Dragan Djukic praises EHF efforts to promote handball in UK
Britain hungry for handball, says Serbian coach
An inexperienced British side may find most of their rivals in the upcoming London Olympics a tall order, but according to Dragan Djukic, the Serbian coach of the men's side, the game should have a bright future in Britain having won the hearts and minds of many fans in the run-up to the 2012 Games, the men handball team’s Serbian coach Dragan Djukic told Belgrade daily Sportski Zurnal.
50-year-old Djukic (pictured), who has vast experience in coaching across Europe and the Middle East, told Belgrade daily Sportski Zurnal why handball has huge potential to flourish in an environment much more familiar with other team sports like football, rugby and cricket.
"The European Handball Federation has played a massive part in the development of British handball and recent public surveys suggest many sports experts in Britain believe the game is more suited to children at a very young age than football," said Djukic.
"In addition, the Olympic Games should be a huge impetus and if recent events are anything to go by, the handball tournament is set to draw sellout crowds. I was in a radio show recently and one of the guests who tuned in asked me a barrage of questions about handball, having previously bought tickets for the Olympic semi-finals."
"Having pointed out that he plans to conduct the second stage of Britain’s Olympic build-up in Belgrade after taking the team to Serbia’s popular spa Vrnjacka Banja, Djukic said his players were eagerly awaiting the May 30 draw to find out who their rivals in the London Games will be.
"It’s going to be the toughest Olympic tournament ever, there will be a myriad of top quality teams in London. I think France, Denmark, Spain, Croatia and Serbia should figure as the prime candidates for a podium finish but there is so little between the teams it’s impossible to predict who will claim the medals," Djukic emphasised.
"Strong defence and fast breaks will be the order of the day because it is hard to believe that tactical surprises are possible between teams that know each other so well," he added.
The other six teams taking part in the Olympics are Sweden, Hungary, Iceland, Argentina, South Korea and Tunisia.
TEXT: Zoran Milosavljevic
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