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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Williams Winning Fitness Battle

INJURED GB Men’s team captain Ciaran Williams could be back in action in five weeks - but only after a gruelling rehabilitation programme at the Olympic Medical Institute at Bisham Abbey.

A fractured metatarsal left the 22-year-old from Bury on the sidelines, but he began his rehab last week and, after a course of treatment which could include ultrasound and injections, he is on the road to recovery.

And once he is back fit, he could be in line for a move to Hungary, where he could find more regular handball than he was getting with BSV in Denmark before his injury.

“It is one of the top five leagues in Europe and I do not think my Danish club will hold me back from playing at a higher level,” he said.

“I am still young and I wasn’t getting much playing time. I needed to find somewhere that I could get more court time to develop my game.”

Williams has also had interest from clubs in Norway, but he added: “After I’m back fit, the likelihood then is that I will go to Hungary if the offer is still there when I have recovered.

“It has been quite a drastic time of change over the last year but I have always had belief in my ability that I was going to make it. There is a long way to go but I want to play in the Olympics. I think I’m on the right path and this year has helped a lot.”

Text: Portions by Joe Boyle, Rossendale Free Press.

McMillan Moves to Viby

GREAT Britain pivot Dan McMillan has moved to Danish outfit Viby IF following a successful trial with the Second Division club.

McMillan, a 28-year-old Scottish born player who lived in the New Forest for much of his life, played his first game for the team last weekend - against Bjerringbro-Silkeborg, who featured several of his GB team-mates.

“I had not told the other GB guys that I would be playing in the game so it was somewhat of a surprise to them to see me kitted up and warming up against them before the game!” said McMillan.

He started on the bench for Viby, but came on after just 14 minutes and made a real impact, defending well and scoring three out of four shots and earning his new coach’s praise.

He played out the rest of the game, only leaving the court with a bloody nose - accidentally inflicted by GB team-mate Chris Mohr!

“The game was very close until near the end,” added McMillan. “It was fast-paced but ultimately ended up with Viby going a couple of goals ahead with ten minutes left, in which BSV were unable to get back and the game ended 24-21.

“It was my second ever club victory in my short handball career but certainly not the last.”

The trial with Viby was arranged by Aksel Norgaard at the IHA Academy in Aarhus where McMillan and several of the other GB players live, and team-mate Gareth Priddle from Cardiff also attended, but will have to wait for his paperwork to come through before his trial.

McCafferty Loves the Italian Job

LIFE in Italy is helping GB women’s team captain Lynn McCafferty improve her handball, with a different style of play and tough fitness regime paying dividends.

With her help, Brixen are second in the league and could still make the play-offs for a spot in the top flight. And from an international point of view, McCafferty is benefitting from improved fitness with regular sessions with a strength and conditioning coach being part of the regular regime for all the players at Brixen.

“Playing for Brixen is helping me experience different playing styles,” she said. “And I have the opportunity to play for 60 minutes so I am getting fit and trying to shoot more and gain some confidence.

“We also work with a strength and conditioning coach which is perfect, as when we are with GB it is important to be fit and conditioned.”

“Handball here in the Second League is a little bit different to what I am used to, and I have definitely taken my time to get used to it! But I do hope now that I am more aware of the culture, the style, the home and away 'rulings' and most importantly working with my team.”

Sian's Memory Honoured by EHF

A NEW award has been launched by the European Handball Federation in memory of its former Communications Manager, Siân Rowland, who passed away in December 2008.

The Siân Rowland Media Award was announced during the final weekend of the ninth Men’s European Handball Championship in Vienna, Austria.

The first recipient of the award was Günter Pfeistlinger, Chairman of the AIPS Handball Commission, who worked together with Siân at several European Championships and other handball events in her 10 years with the European Federation.

The Award will be presented on a biennial basis at the Men’s European Championship. The 2010 award was presented at the final press conference of the Euro 2010 event by Tor Lian, President of the EHF and Siân’s brother, JJ Rowland.