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Date: 6/5/2019
 

The 2019 Australia Handball Club Championship will be played from June 6 to 9 at Coomera Indoor Sports Centre on the Gold Coast – home of the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The event will see eight men’s teams and three women’s sides vying for the titles.

 

The main question at what is the biggest club handball event in the continent of Oceania will be: can perennial men’s title holders Sydney University Handball Club finally be dethroned, or will they take their eighth trophy in the competition?

 

“It’s always a huge challenge going up against Sydney Uni, with their European experience, and they deserve to be favourites,” says University of Queensland (UQ) captain Tomas Atchison, whose club claimed the bronze medal in 2018, after being defeated by Sydney in the semi-final. “However, I feel with our team this year we have an excellent chance of coming out on top against them.”

 

Sydney Uni will compete from preliminary Group B. The seven-time trophy winners will take on the University of Western Australia (UWA), St Kilda and UQ’s number two side.

 

The runners-up for the past two years in the men’s competition, the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), will play from Group A. There they will meet UQ 1, South Australia, and the University of New South Wales (UNSW).

 

“The past 12 months have seen our Australian boys progress massively, with a number of our squad gaining international experience with both the junior and senior Australian men’s team,” says Atchison of UQ’s squad. “We’ve also welcomed a number of experienced European players, who have added to our club, which gives us our best team to date.”

 

After the group stage in the men’s tournament on Thursday and Friday, the semi-finals will take place on Saturday. The placement round will also begin on Saturday, before the medal round and last placement matches on the final day of competition.

 

The women’s tournament will feature a series of round-robin clashes before the top two sides contest the final on Sunday. The teams participating in the women’s event are Melbourne Handball Club, UTS and UQ.    

 

After several years of teams from across Oceania participating, including clubs from New Caledonia and New Zealand, this year the competition features only Australian sides.

 

Photo: Handball VIC

 

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