German players looking forward to the start of the European Championship: “It tingles a lot”

The German handball players left on Wednesday full of euphoria for their European Championship preliminary round venue in Bratislava. “It tingles a lot, the anticipation is huge,” said tournament debutant Luca Witzke to “SID” before departure from Frankfurt Airport. All 17 players, including four European champions from 2016, were on board the charter plane with flight number CAT5574.

“Now it’s getting serious, the games are coming – that’s what every player is looking forward to,” said captain Johannes Golla. DHB sports director Axel Kromer felt a tingling sensation “also nervousness” when selecting the German Handball Federation (DHB). Because: “Everyone knows that we have a young team together that has not yet had that much tournament experience under their belt.”

In the first phase of the European Championship (January 13th to 30th), the eight tournament debutants from the DHB team from national coach Alfred Gislason will initially face Belarus on Friday (6 p.m. / ARD), further opponents are Austria (January 16) and Poland (January 18). In the preliminary round, the first two teams qualify for the main round, which also takes place in the Slovak capital.

It is still unclear when Jannik Kohlbacher will join the team. The circle runner from the Rhein-Neckar Löwen is currently curing an adductor injury and is definitely not in the preliminary round. Goalkeeper Joel Birlehm, who had completed the entire preparation for the tournament with the team in Großwallstadt, is ready for action at his club SC DHfK Leipzig.


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