Hanover (dpa) - 87 days before the European Handball Championship in the coming year, coach Christian Prokop sparked the competition in his team.
For two Testländerspiele against Croatia, which take place on 23 and 26 October, Prokop nominated 17 players. Surprisingly, the head coach of the German Handball Federation (DHB) renounced the Berlin goalkeeper Silvio Heinevetter, Magdeburg's left winger Matthias Musche and the right winger of the Rhein-Neckar Löwen Patrick Groetzki. For the first time, the 20-year-old central backcourt player Luca Witzke from SC DHfK Leipzig is taking part.
"Of course, this nomination is significant, but the door is still open in both directions. I have now nominated the currently strongest team », said Prokop in Hannover. The team is led by captain Uwe Gensheimer. Some regulars are missing injured.
In the capital of Lower Saxony, the third "Day of Handball" will take place on October 26th. It should be "a festival and holiday for the sport," wanted DHB President Andreas Michelmann. To this end, the association has initiated numerous hands-on activities for the fans. The highlight of the event is the double duel of the German women's and men's selection against Croatia. Three days before, both nations compete in Zagreb.
For the German teams, these comparisons are very important, far more than just test character: The women are in the immediate preparation for the Handball World Cup in Japan (30 November to 15 December 2019) and want, according to national player Isabell Roch Use Croatia duels "to further improve and bring in World Cup form".
In the comparisons with the strong Croats, the men's team begins the preparation for the European Championship 2020 (9 to 26 January), which will be held for the first time in three countries: Norway, Austria and Sweden. Germany wants to get hold of a ticket for the Olympic Games in Tokyo at the European Championships. "I'm looking forward to the team and look forward to an intense week and two tests against Croatia, which are an important stage for us with regard to the EHF EURO 2020," Prokop said.