce with six goals, and was also nominated in round 1 after seven goals in Barça’s 35:28 away victory against Pick Szeged.

Several players who will feature heavily in the upcoming Women’s EHF EURO 2022 have also received Team of the Round nominations, including French centre backs Grace Zaadi Deuna (CSM Bucuresti) and Estelle Nze Minko (Györ), Romanian line players Crina Pintea (CSM) and Lorena Ostase (CS Rapid Bucuresti), and Montenegrin left backs Milena Raicevic (Buducnost) and Djurdjina Jaukovic (Brest Bretagne Handball). CSM defender Emilie Arnzten is also in the running alongside her Norwegian teammate Reistad.

Every member of the upcoming Women's EHF EURO 2022 All-star Team will be on the candidate list, along with the the top three players in each position who have received the most nominations by the end of the EHF Champions League quarter-finals.

EHF EURO All-star Team Fan voting will run through the Home of Handball app, so make sure to download it in advance to vote for your favourites.

There will also be Teams of the Round for the Men’s EHF EURO Qualifiers and EHF EURO CUP, with the same procedure followed as for the EHF Champions League.

The Player of the Year awards will be handed over at a special gala in Vienna, Austria, at the end of June 2023.

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