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For all the latest news from British Handball plus news feeds from Handball Sites and Blogs around the world.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

GB Men Ready for Israel Challenge

GREAT Britain Men take on Israel in the opening match of their 2013 World Championships qualifying group next Wednesday (November 2).

The clash, which is at 7pm at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre in London, is the team’s first competitive match since August.

They last played at Crystal Palace in June 2010 when they secured their first competitive victory with a dramatic 32-33 win over Bulgaria – but the team will be keen to show just how much they have improved.

Wednesday’s opponents Israel also played in the qualifying stages of Euro 2010, but they fared better and won all three of their games to top the group and reach the second qualifying stage.

Following Wednesday’s clash GB head to Israel for the return leg on Sunday, November 6.

They then play in Austria on January 5 before playing the same opponent back at Crystal Palace on January 8.

Tickets for the GB v Israel clash are still available at http://www.amiando.com/britishhandball or on the door.

GB Keeper Makes Champions League Debut

GREAT Britain goalkeeper Jesper Parker (pictured) made his debut in the VELUX EHF Champion League last weekend, helping Savehof to a 24-20 victory over Bosnian team Sarajevo.

The highest level club competition in the world, the VELUX EHF Champions League sees the best teams from nations across the continent compete for the ultimate prize – much like the football Champions League.

After a break for domestic and international matches, the VELUX EHF Champions League resumes for Savehof with a match against Swiss side Kadetten Schaffhausen on November 17.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

GB Shock World Champs Russia

GREAT Britain Women gave reigning World Champions Russia a scare in their Euro 2012 clash on Saturday, matching them for long periods and only losing out 16-24 when many had predicted a heavy loss.

GB had lost 34-18 to Montenegro earlier in the week, and many predicted a similar scoreline against Russia. But GB put on a superb display for the 350 spectators at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.

They trailed by just four goals at 10-14 at half time, and maintained the pressure on Russia right to the final whistle.

Captain Lynn McCafferty (pictured) led by example and scored three goals, while six other players scored two as GB kept Russia guessing about where the goals would come from.

“We’re really happy with the performance,” said McCafferty afterwards. “After Montenegro we worked on several areas of our game to identify what we could do better. We worked on our defence and some of the little mistakes we made, and I think we’ve shown today that we managed to fix things.

“We wanted to play longer in attack and be more composed and more in control, and we did that. We stuck to our game plan and played our own game for 60 minutes in both defence and attack.

“They had some players who could score from ten metres which you can’t really stop, but if they got closer than that we worked very hard to make it difficult for them to score.

“We can take so many positives away from the game and feel good that we’re learning so much from this week.

“We can have confidence that we know how to address our weaknesses. But people in the handball world won’t take us for granted now, so we need to keep up the hard work.”

Thursday, October 20, 2011

PREVIEW: GB Women Prepare for Russia Challenge

WORLD Handball Champions Russia come to London on Saturday as Great Britain Women’s 2012 European Championship campaign continues (3pm start).

In what will undoubtedly be the biggest challenge yet for Great Britain, the court at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre will be littered with World and Olympic medallists.

Russia has won the last three world championships, and took the silver medal at the 2008 Olympic Games. They have a vast pool of players to call on, and seven of their 2009 world champions remain in the squad - Sedoykina, Postnova, Levina, Makeeva, Zhilinskaya, Murayeva and Turey.

After winning the 2009 world championships, they dropped to seventh at Euro 2010, after which the coach made a few changes and brought back some of his ‘veterans’ including line players Shipilova and Bodnieva (the latter after six years out) as well as playmaker Murayeva and right wing Uskova. But they also have some brilliant new young players, left back Anna Sen foremost among them.

Last month Russia won the prestigious GF World Cup invitational tournament in Denmark, comfortably disposing of Spain, Sweden and Denmark in the group stages before beating France then Norway in the Semi final and final respectively. Davidenko and Sidorova were named in the All-Star team.

With a defensive back line of players over 1.85m, Great Britain will need plenty of speed and cross-overs to make space.

It will be Great Britain’s second group match following their clash with hosts Montenegro on Wednesday. Poland are also in the group, and each team will play each other home and away over the next few months.

After Saturday’s Russia match, Great Britain Women are next in action in the Olympic Test Event from November 23-27, before resuming their Euro 2012 campaign with a match against Poland on March 21.

Battling GB Go Down to Strong Montenegro

BATTLING Great Britain Women went down 34-18 to hosts Montenegro on Wednesday evening in their opening Euro 23012 qualification match in Herceg Novi.

A strong second half performance from Great Britain saw them lose that 30 minute period by just one goal at 13-12, but the home side had already established a strong lead after a 10-minute purple patch.

“A blinding ten minute spell by the excellent Montenegro side in the first half meant we had too much ground to make up in the second half,” said Team Manager Melanie Chowns. “More valuable experience and lessons learnt – next up Russia on Saturday.”

Bury’s Kathryn Fudge (pictured) was top-scorer for Great Britain, while Britt Goodwin chipped in with three.

The Montenegro team includes 12 players from Buducnost, the Montenegro champions who are one of only two teams still undefeated in the EHF Champions League.

They include the formidable back pairing of Katarina Bulatovic (a right back who is third top scorer in this year’s Champions League) and Bojana Popovic (left back, and former top scorer in the Champions League).

Among Montenegro’s scalps at the 2010 European Championships were hosts Denmark, Russia and Spain.

Great Britain now return to Crystal Palace National Sports Centre to prepare for Saturday’s home match against reigning World Champions Russia (3pm start).

Tickets for the Russia match are available in advance or on the door.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Euro 2012: GB Face Hosts Montenegro

THE Great Britain Women’s Handball Team begin their Euro 2012 qualification matches with a tough away clash with Montenegro tonight (Wednesday).

After beating Finland in the pre-qualifiers Great Britain were drawn in a four-team pool with Poland, Montenegro and Russia with home and away matches against all three starting on Wednesday and concluding next June.

The squad travel out on Tuesday for the game on Wednesday, and will need to be on top form if they are to challenge their hosts, who reached the finals of the 2011 World Championships with two victories over the Czech Republic in June this year.

The Montenegro team includes 12 players from Buducnost, the Montenegro champions, who are one of only two teams still undefeated in the EHF Champions League.

They include the formidable back pairing of Katarina Bulatovic (a right back who is third top scorer in this year’s Champions League) and Bojana Popovic (left back, and former top scorer in the Champions League).

Among Montenegro’s scalps at the 2010 European Championships were hosts Denmark, Russia and Spain.

GB Captain White Moves to France

GREAT Britain captain and goalkeeper Bobby White has moved to France after impressing in trials and securing a contract with Valence Handball Club.

White, 28 and from Milton Keynes, attended a trial at the end of last month, following which they snapped up the GB ace who has now moved to the town to the south of Lyon.

“They are a very ambitious club and are hoping to be promoted to the Second Division this year,” said White. “They have a fantastic following here and have had a very good start to the season.

“I am really looking forward to the challenge. The intensity of training here is fantastic and we have a good coaching staff and the all-round set up of the club is great, so hopefully I can continue my personal development and improvement as we gather momentum for the Olympics next summer!”

WIN: Women's Sporting Calendar featuring Holly Lam-Moores!

GREAT Britain star Holly Lam-Moores is featured on a new 2012 calendar which is now on sale – and we have 20 copies to give away!

Holly, 21 and from Burnley in Lancashire, was snapped during the Euro 2012 pre-qualifier against Finland by British Handball volunteer Marek Biernacki. And the picture was so good, it made it on to the Women’s Sporting Calendar 2012!

Out of hundreds of images submitted, Marek’s snap of Holly shooting at goal was one of just 24 to be featured on the glossy A3 calendar.

The calendar features details of more than 300 sporting events including handball.

And even if you’re not one of our lucky winners, you can still buy a copy and help the sport. From every copy sold online, 20 per cent will go to your chosen sport.

Make 2012 a special year for women’s sport, advance its profile and help raise funds. Order NOW online here: www.illustratus.co.uk/shop/wsc2012

An ideal stocking-filler, thank-you present for your coach/teacher, client Christmas presents or an all-year reminder for the busy household, clubroom or office – price £8.99.

* To have a chance of winning a copy of the Women’s Sporting Calendar 2012, just email newsdesk@snowdons.co.uk telling us which country Great Britain were playing in the photograph of Holly Lam-Moores.

Entries must be received by November 2 2011. Winners will be selected at random after that date. Please include the postal address you would like your calendar to be sent to if you are a winner.

Monday, October 17, 2011

GB Women Head to Montenegro

THE Great Britain Women’s Handball Team begin their Euro 2012 qualification matches with a tough away trip to Montenegro this week.

After beating Finland in the pre-qualifiers Great Britain were drawn in a four-team pool with Poland, Montenegro and Russia with home and away matches against all three starting on Wednesday and concluding next June.

The squad travel out on Tuesday for the game on Wednesday, and will need to be on top form if they are to challenge their hosts, who reached the finals of the 2011 World Championships with two victories over the Czech Republic in June this year.

The Montenegro team includes 12 players from Buducnost, the Montenegro champions, who are one of only two teams still undefeated in the EHF Champions League.

They include the formidable back pairing of Katarina Bulatovic (a right back who is third top scorer in this year’s Champions League) and Bojana Popovic (left back, and former top scorer in the Champions League).

Among Montenegro’s scalps at the 2010 European Championships were hosts Denmark, Russia and Spain.

And following their midweek match, Great Britain return to their base at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre to prepare for an even tougher task.

On Saturday, October 22, they will play host to reigning world champions Russia (3pm start). Tickets for the Russia match are available in advance or on the door.

Monday, October 10, 2011

British Handball Supports New Fundraising Scheme

BRITISH Handball is supporting a new fundraising initiative which was launched this week by Team 2012, presented by Visa.

Named ‘Be There with Team 2012’, the public fundraising appeal is aimed at raising £2 million to help elite athletes – including the GB handball teams – be the best they can be as they prepare for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

‘Be There with Team 2012’ is encouraging members of the public to get behind and support Team 2012 athletes. Donations of all amounts are being accepted and welcomed on the website www. team-2012.com up until the end of the year. And between 10 October and 27 November, anyone who donates over £5 and answers a competition question will be in with a chance of winning tickets to the Olympic Games or Paralympic Games next year.

Members of the public will be directed to the website with the support from the Team 2012 Appeal radio partners Heart, Capital FM, LBC 97.3, Gold and Choice FM.

A major national text-to-win-tickets promotion is being run in conjunction with the Team 2012 Appeal newspaper partners The Sun, The Times and the Sunday Times, with support from BT as official Olympics and Paralympics partner. The public will be able enter daily competitions to win London 2012 tickets by text in November. All profits will go to the Team 2012 fundraising appeal.

In addition, Team 2012 supporting partner, adidas, has produced a limited edition run of 250 Team 2012 trainers to support British athletes, which will go on sale in late October. All proceeds raised from the trainers sale will go to Team 2012. And two lucky buyers will also be given the opportunity to go to either the Olympic or Paralympic Games next year.

Team 2012 is the official fundraising programme for over 1,200 British athletes striving to be selected for Team GB and ParalympicsGB at London 2012. With the aim of raising up to £25m overall, funds are invested in key areas including coaching, travel to competitions, medical support, sports psychology and kit and equipment.

The funds raised will be invested in a world class programme of support which will help ensure that British athletes are the best prepared, best equipped, best supported and most ambitious group of elite sportsmen and women possible at London 2012 and ultimately win more medals from more sports.

Jessica Ennis, 2009 heptathlon world champion, said: “The funds raised by Team 2012 are absolutely essential. The £2 million we aim to raise through ‘Be There with Team 2012’ represents a critical sum we need as athletes to get a final boost as we prepare to represent our country at London 2012.

“Every pound really will make a difference to Team 2012 athletes. I know from personal experience how fine the margins are in elite sport, and the money raised will help the British teams prepare to the best of their ability and make the most of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of competing at a home Games.”

Sir Matthew Pinsent, four-time Olympic gold medallist and Chairman of the Team 2012 Fundraising Appeal, said: “Team 2012 provides our Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls with unrivalled support as they prepare ahead of the Games. Since I was competing, the international sporting landscape has changed significantly, with more nations than ever before capable of winning major medals.

“To excel amidst the most talented and competitive field of athletes the world has ever seen, our athletes will have to train for thousands of hours, compete at national and international championships and have access to the best facilities and staff. All of this requires funding, and with support from the public they can be in the best shape to win more medals across more sports at London 2012.”

To donate and be in with a chance of winning tickets to London 2012, visit the re-launched Team 2012 website at www.team-2012.com

Saturday, October 01, 2011

GB Women v Russia: Tickets Now on Sale!

TICKETS have gone on sale for Great Britain Women’s European Championship qualification clash with reigning World champions Russia in London next month.

The EHF Euro 2012 clash, at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, will form an important part of the GB team’s preparations for the 2012 Olympics in London next year.

The GB women will need all the support they can get for the clash, and will be looking to the crowd to be their extra player.

The Russia clash will be GB’s second match of the qualification stages.

On October 19 they will travel to Montenegro to take on their hosts in their opening clash, while they will play the return leg in May next year.

Ticket details for the GB v Russia clash are now available at www.amiando.com/GBRvRUS

And tickets are also available for the Great Britain Men’s clash with Israel in the qualifying stages of the 2013 World Championship at Crystal Palace.

For those tickets, please go to http://www.amiando.com/GBRvISR