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Page last updated at 11:44 GMT, Monday, 1 February 2010

Euro 2012 handball qualifiers coming to Britain

Dragan Djukic
GB head coach Dragan Djukic believes his squad are becoming competitive

The draw for the 2012 European Handball Championships qualifiers has handed Great Britain's men three home group games, to be played later this year.

British head coach Dragan Djukic was in Vienna to see Britain draw Estonia, Cyprus and Bulgaria, all of whom will come to Britain to play their fixtures.

"It's a chance for British people to see us and find out what a beautiful game handball is," said Djukic.

The ties take place on 11-13 June with the winner facing further qualifiers.

A second qualification round, featuring a series of home and away matches against another three opponents, will be needed to reach the 2012 tournament.

Britain's national handball squads are in their infancy and the men have yet to register a competitive win since their current incarnation formed several years ago.

GB's men struggled at their World qualifiers in Finland last month

Last month they travelled to Finland to play in a qualifying group for the 2011 World Championships, but lost all three fixtures.

Bearing that record in mind, Djukic expressed pride simply to be competing alongside stronger European sides in June's qualifiers.

"I am very happy that we will be participating alongside all the other European nations, that is the most important thing," said the Serbian.


"The players and I believe our time is coming. We will be stronger, more experienced, and ready for a good fight with our opponents.

"It gives handball in Britain a chance to gain experience, which is important for the Olympic Games, not just for the players but also for organisers, volunteers, coaches, journalists - everybody."

British Handball expects to release details of the match dates and venues in the coming months.

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see also
GB handballers beaten by Finland
17 Jan 10 |  Handball
GB battered by Bosnia-Herzegovina
16 Jan 10 |  Handball
Romania edge GB in qualifying tie
15 Jan 10 |  Handball
Cash cuts 'threaten' 2012 legacy
28 Jan 09 |  Olympics
Olympic sports hit by funding cut
29 Jan 09 |  Olympics

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