19 January 2017
2007 World Champion Holger Glandorf and 2016 EURO champion Henrik Pekeler shall help Germany to finish on top of Group C in Rouen. One day prior to the group final against Croatia they were nominated by the defending European champions.
For the final preliminary round match of Group C against Croatia on Friday in Rouen, Germany have completed their squad. As expected, 33-year-old Holger Glandorf from SG Flensburg-Handewitt will be the 16th German player to be put on the nomination list. In addition, and more surprising, EURO 2016 champion Henrik Pekeler replaced Rune Dahmke (photo).
Glandorf (playing for SG Flensburg-Handewitt) and Pekeler (Rhein-Neckar Lowen) were only on standby at home and had agreed to be ready “in case of an emergency”. Both are expected at Rouen on Thursday.
“We only have one left-handed back court player here so far, with Holger we will have the right balance in this position. He is an experienced player, who can help us,” said German coach Dagur Sigurdsson. The two regular right backs Steffen Weinhold and Fabian Wiede were ruled out with injuries. The only left handed back court player is Kai Hafner.
Right after Sigurdsson had been announced as the new German national team coach in August 2014, Glandorf quit playing for the national team after 167 matches. But due to those Weinhold and Wiede injuries, Glandorf was among the 28 players in the provisional team list, and had his comeback in the national team at Germany’s test match against Austria four days before the start of France 2017.
His biggest success besides winning the EHF Champions League in 2014 was becoming World Champion in 2007. As he was injured before the 2013 World Championship in Spain, the match against Croatia on Friday will be his first World Championship game since the one against Argentina in 2011 in Sweden, when Germany took the eleventh position after extra-time.
“It is a great honour for me to play for Germany again, and I truly hope that I can help the team. I am looking forward to the matches and will put the pedal to the metal,” said Glandorf, before his departure to Rouen.
The Pekeler case is different. The line player had announced to resign from the national team in autumn, only some months after becoming EURO champion in Poland. “The burden of playing so many competitions with the club and the national team is too high, so I focussed on club handball,” the 26-year-old had said. Sigurdsson persuaded him to be among those 28 players – Pekeler agreed, and now will play his first World Championship. Like at the Olympic Games in Rio, Dahmke is out, and thus team captain Uwe Gensheimer is the only German left wing now.
Photo: Philippe Montigny/France Handball 2017