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29.02.2016, 11:58
Germany’s women want to emulate some of the men’s success
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PREVIEW: After having missed the chance to qualify for the Olympic Games, Germany have a first chance to redeem themselves when they meet France in the EHF EURO 2016 Qualification
 

Germany’s women want to emulate some of the men’s success

All players watched the German men’s team lifting EHF EURO trophy in January, and now the German women’s team hopes for some success too as it enters the next rounds of the Women’s EHF EURO Qualification with a double-header against France on 9 and 12 March.

“We all hope to ride on the men’s wave of success,” says goalkeeper and national team captain Clara Woltering. “We had been in constant contact with our men’s team during the entire EURO - and after the final we agreed: We want to experience success and emotions like them. They have shown what you can achieve with will, fight and team spirit.”

However, this currently looks a like a huge step to take.

Germany lost the Last 16 match against eventual champions Norway at the World Championship 2015 in Denmark and hence failed to book a ticket for the Olympic qualification tournaments and the major focus is now on the World Championship 2017 which will be hosted by Germany.

“Our women’s team is currently in the same situation as our men’s team was two years ago. They were down, we started to focus on younger players – and the team proved in a never expected way that it is possible to keep up with the top of the world in such a short time.

“This is what we expect from the women’s team now,” says Wolfgang Sommerfeld, sports director of the German Handball Federation.

A chance for revenge

As most of the squad on court at Denmark 2015 played their first major tournament, they lacked international experience and lost the opener against France 20:30.

But the upcoming two EHF EURO 2016 qualifiers offer the chance for some redemption. “We are much better now than when we played against France in Denmark.

“With the support from our fans, we hope to be successful and get one important step closer towards the EURO in Sweden,” says national team coach Jakob Vestergaard.

He nominated all 16 players, who had been part of the World Championship squad and added three more experienced players with right wing Marlene Zapf, right back Isabell Klein and left back Angie Geschke.

“The chances to beat France on home court are 50:50,” says right back Susann Müller. “They are a world-class team, but we gathered experience at the World Championship.”

For Vestergaard “defence and goalkeeping” are the keys for Germany to win their third consecutive match at the EHF EURO qualification.

France and Germany won their respective games against Iceland and Switzerland and October to have a clean record prior to the upcoming double-header.

The German squad for the EHF EURO 2016 qualifiers against France:

Goalkeepers: Katja Kramarczyk (HC Leipzig), Clara Woltering (Borussia Dortmund), Dinah Eckerle (Thüringer HC)
Left wing: Franziska Müller (HSG Blomberg-Lippe), Lone Fischer (Buxtehuder SV)
Left back: Xenia Smits (Metz HB), Shenia Minevskaja (HC Leipzig), Saskia Lang (HC Leipzig), Angie Geschke (VfL Oldenburg)
Centre back: Kim Naidzinavicius (TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Anna Loerper (TuS Metzingen)
Right back: Anne Hubinger (HC Leipzig), Susann Müller (SG BBM Bietigheim), Jennifer Rode  (TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Isabell Klein (Buxtehuder SV)
Right wing: Alexandra Mazzucco (HC Leipzig), Marlene Zapf (TuS Metzingen)
Line player: Luisa Schulze (HC Leipzig), Julia Behnke (TuS Metzingen), Meike Schmelzer (Thüringer HC)

 


TEXT: Björn Pazen / ts
 
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