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Denmark Hosts the Men European Championships

France

The Men European Championships have offered us some amazing encounters in the Preliminary Round and with the competition advancing to the Main Round we take a look at the amazing championships so far.

Hosts Denmark passed from group A with an unbeaten record, overcoming the opposition of Austria and Macedonia who still go through and Czech Republic who returned home with only a draw to their account. Spain, Iceland and Hungary go through group B. Spain were unbeaten in this group. The group also saw Norway play some great handball but their inconsistency through the games cost them some points against Hungary and Iceland. Hungary were unlucky to loose Laslo Nagy before the competition and their performances in attack lacked his flare. Croatia had no problem to top group D followed by Sweden and Belarus. Group C was the most interesting with France winning all their games. Poland, Russia and Serbia all won a game each and this put all the three on two points each. With the goal difference rule coming into effect, Serbia were sent packing and this was the first major surprise of the tournament. Serbia were one of the favourites to challenge for gold after that in 2012 they were second.

 

The competition now proceeds with the two groups of the main round. In group 1 there is Denmark and Spain who are favourites to advance to the semi-finals, even though Iceland can surprise Spain into the semi-finals. In group 2, France and Croatia are favourites to go to the next stage, though Poland can be revived by the great comeback they have managed against Belarus.

Our own Daniel Tanti was present at the championships as he was keeping statistics for the EHF. He was following group C, the one who had, France, Poland, Russia and Serbia, in the Preliminary Round and now he will follow the Main Group 2, who is being played in Aarhus where Daniel is playing handball.

Daniel’s Diary: Holidays in Malta and Back to Handball

Hi all,
It has been long time since my last write-up. Spending the holidays in Malta was fun and refreshing. Having a hot climate and some slight rain was relaxing. However, the holidays were not just this. I managed to make up and meet most of the people that I couldn’t see in the past 2 months. Seeing family, friends, my Luxol family and the Maltese handball community was nice and I could catch up with some things that I had missed.
Now that I am back here in the freezing cold days in Denmark I started again with the routine I had finished 1 month ago. Although I had trained a bit with my Luxol brothers and sisters, it was still bit hard to remove the rust after 1 month almost of holidays. However, I immediately started on the right step where the enthusiasm and level shown in the first week in the handball academy here in Denmark were great. This term almost all the Canadians have left back to Canada but there is still a lot of high level players that remained such as the Japanese, the British and 2 other Canadians. Apart from that the academy has been spiced up with some local Danish talent where we also have a U21 Icelnadic player and a 1st Division Danish player joining the academy. This is a huge boost for me and am willing to test myself to some of the upcoming foreign talent.
This year I am also in Team 5 in the general school teams and here we got a nice group that is making the general school atmosphere good. I also started training with my Danish club here, Skovbakken. I am really looking forward to start playing again here as I miss the playing minutes after a month’s stop.
Finally, this term also started on a positive note due to the European Championships here in Denmark. As a former handball academy student in the last term, I was invited with other student to volunteer as part of the statistic team where we are taking elaborate statistics of all the matches taking place in Aarhus, NrGI Arena. We are lucky cause we get to stay in the best seats in the arena and all our work is recorded on online team sheets and used by journalists and live on TV so it is sometimes also stressful not to make an error. However, also because of this we manage to meet a lot of world class players that are playing in Group C i.e. France, Serbia, Russia, Poland which will now be joined by another 3 teams who passed for the main round from the Spanish group. As you can see I managed some signatures and photos with some of the best players.
Anyway, wish you all the best for this new year that has started and hope that sooner rather than later, we shall meet agian.
Regards and all the best,
Dani #12
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World Championships in Serbia

Currently Serbia is in the spotlight of the handball world as the 21st Women World Championships are being held in the ex-Yugoslavian state.

During the first part of the championships, we have noticed the different styles of the national teams from the different continental federations. The European countries have been more tactical in attack while opting more for aggressive 6/0 defences. The Brazilians, who are the most prominent South American representative, play close to the European style, while the Asian national teams play a very aggressive and deep 3/2/1 defence with more basic fast actions in attack.

After the Preliminary round, the four teams that qualified from the four groups, proceed to the eight finals while the two teams failing to proceed from their respective group, play in the Presidents’ Cup for placement. In the Presidents’ Cup, Algeria, Tunis, China and Australia managed to beat their opponents. In the eight finals, Germany beat Angola and France beat Japan by 8 goals. Poland edged Romania in a closed encounter with 2 goals after the latter were leading 13-10 in the half time. In a very closed encounter, Denmark overcame a stern Montenegro side by the lone goal for a score of 22-21.

Denmark Celebrating

Poland and Denmark will be meeting France and Germany respectively in the first two quarter finals while one will be expecting Norway, Brazil, Hungary and Serbia to join them. Denmark and Norway are the favourites for the final. Hungary, with the core players from Gyor are also good contenders with Serbia and Brazil, series contenders to be a surprise.

Daniel’s Diary: Laser Tag, Ice Hockey and Handball

Hi all, 

Hope you had a fantastic week 🙂 Over here this week was a different one since a lot of guys went to La Santa, Spain on a sports holiday there. However, over here we still had a nice programme. Well as you well aware of in my last blog this week we had a friendly against a school team here in Aarhus. We lost the game but we put in a very good performance against a side which had an Under 19 world champion, a danish liga player for Skanderborg and some youngsters from the liga team of Aarhus Handball. 

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On Wednesday we had a cultural run where we ran for 5.5km with many intervals to learn and see some of the historical and cultural places in Aarhus. It was a nice run and we got to know more this city’s history though on  a personal note it is nothing to compare with our island’s culture and I bet that Valletta in 2018 will be a better capital of culture for Europe than Aarhus will be in 2017. Also this week apart from handball training, we had fitness and agility training where we had a hard and though workout doing both cross-fit and circuit training.

This week we also had fun playing laser tag and trying ice-skating and ice hockey. The 1st activity i.e. laser tag was quite good and our team managed a respectful 3rd place from 6 teams. However, I didn’t have the same fortune on ice. It was the 1st time for me and so I had quite difficult time. On the other hand it seemed that the Canadians had learnt how to skate even before knowing how to walk. They were rocking the arena and when it came to hockey (or as they say: haaackey) well they were outstanding. I had a couple of falls but we were given nice hockey wear and this made it less hurtful. Right now my mobile has broke down so I had to lend some photos and maybe soon I can also bring you a video 🙂
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On Wednesday, we prepared some games for children who are physically and mentally impaired that would join us on Thursday. When these children game they found an oasis of activities waiting for them and they spent 5 hours at the school of absolute fun. It was nice to see all the happy and smiling faces of these children and reminded that the true value of sport is to bring differences together and unite.
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On Friday I had a match with Skovbakken and after the match the school mates from La Santa returned to the school sharing with us there experiences. We also exchanged our experiences and the night chilled out. On Saturday, I had another game with Skovbakken which unfortunately we lost but I felt I did well. On Sunday the plans are a visit to the town centre as I have a full free day.
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Hope all of you are ok and that you are having a good time back on the rock.
Wish you all the best and take care 🙂
Dani #12

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Daniel’s Diary: IK Skovbakken Debut and Lara Visiting

Hello Ladies and Gents,

It’s me once again and I must first apologize for not giving you any updates last couple of weeks. Well this was due to a very busy time table and though I tried hard to give you my update, I couldn’t make it. Well these have been some of the best weeks I had till now. The cooperation and synergy between the students here seems to continue to develop and there was such a nice atmosphere here. The peak of these couple of weeks was last Friday when Lara came to visit me for the weekend 🙂 It was such a lovely weekend and it had been something I missed a lot. Handball wise I also had my debut over here in Denmark where I played for IK Skovbakken. My performance was quite ok taking in consideration that it was my first match in a totally different game type. I felt well and I feel I can continue to develop and mature in the game. I also had some more games with Skovbakken now where I played both in Serie 1 and 3rd Division. I am aiming to continue on developing and continue to do well in my games and training. The possibilities here in Denmark are great and I am willing to continue to find my opportunities here.
A week ago, it started with kitchen duty as my students group has to help in the meals here. We are to prepare tables, forks, knives, cups and bring out food for all the students here. It is nice to help the others and work as a team as it facilitates the work and also being of service to others means that everyone cares for each other. Also on Wednesday we had a nice trip where I got to know more about myself and apart from that I appreciated more the small things in life. Before doing this trip however, on Wednesday morning I had training with SK Aarhus (ladies professional team). It was quite nice to train with them and to see a different perspective of doing sports as a job and not only as a passion or hobby.
This week some of the students went on a trip to La Santa, Spain and we who stayed here had a bit of different programme but still an intense one. Last Friday we had laser games and roller hockey which went quite well. In the weekend I had 2 matches with IK Skovbakken. I also am participating in Movember and although I felt weird, it is a nice thing to raise awareness on men’s cancer 🙂
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Monday started with a tough fitness and agility session where we had cross-fit and a 12 station circuit which was well prepared and physically stressing but satisfying to complete. We also had handball training and I feel that I am getting more used to the Danish way of playing handball where most of it is based on fast-paced handball and team moves. The plan of this week consists of a friendly against a school team here in Aarhus and some more physical exercises and handball training. Also on Wednesday we should have a run through the city of Aarhus where we should also have a cultural experience of the city which will be the Capital City for Culture in 2017 (a year ahead of Valletta). Other activities should be preparation of games for people who are less physically able and also training again with SK Aarhus ladies professional team.
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Well I am also keeping updated with you in Malta. I know that it started raining down there but I am sure it is not as cold as here. I am also keeping updated about handball and though the boys didn’t have the nicest of finishes to  the MHA Cup, I am sure that you will be able to bounce back and work hard to achieve more wins in the league as you very well did in the first league match. The girls I know that you will do well and give some good performances and I know that the nursery also started with their games so I wish them luck.
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Next week I will continue to update you more on my life here and will give a sum up of the first 2 months here in Denmark and how this week went. Well it is always nice to hear from you too also so I am open for anyone who wants to chat.
I wish you all the best and hope that we can hear each other soon.
Dani #12

 

 

Women Champions League advance to the Main Round

The Women Champions’ League group matches have given their verdict and have told us who will be advancing to the Main Round. As expected Gyori have won all their games from group A which proved to be a very interesting group with the other three teams ending up on equal points.

German team Thuringer HC will advance to the main round after suffering only a goal difference of -6 in respect to Hypo’s -21 and Baia Mare -22. It was the second consecutive year that Hypo Niederosterreich did not reach the main round but will advance to the EHF Cup Winner’s Cup. On the other hand, it was first time ever for German outfit Thuringer to reach the Main Round. Group D on the other hand offered no real emotions with Vardar and Larvik taking the first two places with 11 and 9 points respectively. The only surprise was how Larvik did not end as winners of the group. From group B, we will see FC Midylland and Budocnost who advanced in the last game by beating FTC Cargo Hungaria. Krim Mercator and Savehof will advance from group C. In the main round we will see two groups of four teams each out of which the first two will advance to the semi-finals. Gyor, Larvik remain the main contenders with Budocnost, Krim and FC Midylland fighting for the other two places in the semis.

thuringer HC

Half way through the Men group phase, the four teams that will advance from each group are already being identified. Vesprem, won all their games in group A and are likely to proceed with Rhein Nectar Lowen. The other two places are to be disputed between Zapororzhye, Zagreb and Celje. Kiel, Targi Kielce and Copenhagen lead group B on 8 points each and will advance with Wisla Plock and Porto fighting for the last available place. Group C is also interesting with Barcelona leading with 9 points, Skopje and Metalurg on 6, PSG on 5 and Minsk on 4. Group D is led by the German current champions of Hamburg followed by Flensburg, Aalborg and La Rioja who have a great chance to advance to the next stage.

From a local perspective, the local leagues started with our teams having different fortunes. One must be satisfied with the commitment shown but some technical errors have cost us the games. This will not hinder our aims at doing well in the league and will keep fighting hard to make our ends meet in order to do well.

Learn Handball in Malta with Luxol Handball Nursery

The Luxol Handball Nursery will be starting handball lesson for kids between 7 and 10 years old. These session will be held at the Mosta Boys’ Secondary School, Zokrija. Session will be held on Sundays from 9:30 am till 11:00 am. The session will be starting 10th November 2013. If you require further information do not hesitate to contact us on info@luxolhandball.org.

 

Daniel’s Diary: First Month in Denmark

Well, time flies by and it is already my first month here in Denmark. Now that I got accustomed to the routines and the time table I have, I feel better and with the help of the other students here, I am able to express myself more both socially and on the handball court. This week was quite an active one and this was not only due to the training time table I follow but also due to a lot of other well-structured games and activities.

Training wise, this week we had training with a Men’s Liga Goalkeeper for Aarhus Handball and a 6-0 defence session with Skandeborg Liga Men Team apart from usual training sessions with Jan Poulsen, Jan-Lucas and Toyoki. It was an interesting mix of sessions where everyone could share his knowledge with us so that we can all improve. Apart from that, on Tuesday, I was in charge of the warm-up for the training as part of our Danish Team Coach Class practice. It was nice sharing also some of my knowledge with my teammates and I am glad I had some positive feedback from both players and the coaches.

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On the other hand speaking about club training, I had also some good sessions and though the language barrier sometimes it is still uncomfortable, it all turns out easily when we start speaking the handball language. IK Skovbakken (the club I am training with in the evenings) is willing for me to play with their 2nd team that plays in the 3rd division. However, if I prove myself and show up my talents, they are also looking forward to see if I can play for the 2nd division. This weekend I am not able to play since international clearance is not out yet. However, in the next weeks I will be able to play here and am really looking forward to have some competitive playing time here in Denmark.

Apart from handball, the week has been proceeding well so far. In Danish Team Coach Class we had a kind of competition week where we had to split up in teams and play a game called Go Tour. We had several diagrams printed out that they resembles streets or paths in the school area. We had to sign in at check points and finish again at the school. On Tuesday all teams started on a bad note where we walked 1.5km in the wrong direction although finally it was our team that won. On Wednesday and Thursday we had the same game but we weren’t on the winning side. On Thursday we had a different team game in the activity hall and the aim was still to build up a team and to see who is the analyst, who is the leader and other different types of characters within a team.

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During the week, the host team made a lot of activities too. These ranged from live café, to films, Champions League games mini-handball tournament and most of all a murder game. Being close to Halloween, after the pumpkin carving of last week, this week we had a game called Murder Game. Every student had another student’s name and he had to ‘kill’ him by just touching him and showing him the paper with his name. However, they had to be just them 2 together and there could have been no witnesses so everyone was running in the school in pairs so they don’t get killed. Well unfortunately, I was killed on the 1st day of the game 😛 Also the Friday night party had a Halloween theme but here the parties are not good as Malta style 😛

Well that was all for this week and wish you all the best 🙂

DANI #12

A Beautiful Game

Many around the world say football is the beautiful game. I like football and I have played football both on 11 a-side teams and futsal. I will not try to convince anyone that football or any other sport is not nice but nothing compares to handball. Handball is played on a relative small field of 40m X 20m and the teams field 7 players each, who for an hour help their team outclass the other. This combination helps the game to develop a very fast pace and nowadays teams are developing a very high defence to try and play a very fast transition to score. The players are developing amazing footwork and amazing strength that results in powerful human beings who think very fast to take a decision.

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Here in Malta the level is not the same as that in France, Spain or Germany but one cannot deny that the leagues of various categories are becoming a more balanced affair and the uncertainty of the games’ outcome has become less obvious. The Maltese game is trying to become more fast and the influx of foreign players in the last couple of years will help the Maltese handball league develop into one of the most followed leagues in Malta.

Luxol Handball Club will soon start running classes for kids between 8-10 years old as Luxol believes that the young kids are the future of the game. Nevertheless, the club is still paying attention on his senior teams who are offering some good outings altered with less enthusiastic performances. The club will keep working in promoting the game of handball in Malta and ensuring its growth by investing in its members.

Daniel’s Diary: Family Day, Pumpkin Carving and Skovbakken Handball

Hello guys and girls it’s me once again…

Well this is my 4th update from Denmark and this shows that I am half way through my 4th week here.

This week I am starting to talk about the extra lessons we have which are not as such handball related and other activities I did during the week. Although the week was quite a normal one, we had a lot of different things and activities going on. Obviously enough, we had assemblies going on which have some good music and one of the bands who is formed up by the students performed their songs very well during one of the assemblies as one of the guys is soon leaving the school. This week also some Danish students were also teasing me about the 6-0 football defeat Malta had to Denmark.

Apart from that on Wednesday we had to do a very good clean up around the school and every Team of students was given a task and a place to clean. My team had to clean the Multiart room and although there was quite a lot of work to be done I must say that cleaning was fun. There were some bad TV sets that had to be demolished and staff that had to be thrown out for trash. We did our work and there was a lot of teamwork from everyone so that the task could be completed in minimal time. This cleanup was done in advance for family day which will be held on the first Saturday of November. Usually this day is more commonly used for Danish people that have their families visiting for a few hours in the school. However, I am lucky enough that in this day I will be having Lara and her brother joining me for the duration of the whole weekend 🙂

Thursday some of the guys also did pumpkin carving for next Halloween. I couldn’t make it as I had training but some of the pumpkin carved had some good creativity. I just wanted to post on some photos of the carved pumpkins made by the students here.

pumpkin

Friday morning we also had cultural Friday. This consists of a 1 hour activity/lecture/presentation where we get to know more about Denmark and also the countries from which the students come from. This week it was Canada and although they had some technical defaults ( Canadians and technology don’t match 😛 ) they set up a very interesting presentation on their country and the province they come from, Alberta. I can just ensure 1 thing from what I could see: Canada is an amazing place and the Canadians (though they don’t have that much of an identity) are even more amazing 🙂

Canadian Flag

Well as the past weeks I had my routine training which varied between the academy training and training with 2nd division club, Skovbakken. The week training started on a good note and in the first 2 days I had 1 gym session, 4 handball training sessions and a friendly match where I played for Skovbaken’s 3rd team and I faired well and we won 🙂

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On Wednesday I had to pass out on the gym session I had since I had to recover from the previous 2 days and also due to the fact that I had flu and was feeling sick. On Thursday and Friday I still had routine training sessions though my performance dropped due to fatigue and the flu. However, on a general note I am pleased with how the week has gone. This week Skovbakken shall decide whether they want me to join their club for this year and play in one of their teams.

Well I wish you all luck for this weekend’s games. I know these will be difficult matches but I am sure you will give it your all. I am always keeping updates over here and just know that you will always keep on having my support 🙂

Take care and keep on fighting for good results 🙂

Dani #12

 

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