GREAT Britain women’s handball team take on Poland in Loughborough on Thursday (March 22), and Head Coach Jesper Holmris is relishing the challenge their latest European Championship clashes present.
The team has been training hard over the winter, and their successful Olympic Test Event campaign back in November seems a distance memory.
Holmris and his squad preparing for the double-header against Poland next week with behind-closed-doors friendly matches against world class teams such as Norway and Brazil, and will be going all out to beat Poland and gain even more experience ahead of this summer’s Olympic Games.
“Since the fantastic test event in the Olympic Arena we have been training really hard, but we have not played many matches during the winter months,” he said.
“Two narrow defeats against Angola in January have been the only internationals so we are really looking forward to international competition again.”
Injuries have hit Sarah Hargreaves, Louise Jukes, Holly Lam Moores and Britt Goodwin, but with most players back in full training they’re likely to be 100 per cent fit for the upcoming Poland matches, with the home leg at Loughborough University on Thursday and the return leg in Elblag on Sunday.
“The two qualification matches against Poland will be very tough competition for us,” added Holmris. “Poland is a very strong and experienced team with some top European back court players (Niedwiedz, Kudladz and Byzdra) leading the way.
“They have a very solid and well organised defence and the Polish fast break phase has become a threat for all teams. Head coach Kim Rasmussen will also have more options and a more powerful attack with their star player Karolina Kudladz back from injury than last time we played them.
“We are the underdogs once again, but we will do everything we can to upset a very strong Polish team. We are in good form and expect a very strong performance in front of a sold out home crowd in Loughborough.”