Handball: IHF Emerging Nations Trophy

Friday, June 9, 2017, 16:02

The International Handball Federation IHF will be organising the second competition for emerging nations in Bulgaria between the 12th and the 18th of June. The three best European teams of this championship will qualify for the second phase of the EURO2020 qualifiers.

In the first edition of the Emerging Nations Trophy that was held in Kosovo, Malta qualified for the quarter finals after finishing in second place in the group stage following wins over China and Ireland.

Most participating countries are European, while Asia will be represented by China. The competition will see teams who are emerging in international handball as well as more established nations like Turkey and Azerbaijan.

The teams are divided into four groups of four, who will play each other in a Preliminary Round with the best two teams in each group advancing to the quarter-finals.

Malta was drawn to play in group B, with all matches being played in the in the city of Veliko Tarnovo.

The team’s first match will be against Great Britain and though handball is not as popular as other sports, they are fielding a very strong team. Luxemburg, favourites of winning the group, will be our second opponents, while the third match sees Malta take on Georgia.

Our national team will have to wait to know who they will face in the second round as these depend on the group standings.

For the last 2 months, under the guidance of head coach Joseph Tanti and head of delegation Joseph Attard, the players have been preparing well and no stone was left unturned by the Maltese association to ensure the team does well in this competition. The team is aiming to give a good account of itself and to represent their native country the best they can. The delegation will consist of the coach, head of delegation, together with physiotherapist Juanita Grech and 14 players.

Gauci Daniel, Harrison Liam, Rizzo Luigi – Kavallieri Mifsud Philip, DiPilato Alex, Bugeja Kurt, Naudi Peter, Gargano Damian – Aloysians Fenech Jeremy – Swieqi Phoenix Baldacchino Karl, Portelli Alan, Camilleri Darmanin Ronaldo – La Salle

Ms Marylyn Agius, local referee and MHA delegate, has been nominated by the Malta Handball Association to attend the IHF delegates course to be held in parallel to the second IHF Emerging Nations Championship. Agius is the first female candidate for the MHA that could become an IHF delegate in the near future.





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