Captain White relishing French challenge

27 July 2012 / 15:51

Bobby White is thrilled at the prospect of Great Britain men's handball team playing their first-ever match at the Olympic Games against reigning champions France.

Team GB were handed a wildcard in the Games by the British Olympic Association last year to help achieve their desire of British participants in every sport, but having formed just six years ago and still being a developing sport in this country, they will find life tough in the Copper Box.

Indeed, they have only ever won one competitive game, but facing the reigning gold medallists and world champions France, who are widely regarded to be the best-ever team, in their opening match seems a fitting end to a journey where the players have made more sacrifices than most.

Captain White, a former semi-professional footballer for Newport Pagnell, had never played the sport until he answered a call from Sir Steve Redgrave, who fronted UK Sport's Sporting Giants scheme in 2007, but now he cannot wait to take to the court on Sunday night.

"It's amazing, it's something that we have aspired to for the last four or five years and we couldn't be happier to be playing the reigning gold medallists in the first match," he told Press Association Sport.

"They have some amazing players that I have watched since I started playing and to be on the same court as them is going to be something pretty special.

"France have been quite lucky, having generated a lot of great athletes at the same time and there is not anyone in their team that looks out of place in terms of the quality they have got.

"If we can keep within five or 10 points we will be really happy but we have got our tactics and strategy and if we take our chances hopefully it will be a close game."

Goalkeeper White took over the captaincy from playmaker Ciaran Williams last summer and he admits he will be battling his emotions when leading his team out in front of a passionate home crowd.

"I'd like to think I will keep myself composed, but I don't know how I'll feel being in front of a home crowd," he added. "I'm sure one or two of the boys will have a tear in their eye but hopefully we will be able to keep our composure."