Handball: Gislason on the squad for the Handball World Cup: everyone is on fire

Alfred Gislason seemed relaxed and confident when he revealed the secret of the German squad for the Handball World Championship just before Christmas.

Handball: Gislason on the squad for the Handball World Cup: everyone is on fire

Alfred Gislason seemed relaxed and confident when he revealed the secret of the German squad for the Handball World Championship just before Christmas.

The national coach is relying on a mixture of experienced and young players for the finals from January 11th to 29th next year in Poland and Sweden - and is going into the tournament with a good feeling. "It's nice to see how everyone is on fire. They will give everything for Germany," said Gislason.

Gislason: "We want to win the group"

With goalkeeper Andreas Wolff, Rune Dahmke, Simon Ernst, Kai Häfner and Jannik Kohlbacher, the 63-year-old Icelander called up five European champions from 2016 in the 18-man squad for the World Cup, in which the DHB selection in the preliminary round went to Asian champions Qatar, Serbia and Algeria meets. "We want to win the group," Gislason announced the first goal of the tournament.

The squad is led by Captain Johannes Golla. The oldest and most experienced player is Patrick Groetzki. The 33-year-old right winger from the Rhein-Neckar Löwen has played 156 international matches so far. Wolff, Häfner and Paul Drux also bring the experience of more than 100 assignments in the DHB jersey. "This is an anchor that we can use well," said DHB sports director Axel Kromer, adding: "This squad reflects many characteristics: experience, potential and essentially a certain continuity that is essential for success."

At 22, Juri Knorr is the youngest player in the German World Cup squad - and at the same time a great hope. "He's been playing consistently well this season and can be very important for us. We're happy he's here and we're hoping for a lot from him," Gislason said of the Rhein-Neckar Löwen playmaker. Knorr had missed the EM at the beginning of this year due to a lack of corona vaccination status. According to Kromer, this danger does not exist at the World Cup: "All players meet the requirements set by the world association."

Not there are Julius Kühn, Marcel Schiller and Lukas Stutzke, who were injured for a long time. "We chose others because we think they may not be ready yet," Gislason said in explaining the trio's renunciation. "There were some difficult and very close decisions, but now we have clarity. I'm looking forward to the new year and the new challenge with this team," said the national coach.

Preliminary and main round in Katowice

The 38-year-old goalkeeper veteran Silvio Heinevetter was also not taken into account. Joel Birlehm (Rhein-Neckar Löwen) will form the goalkeeper team with Wolff seeded as number one. He also outperformed EM goalkeeper Till Klimpke. "We changed that because Joel Birlehm is in very good form and is having a strong season. His trend is always upwards. Klimpke is a bit behind him on the form curve. That's why we made the decision," said Gislason.

From January 2nd he will prepare the team in Hanover for the World Cup. After the last friendly international matches against Iceland on January 7th in Bremen and January 8th in Hanover, the three-day training camp in Barsinghausen is back. On January 12, the DHB entourage will fly to Kattowitz, where the German team will play their games in the preliminary and main rounds. "We don't have to hide from any team," said Gislason optimistically. "We're not far from the top and we want to close the gap."

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