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04.04.2013, 10:02
Belgium count on a victory
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Despite having lost the EHF EURO 2016 qualifier against Estonia, there is no sign of resignation ahead of Ireland encounter
 

Belgium count on a victory

Following their 24:31 defeat against Estonia on 3 November 2012, reaching the next phase of the EHF EURO 2016 qualification has become a distant dream for Belgium.

However, there is no sign of resignation in the Belgian camp ahead of their encounter with Ireland on 4 April in Dublin.

Last year, the Belgian team beat Ireland by 29 goals (40:11) in the first qualification phase for the EHF EURO 2014.

"If they haven’t changed completely, we should win this game," says the federation's secretary general, David Van Dorpe.

National coach Yerime Sylla selected a few new players for a test match against Cyprus on 1 April and the trip to Ireland.

Young Nicholas Plessers from Gummersbach (Germany) gets a chance to prove himself.

Furthermore Max Fortemps from Nancy (France) and Julien Devisch will make their first appearance in the Belgian squad.

Beyond these changes, Sylla relies on players with a long history in the national team such as Tim Houbrechts, Joris Tack or Kevin Jacobs.

Qualification procedures

Only the three group winners from this phase will progress to a knock-out phase where they will meet the three lowest ranked fourth placed teams from EHF EURO 2014 Qualification Phase 2 in two play-off matches, home and away, on 2/3 April 2014 and 5/6 April 2014.

The winners of these play-off matches will join the already qualified remaining participants for the EHF EURO 2016 Qualification Phase 2.


*An earlier version of this article contained a quote by Belgian player Thomas Cauwenberghs regarding his team's chances of beating Ireland.

The player has now distanced himself from the statement which has therefore been retracted.


TEXT: Jil Welter / ts
 
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