The European Champion is ready to start. After their arrival yesterday, Germany today took a look at the modern arena in Rouen while they had the first training. Coach Dagur Sigurdsson nominated 15 players instead of 16. So he had the possibility to nominate one more player by the ‘Late Entry’-rule. Uwe Gensheimer is also in the squad. He arrived today right before the first practice. On Sunday his father died and so he was with the family the last days.
“I am going to play the World Championship. My father would have wanted this”, Gensheimer said on Thursday.
On the other hand Rune Dahmke were missing. The player from Kiel had to stay in bed because of influenza. Germany’s first match is on Friday against Hungary.
With two victories against Romania and Austria during the preparation for the tournament Germany will start in France. Against Romania they played a very strong first half. For just 15 minutes Romania, coached by Xavier Pascual, kept up with Germany. After the beginning Germany became stronger and went step by step away from the players from eastern europe. The Germans were dominating the match. Goalkeeper Silvio Heinvetter became stronger and played a good part combined with the defence. 15 saves of him (more than 50%) and ten fastbreaks: Germany was in the lead by eight goals at half time (17:9).
Romania – playing with to players from the Bundesliga – had no real chance against the “Bad Boys” during the first 30 minutes. In the second half Germany lost a little bit of concentration, so Romania kept up again and also showed some good moves in attack. But Germany was defeating the lead, Romania was not in that constitution to be dangerous for Sigurdssons team. At the end 7.349 Spectators in the sold out arena in Krefeld, Germany, were celebrating a 30:21 win.
“The players were a little bit tired because of the training sessions the days before so I changed a lot during the match”, said Coach Sigurdsson, who tested a lot of different lineups.
In the second match against Austria on last monday Germany had some problems at the beginning. Austria was the leading team in the first minutes. After 15 minutes Germany scored the equalizer (6:6), but Janko Bozovic scored again (7:6) for the team from Sigurdssons former teammate, Patrekur Johannesson. Patrick Groetzki was the man, who brougth Germany in the lead by two goals for the first time. After 19 minutes he scored the 9:7 and from this time on, Germany became stronger minute by minute. The mistakes of Austria were punished by Germany. 17:11 was the score at half time, at the end Germany won 33:16. Just five goals were shiped by the german goelakeepers in the second half.
Now the team is just a few hours away from the first match. Germany will meet Hungary, but that will be a completely different match than the last two. Hungary should be stronger than Romania and Austria. By the way, the Hungarians finished 12th at the EHF Euro last year, but they want to show in France, that they are in a better shape right now. Talant Dushjebaev was replaced as a coach (he hung up his coach’s hat), and with the new boss on the bench, Xavier Sabate, the team from eastern Europe will come back to the stronger teams in handball.
The German Team for the World Championship in France 2017:
Silvio Heinevetter (Füchse Berlin), Andreas Wolff (THW Kiel); Rune Dahmke (THW Kiel), Uwe Gensheimer (Paris St. Germain/FRA), Julius Kühn (VfL Gummersbach), Finn Lemke (SC Magdeburg), Steffen Fäth (Füchse Berlin), Paul Drux (Füchse Berlin), Simon Ernst (VfL Gummersbach), Niclas Pieczkowski (SC DHfK Leipzig), Kai Häfner (TSV Hannover-Burgdorf), Patrick Groetzki (Rhein-Neckar Löwen), Tobias Reichmann (KS Vive Tauron Kielce/POL), Jannik Kohlbacher (HSG Wetzlar), Patrick Wiencek (THW Kiel)