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08.06.2012, 14:30
Great Britain warm up for Phase 1
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The Great Britain's men team in Serbia before their EHF EURO 2012 Group B opener
 

Great Britain warm up for Phase 1 

Great Britain men warmed up for their EHF Euro 2014 qualifying matches this weekend with a three-week training camp in the Serbian mountains.

The tough preparations, which are also geared to getting the team ready for this summer’s Olympic Games in London, the squad was put through some gruelling strength and conditioning drills under the watchful eye of coaches Dragan Djukic and Bill Baillie.

"We’re looking forward to the EHF EURO 2014 Phase 1 Qualification process; this is a tough group with all four teams looking for a result." commented Baillie

Each player pushing for starting position

Based in Kopaonik, Serbia, the team have played two training games against top Serbian League teams which gave them the chance to give all 22 players in the squad a run-out and stake their claim for a place in the 14-man squad for EHF EURO 2014 Phase 1 Qualification and the Olympics.

"We have no injury concerns and will travel to Italy with 16 players, all players have been showing steady improvement and the staff and players are looking forward to the opener against Switzerland on the 8 June.

"We have been based at the Serbian football federation’s new training centre at Stara Pazova since 2 June,” said Baillie. “The facilities have been excellent and we have completed all the testing with the Serbian institute of Sport."

Preperation off the beaten track

The training regime implemented in Serbia included long distance orienteering challenges of up to 15 kilometres through the forests and mountains. They also cut thick logs into set lengths, built transportable structures to be carried 500 metres up the mountain, and even tried local folk dancing!

Great Britain begin their EHF EURO 2014 campaign on Friday with a match against Switzerland at 1745 local time. They then take on Greece at the same time on Saturday before playing hosts Italy at 2030 on Sunday.


TEXT: Frazer Snowdon
 
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