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22.10.2014, 18:13
Iceland enter qualification campaign without mastermind Palmarsson
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PREVIEW: The team of head coach Aron Kristjansson starts its 'road to Poland' to the EHF EURO 2016 with two qualifiers against Israel and Montenegro
 

Iceland start qualification campaign without mastermind Palmarsson

It was a shock for Iceland head coach Aron Kristjansson when he received a  phone call from Germany some days ago.

"I’m out for at least three or four weeks," was the news Aron Palmarsson had to convey to his coach.

During THW Kiel’s Bundesliga match against TuS N-Lübbecke on 15 October the Kiel and Iceland playmaker tore a part of his gluteal muscle, which sees him sidelined for Iceland’s first two EHF EURO 2016 qualification matches against Israel on home court (29 October) and at Montenegro (2 November) in Group 4.

However, if things go to plan and no further injuries occur, another Bundesliga player, Gunnar Stein Jonsson who plays for VfL Gummersbach, will substitute the Palmarsson.

Taking the missing Palmarsson aside, Iceland’s men’s national team has not changed much compared to the squad that was nominated for the EHF EURO 2014 in January at which they finishing fifth.

Disappointment is still high in Iceland following the loss against Bosnia-Herzegovina in the play-offs to the World Championship and equally strong is the belief that Iceland, because of their fifth rank at the EHF EURO 2014, should have been awarded the wild card that the International Handball Federation gave to Germany instead after it disallowed Australia from participating at the World Championship.

"You cannot change the rules of a game during the game," is Icelandic top star Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson’s opinion with regards to this decision.

However, Sigurdsson is also the one who tells his team to look ahead and not back.

"In general, it was our fault not to qualify for the World Championship in the play-offs against Bosnia-Herzegovina, now we want to prove our real strength in both matches of the EURO qualification," he says.

The Icelandic squad for the EHF EURO 2016 qualification matches against Israel (29 October) and at Montenegro (2 November):

Goalkeepers: Aron Rafn Edvardsson (Eskilstuna Guif), Björgvin Pall Gustavsson (Bergischer HC)

Field: Alexander Petersson (Rhein-Neckar Löwen), Arnor Atlason (St. Raphael), Arnor Thor Gunnarsson (Bergischer HC), Gunnar Stein Jonsson  (VfL Gummersbach), Bjarki Mar Gunnarsson (HV Aue), Björgvin Thor Holmgeirsson (ÍR), Ernir Hrafn Arnarson (Emsdetten), Gudjón Valur Sigurdsson (Barcelona), Kari Kristjan Kristjansson (Valur), Robert Gunnarsson (Paris Handball), Sigurbergur Sveinsson (HC Erlangen), Snorri Steinn Gudjonsson (Selestat Alsace HB), Stefan Rafn Sigurmannsson (Rhein-Neckar Löwen), Sverre Andreas Jakobsson (Akureyri ), Vignir Svavarsson (HC Midtjylland ApS), Thorir Olafsson (Stjarnan)


TEXT: Björn Pazen / ts
 
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