The GB Under-20 men's team completed a clean sweep at the International Handball Federation M20 IHF Trophy in Kosovo in October, to claim the first official title for a GB team.
The team had a challenging opening game against tournament favourites Bulgaria, but got off to the perfect start with some outstanding defending and goalkeeping, and good pace in attack. GB opened a five goal lead, before Bulgaria came storming back, but GB managed to keep their nerve for a 23-22 win.
The next day GB faced hosts Kosovo, a team that had beaten GB 38-17 when they last met in 2018. GB again put on a show of force in defence, restricting Kosovo to just seven goals in the first half to lead 14-7. The lead grew to 12 goals in the second half, allowing GB to turn the bench and save some energy ahead of their next match, and ran out 30-22 winners.
On day three GB faced Malta and played an untidy first half, but still led at the break, before going on to win 30-19 and finally get a day off. The title was secured with a match to spare, but GB were determined to finish on a high, and went on to beat Andorra 35-18 to record a clean sweep and win the first official IHF title for a GB team. GB will now represent Europe at the Inter-Continental IHF Trophy in March 2023.
GB U20 coach Zoran Lukac commented "The boys have worked so hard this year and our strong showing at this tournament is thanks to that. “Most important for me was that we improved more every single game, and these were not easy games. We played against really strong competition so that was not easy to achieve. ‘We’ve returned home feeling very proud of ourselves and even though we still have a lot of space to improve, we will be ready for the next challenge"
GB M20 IHF Trophy results
GB- Malta 30-19
GB M20 Squad for 2022 IHF Trophy
James Anderson, AGF (Denmark) - GK
Jake Howard, Brighton - GK
Ryan Kealy, EK 82 - PM
Remy Howes, Aix en Savoie (France) - RB
Frazer Muir, Manchester Hawkes - RW
Louis Christy, H71 (Faroe Islands) - LW
Reuben Wardle, Skjern Talent Akademi /Raekker Molle (Denmark) - PM
Tiago Babb, Povoa (Portugal) - LB
Joseph Nelson, Skjern Talent Akademi/Raekker Molle (Denmark) - LW
William Carter, Elverum (Norway) - LP
Joseph Trent, Skjern Talent Akademi/Raekker Molle (Denmark) - LP
Jamie Galley, Ikast (Denmark) - LP
Euan Johnson, Magdeburg (Germany) - LB
Zoran Lukacs - Head Coach
Daniel Ramos - Assistant Coach
Kevin Matthews - Team Manager
Krzystof Szulc - Physio