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12.01.2017, 15:18
Can Faroe Islands follow young history-makers?
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PREVIEW: Less than a week after the Faroe Islands earned their place in the handball history books, the stage will be set again in Torshavn this weekend for EHF EURO 2020 Qualification
 

Can Faroe Islands follow young history-makers?

Cyprus and Greece are the visitors to Faroe Islands for Group A in the first qualification phase en route to the Men‘s EHF EURO 2020. The group will be played in a tournament format on 13-15 January with one ticket to the next phase at stake.

Friday at 20:00 hrs. local time sees Cyprus up against Faroe Islands. The hosts have Saturday off as Greece and Cyprus meet, before taking on the Greeks on Sunday afternoon.

This tournament takes place on the back of a big weekend for handball in Faroe Islands as their U21 team qualified for the Junior World Championship in Algeria, the first time in history that this nation of less than 50,000 inhabitants will take part in a final competition.

The hosts should have wind in their sails to follow in the youngster’s footsteps, although the adult team is competing in its first EHF EURO qualification campaign since 2010.

Cyprus a team in the works

Cyprus hosted a similar tournament for the first qualification stage for the 2011 World Championships. Then, they were also up against the Faroe Islands and came out on top with a seven-goal win, 34:27.

Marios Efstathiadis and Heini Hanusarson were the leading scorers with nine goals each, but now the next generation has taken over for both teams. Faroe Islands lost all their games in the tournament, but their young players have now proven their worth with the previous weekend’s exploits.

Cyprus, on the other hand, are in a developing phase. Their federation has prepared a three-year plan to promote the sport among the young people and plan for the future. The tournament in the Faroe Islands will be the first step in that direction.

“We would have preferred to play at home, or at least in Greece, but we were not lucky enough at the draw. Faroe Islands will have an advantage playing at home,” Cyprus coach Andras Andreou told eurohandball.com.

Neighbours meet once again

Greece and Cyprus should know each other well, after having been in the same groups in the last two qualification phases, the 2017 World Championship and EHF EURO 2018.

Neither of them qualified for the play-offs on either term. In EHF EURO 2018 qualification, Greece had the upper hand in their head-to-head matches, winning both.

In the 2017 World Championship qualification, the teams seemed to be similar in strength as they snatched one victory each.

Vyron Papadopoulos has left Cyprus in all kinds of trouble in those games in the past and the 30-year-old Greek left wing will surely be one to watch in Torshavn.

Footage from Faroe Islands’ Junior World Championship triumph made headlines around the handball world last week and a full house is expected this weekend in hope of witnessing another home success.  

 

TEXT: Andri Yrkill Valsson / cor
 
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