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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

GB Women Will Play Austria Again in World Champs

GREAT Britain women will take on Euro 2010 rivals Austria again after the two sides were drawn in the same group for the 2011 World Championship qualifying tournament.

GB battled hard against Austria in both the home and away legs of their 2010 European Championship campaign, and although they lost both games they will relish the challenge of taking them on again to gauge their progress.

Other teams in Qualifying Group One are Slovakia, Poland and Cyprus, and the matches will be played later this year from November 30-December 5. Cyprus have been given the right to host the matches, with Poland the second choice if Cyprus decline.

British Handball Performance Director Lorraine Brown said: “The group is very competitive, the three teams seeded above us will provide tough seasoned opposition and we should not under estimate Cyprus, but this is where we need to be as we gain valuable competitive experience for London 2012.

“Having played Austria in the 2010 Euro Qualification campaign we know that we can be competitive against them, shown in an improved performance on home soil earlier this year.

“It will therefore be good to play them again six months on to measure progress and see if we can maintain and achieve a consistent performance.

“We again have a good lead-in preparation period planned with a new Strength and Conditioning Coach on board, Lee Ottey, who is delivering great individual plans for players and monitoring them remotely when players are back in their clubs environments, as well as at special Strength and Conditioning mini camps.

“The Four Nation Tournament in Liverpool in September will be a crucial stepping stone as we will play against Switzerland, Portugal and Italy - teams that are also preparing for their world championship qualification tournaments later in the year.

“What will be important is that Head Coach Jesper Holmris has all of the squad available for selection, with a number of players currently recovering from injury.

“We hope that by November the squad will be up to full strength so that we can maximise this exciting period for the woman’s squad as it will provide further benchmarking for individuals and the team as a whole against very competitive teams.”

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