Coach Ciaran Williams “proud” of how far young players have progressed
The Great Britain men’s U18 team, coached by Olympian Ciaran Williams, are in the historic town of Tulln in Austria as they prepare to open their Men’s 18 EHF Championship campaign later today against Montenegro (1:30pm GB time).
The EHF Championship provides an opportunity for developing handball nations to progress into the full M18 EHF EURO with promotion and relegation between two under-18 events this summer as the winners of the two Men’s 18 Championships taking place will be promoted to the Men’s 20 EHF EURO and the Men’s 18 EHF EURO in 2020.
In Tulln, there are two preliminary groups with GB in group A alongside Czech Republic (CZE), Turkey (TUR), Montenegro (MNE), Ukraine (UKR) and Ireland (IRL). Group B features Slovakia (SVK), Austria (AUT), Netherlands (NED), Latvia (LAT), Kosovo (KOS), Bulgaria (BUL).
In both groups teams play each other from 10-16 August and the top two teams progress to the semi-finals on 18 August, with the final on Sunday 19 August. The remaining teams will compete for positions 5-12.
“We have had four camps, including one for Austria, since January and the progress of the squad has been really good,” said Williams ahead of the tournament. “Like the other GB squads, we are restricted in terms of funding, but we have maximised our time together on and off the court and have really come together to resemble a strong team.
“My objective with such limited time was to give the players the tools they will need tactically and physically to achieve our goals in Austria and through their hard work and commitment, along with their parents, I feel proud of how far we have come in such a short time.
“Montenegro and Czech Republic will be favourites from our group and we can expect a more experienced and physical type of game when we meet them,” continued Williams.
“Turkey and Ukraine will also provide very tough matches, both with their own individual styles but we will be prepared for that.
“Our focus is, and will remain on, us and how this tournament is another step in the process of developing competitive age group squads for GB. Ireland will be a good way to finish off the group stages and it is the team we know best.
“They were recently in England where they played some club teams, so we also know what style of play we will meet. They have recently added a few new players to their squad, so I am extremely excited to meet them and testing ourselves against our close neighbours and friends.”
The team have been grateful for support from sponsors the University of Salford and Freight RSL.
Follow GB at the Men’s 18 EHF Championship in Austria
Friday 10 August, 1:30pm: GB vs Montenegro ehfTV.com
Sunday 12 August, 3:30pm: GB vs Czech Republic ehfTV.com
Monday 13 August, 3:30pm: GB vs Ukraine ehfTV
Wednesday 15 August, 3:30pm: GB vs Turkey ehfTV
Thursday 16 August, 1:30pm: GB vs Ireland ehfTV
Official website: https://www.championship2018.at/
Playing schedule: http://www.eurohandball.com/ech/01-01/18/men/2018/...
Hamish Bottomley – Kelvinside (goalkeeper)
Jarred Cartlidge – NEM Hawks (goalkeeper)
Edward Irving - Warrington Wolves (left wing)
Sebastian Hesk – Warrington Wolves (right back)
Migual Harwood - Colegio Vetusta: Spain (right wing)
Rob Damianou - Carshalton Titans (right wing)
Craig Yule - Tryst 77 (right wing)
Charlie Fletcher – NEM Hawks (pivot)
Josh McDaid NEM Hawks (playmaker)
Joshua Plumridge - Nottingham (playmaker)
Derry Asante - Carshalton Titans (pivot)
Magnus Stuwe-Hall - Havørn AI: Norway (pivot)
Owen Sartain - Olympia London (pivot)
Graeme Goldie - Tryst 77 (left back)
Elliott Buckle – Oly Cats (right back)
Sean Bryon - Livingston (right back)
Coach: Ciaran Williams
Manager: Andy Clark
Physio: Krzysztof Szulc