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Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Fighting spirit shone through from all the players, who competed well in all three of their matches in Nove Veseli despite a young squad with little international experience.
The development work being done across the country produced many of the players on show, and many of those receiving their first caps will surely be back for more after some sparkling performances.
The team lost all three of their matches, but with an average of just one and a half caps for the GB squad, they played strongly against teams who have been together for several years and are already destined for top-level handball careers.
They faced a tough opening match against a Slovenian team who are ranked number three in Europe, and lost out 46-14 to a side who have largely been playing together for five years.
But the GB players responded superbly the following day with a strong performance against the host nation, Czech Republic.
Great Britain were only two goals down at half time at 15-13, and among the crowd who gave them a standing ovation at the break was the Slovenian team who had beaten them the previous day.
With Jack Hennessy out with a back injury and captain Chris Mohr and Nick Satchwell both playing through ankle injuries, GB were unable to sustain the pressure and went down 41-29.
For the final game against Norway, the GB team were back to full strength after some good work from the physio. After a hesitant start GB trailed 13-10 at half time.
With just 12 minutes left Norway were only leading 29-23, but GB tired and could not stop their experienced rivals pulling away to win 47-28.
GB Senior Team Head Coach Dragan Djukic was present for all the Under-21 matches, and saw much to be optimistic about as British Handball continue to make plans for the future of the sport in this country.