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03.06.2015, 09:25
Germany ready to take the final step
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FEATURE: It is just one more win that separates the 2007 world champions Germany from a successful qualification to the Men’s EHF EURO 2016
 

Germany ready to take the final step

After having failed to qualify for the Men’s EHF EURO 2014 in Denmark, Germany are now very close to making it to the next edition of the EHF’s men’s national team flagship event, the Men’s EHF EURO 2016 in Poland next January.

They also did not win the World Championship Play-offs against Poland last year but were eventually awarded a wild card by the IHF and hence took part in the final tournament in Qatar this January.

Germany have – like Spain – six points on their account in Group 7. If they win their match on Wednesday against Finland and at the same time Austria do not beat Spain, the ticket to Poland is secured. In their last match on Sunday, Germany host Austria in Kiel.

"We are ready to take the final step at the latest in Kiel," national team coach Dagur Sigurdsson said. For the Icelandic the match against Austria will be a special one as he coached the team until 2011.

For two THW Kiel players the match against Austria will be a true home game: Steffen Weinhold and Patrick Wiencek. "Our teammates know the Sparkassen-Arena only from being the away team, now they will feel the inspiration of being backed by the fans in Kiel," said Wiencek.

New momentum

In particular the 29:28 win on home court against 2013 world champions Spain was in Wiencek’s opinion the key that the participation at the World Championship in Qatar was not a ‘one-hit-wonder‘.

"Dagur gave us the new momentum we needed. So I’m sure to have a great future ahead with all those young players, which have been integrated in our squad," the line player mentioned.

For Sigurdsson the qualification for Poland 2016 is an integral step in the team’s further development: “World and European Championships are highly important to learn for all our players. We learned so much in Doha and we want to learn much more in Poland.”

Weinhold adds: "I hope that we successfully complete our qualification and that we can play at least the same role in Poland we played in Doha and to develop even further," adds Weinhold.

The squad for the matches against Finland and Austria is almost the same as it was for the double-header against Spain at the beginning of May.

Because of injuries Martin Strobel, Hendrik Pekeler and Niclas Pieczkowski are out. They will be replaced by experienced players: Steffen Fäth, Tim Kneule, Tobias Reichmann and Evgeni Pevnov.

"It seems to be an easy match against Finland, but who thinks this way, is completely wrong," said Sigurdsson. "After a long season the players have to keep their concentration high. Finland were not that bad against Austria, so we need to be aware of them."

The German squad for the EURO qualification matches against Finland and Austria:

Goal: Silvio Heinevetter (Füchse Berlin), Andreas Wolff (HSG Wetzlar), Carsten Lichtlein (VfL Gummersbach)

Left wing: Uwe Gensheimer (Rhein-Neckar Löwen), Matthias Musche (SC Magdeburg)

Left back: Paul Drux (Füchse Berlin), Steffen Fäth (HSG Wetzlar), Finn Lemke (TBV Lemgo)

Centre back: Tim Kneule (Frisch Auf Göppingen), Simon Ernst (VfL Gummersbach)

Right back: Steffen Weinhold (THW Kiel), Fabian Wiede (Füchse Berlin), Jens Schöngarth (TuS N-Lübbecke)

Right wing: Patrick Groetzki (Rhein-Neckar Löwen), Tobias Reichmann (KS Vive Tauron Kielce/POL)

Line player: Patrick Wiencek (THW Kiel), Erik Schmidt (TSG Ludwigshafen-Friesenheim), Evgeni Pevnov (Füchse Berlin)


TEXT: Björn Pazen / ts
 
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