Brewer plans an upset or two

30 May 2012 / 19:27

British Handball chairman John Brewer is confident both the Great Britain men's and women's teams will be able to spring a surprise at this summer's Olympic Games after the draw was made on Wednesday.

Both sides were formed six years ago with the intention of competing at the Games and many of the current GB squad had not played the game before London was named host city in 2005.

But they have made remarkable progress over the last six years, with the women in particularly turning a few heads in the game, having beaten African champions Angola and running former world champions Russia close. Both the men and the women face tough groups in the Games, but Brewer is targeting a quarter-final finish for both sides.

The men have been drawn in Group A with reigning Olympic gold and silver medallists France and Iceland, Argentina, Sweden and Tunisia while the women will also feature in Group A along with Montenegro, Russia, Croatia, Brazil and Angola.

"This is the culmination of a long journey," said Brewer. "When we got the Games back in 2005 many of our squads hadn't even played handball. We had to take them as raw recruits and to turn them into players and that has taken a lot of endeavour.

"Part of our preparation has been to make sure we have exposed both teams to the toughest possible opposition because we knew there wouldn't be an easy game at the Olympics.

"Let's be honest, we are not favourites in either competition, but we have to judge our success not by the colour of the medal but by how well we do.

"I think we may well surprise a few people, but every game will be tough. But we have to remember we're on home soil and we will have a passionate home crowd on our side.

"We know both teams are capable of doing it, we would like potentially to see both teams doing well, getting to the last eight and progressing to the Basketball Arena for the second phase.

"It is about results, make no bones about it. We're not going into the Olympics to be passengers or tourists."