Handball head coach Baillie excited by current crop

02 April 2013 / 16:05

Great Britain men’s handball head coach Bill Baillie insists age is nothing but a number when it comes to his new-look side ahead of Thursday’s European Championship qualifier with Italy.

Baillie was assistant coach at London 2012 but stepped up to the role of head coach following the departure of Dragan Djukic following the Games,

While handball captured the nation’s imagination in the capital this failed to translate into results as both the men’s and women’s side left London 2012 having failed to record a single win.

This pattern continued in the men’s team’s first 2016 European Championship qualifier as they lost 43-14 to Greece in October as the side looked to adjust following a few faces deciding not to return following the Games.

However this Thursday sees the side get back out in front of a home crowd for the first time since the Olympics as they tackle Italy at Ravenscraig Regional Sports Centre.

And Baillie admits that while the class of 2013 might lack experience, they more than make up in enthusiasm.

“Some players have stopped playing and we’ve brought in some players from the U19 squad who have proven themselves,” he said.

"It’s quite a young team we’ll have but when you bring in youth you get a lot of enthusiasm and they don’t fear failure – they’re risk takers. Hopefully that will have the desired affect, especially in front of the home crowd.

"There are one or two players we’re missing through injury or financial circumstances but there’s seven of the Olympic squad in this squad with a mixture of players who didn’t quite make the final selection for London and they’ll get another chance to get their foot in the door. As I said there’s three U19 players in the squad as well.

"In our opinion we’ve lost some experience but we’ve replaced that with youth and better technical players. The only thing they’ll lack is experience. For some of them it will be their first international so it will be good for them to get their first cap in the UK."

© Sportsbeat 2013