Ireland To Take On GB In Olympics Venue Friendly

The Irish Senior Men’s team will travel to the Copper Box, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London to play a pre-season exhibition match vs Great Britain on Saturday August 29th .

The match will take place during the Copper Box International Cup which will run over the 2 days of the weekend. ┬áThis is the 3rd edition of the Copper Box International Cup which is being hosted by London GD Handball Club, and will see 4 Men’s and 4 Ladies teams compete, all as part of a promotion drive by the club for the sport in London and beyond.

The GB vs Ireland match is scheduled for 3 p.m. and will be a full 60 minute game unlike the games in the tournament.

This will be the first time since 2003 that Ireland have played GB as up until the last few years Scotland and England competed in the EHF Challenge Trophy at senior level. However the GB squad was reformed to participate in the 2012 Olympics with the English and Scottish associations becoming associated members of the European Handball Federation.

Ireland have played Great Britain 3 times in the 40 year history of the IOHA with the first encounter taking place back in 1978 with GB winning 28-10 in a friendly.

The teams next met in September 1999 at the first IHF/EHF Challenge Trophy in Cyprus where GB again won, this time 34-11. And it was the same outcome 2 years later when at the 2nd edition in Malta, Ireland fell 26-12.

The Irish Men have had little time to rest since the IHF trophy in June in Kosovo and have been determined to build on their good finish to that tournament and get their first victory vs GB and so have been training since mid July.

A provisional squad has been announced and it consists of the following

Omar Alsaffar , Alim Sullivan As , Tobias Bauer , Marius Deac , Julian Eberle , Mark Ferguson , Ross Grant , Chris Higgins , Alex Kulesh , Paddy McAuley , Conor Molloy , Lee Dunne , Donal O’Doherty, Benny O’Regan , Chris O’Reilly , Martin O’Reilly , Hichem Sefroun , Kevin Somerville and Jamie Warburton.
Irish Captain, Alan O’Brien misses out due to injury.

The Staff will be Roman Abramenko (Head Coach) Alex Marcovic (Assistant Coach) and Rowan Maher (Team Manager) .

The Coaching staff would like to thank the members of Dublin International and Astra HC for providing the opposition in some test matches during the preparation and for the use of their facilities.

Further information about the Copper Box International Handball Cup can be got here

It is also hoped that for Irish fans unable to travel to London for the game that there will be a live stream on You Tube. Details of which to follow.