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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Holmris: We're Giving it 100 Per Cent

GB Women’s Head Coach Jesper Holmris has promised 100 per cent from his team as they prepare for their penultimate European Championship qualifier against Austria in Glasgow tonight.

“The atmosphere around our camp is very good,” he said. “We have a stronger team then we have had before plus we have the additions of Marie Gerbron and Ewa Palies for the match tonight and then Yvonne Leuthold and Jane Mayes next year to look forward to. Sarah Hargreaves has had some small niggles but she is not a major problem and will be fit to play.

“Austria will be better prepared this time as they maybe underestimated us back in our match last October. One of their best players was injured for that match, but will be facing us tonight – Austria will be better prepared not just for tonight, but in general as they have to beat us and hope France beat Iceland tonight and then beat Iceland on Saturday to qualify - it will be a big disappointment for them if they don’t get through.

“They have a lot of players who have played in club tournaments until recently, so they are at peak fitness. The match tonight will be much tougher than the one in Austria, even though I am sure we will bring in a better performance.

“The position Austria find themselves in says more about Iceland as they were seeded as number three and are stronger than everyone expected. They have a lot of very young talented players coming through from their Under 21 squad and the older experienced players are very motivated because they have strength-in-depth now.

“It’s difficult to say if it would have been better for us to play against our target nations, but on the other hand we are playing against Austria and France who we would never of had the opportunity to play against if we weren’t in this tournament, so this is fantastic. It’s always good to measure how far we are against the very best teams like the ones we have been facing.

“The whole squad and backroom staff have all been looking forward to playing up here in Scotland for a long time, especially Lynn who is very excited! Of course, we are used to travelling a lot and we have been to so many countries in Europe over the past three years, but it’s a home match tonight in a place where no-one has played before and we are all looking forward to showing Scotland how good women’s handball is.

“People can expect 100% effort and a good fight against Austria tonight and it’s perfect that they will have a chance to see and experience the best level of women’s handball here in Glasgow.

“We are completely focussed on this match today, but playing France away on Sunday is very special for us as it will be interesting to see if we can put in a better performance than we did when we played them earlier on in the campaign.

“Looking back on the qualification campaign so far, the games have definitely helped us build up to getting the result against Portugal last week, which I think was our best so far as a team. It would be nice to have a chance to play Austria or Iceland in six months time with our full squad to see how big the difference is between us when we have our full squad and best team available.”

Tickets for tonight’s match (throw-off 7pm) are available from www.amiando.com/britishhandball or via the British Handball website at www.britishhandball.com

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