Spanish Manuel Montoya Fernandez (photo – on the right) was presented on Friday as the new coach of the Romanian men’s handball national team in a press conference at Romanian Handball Federation (FRH) headquarters.
Montoya Fernandez replaces his compatriot Xavier Pascual Fuertes, who amicably terminated his collaboration with FRH on June 13, after the play-off against Macedonian for the World Championship in 2019.
Xavier Pascual signed on June 6, 2016, a four-year contract with FRH, with the final goal of qualifying the men’s national at the Olympic Games in 2020. He had to give up the Romanian national team because of the condition of the FC Barcelona team, which he coached in parallel.
Montoya Fernandez has said on Friday he has a lot of memories about the players who have written history for the Romanian handball and hopes that he will be able to bring the national back to the next level: “I am proud to work with the national team. I’m coming to a country that reminds me of many Romanian players such as Popescu, Birtalan, Gaţu, then Alexandru Dedu, who played in Spain, Vasile Stânga, Maricel Voinea and my friend Buligan. I know that it is a responsibility for me, but I will train here to help the national team and I hope that I will succeed in bringing Romania back to its level in the ’60s,’ 70s or ’80s.”
Montoya Fernandez is a Ph.D. in Physical Education and Sport at the University of Barcelona, and his coaching career started at BM Granollers club (1992-1997, 2002-2008), with whom he won twice the EHF Cup (1995, 1996) and the Spanish Cup (1994). Between 2010 and 2013, he was second coach with the Spanish national, with whom he won the bronze medal at World Championship 2011 and the gold at the World Championship 2013.
Starting in 2013 until the end of August 2018, he was second coach with the Qatar national team, silver medalist at the World Championship 2015, 8th at the 2016 Olympic Games.