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30.09.2013, 14:40
Confident Austria set the bar high
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NEWS REPORT: After having qualified for the first time for an EHF EURO event through their own efforts, Austria want to reach the main round at the EHF EURO 2014 in Denmark
 

Confident Austria set the bar high

With about 100 days to go until Austria play their first match at the EHF EURO 2014 against Czech Republic on 12 January, the national team showed confidence that their campaign will last longer than just for the preliminary round.

"We will go to Denmark with the goal to advance to the main round. Yes, we have good opponents, but advancing is our goal," said head coach Patrekur Johannesson at a press conference in Vienna on Monday.

"Everyone in the team has to give all he has to reach that goal.

"We have played good handball in the qualification, but you must not be satisfied for too long. Now, it is time to return to work."

With three wins, two draws and just one loss Austria finished second in Qualification Group 7, only one point behind Serbia, the EHF EURO 2012 silver medallists.

After having hosted the Men's EHF EURO 2010, it is the first time that the Austrian men's national team qualified for an EHF EURO event through their own efforts.

"Patrekur has formed a team which is able to stand its ground on the international level. We do have a chance to reach our goals in Denmark, if everyone performs to his very limits and even beyond that," said left wing Konrad Wilczynski.

The men's national team on Monday embarked on a three-day preparation camp in the city of Steinbrunn.

They will face Iceland, home country of head coach Johannesson, in a friendly double-header on 1 and 2 November before another training camp at the end of December 2013 throws off the final preparation phase.

Austria have been drawn to EHF EURO Group A and will play in Herning where they face the hosts, Denmark, Czech Republic and FYR Macedonia.

The top three ranked teams of each group qualify for the main round.

"At the European Championship in 1996 our women's national team won bronze in Herning. I hope that our men's team will be inspired by that and reaches the main round," said Gerhard Hofbauer, President of the Austrian Handball Federation.


TEXT: EHF / ts
 
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