Return to handball action brings defeat for Bobby White

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BOBBY White said Great Britain’s trip to Greece went “pretty much as expected” as the men’s handball team lost 43-14 in their first competitive post-Olympic match.

White considered retiring from handball after London 2012, but returned to captain the side once again in their first European Championship qualifying fixture, although many of his team-mates from the summer were not involved.

In a three-team group with Greece and Italy, only the winners will progress to the next stage of qualifying for the Euros in 2016 and Great Britain already face an uphill battle. Their next outing at home to Italy doesn’t follow until April next year.

White said: “Unfortunately we were without eight of the players that made up the Olympic squad. Some have prioritised other things whilst one or two were injured. That meant we had to replace them with players that aren’t quite ready for this level of handball.

“We had three guys making their first appearance for GB whilst another four had less than three appearances to date. There is a huge gulf between the guys we’ve lost to the lads we’ve bought in, but given the age of some of those guys, if they continue to improve at the rate they are we can be optimistic about the future.

“After talks with our interim coach it was decided that I will remain in the captaincy for the time being to make this transition period as smooth as possible.

“Our funding situation should be clearer in December so we should be able to start planning for the future and hopefully encourage some of our more experienced players to stay involved.

“We’ve got the return fixture in April against Greece and also have to play Italy home and away, so if we’re going to compete we’ll need to bring a few players back in.”