AustraliaCoach: Taip Ramadani
Australia will return to an international tournament organised under the aegis of the International Handball Federation for the first time since 2015 when they ended up in 12th place at the inaugural edition of the IHF Men’s Emerging Nations Championship.
With an eye on the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games, when they will be qualified as hosts, Australia are looking to improve their men’s team, which made the final cut for the IHF Men’s World Championship six times in a row between 2005 and 2013. However, since then Australia have failed to get into gear and the berths for major tournaments have disappeared.
Making their debut at the inaugural IHF Men’s Emerging Nations Championship in 2015, Australia snatched a win, a draw and lost one game in the group phase, falling to 12th place after one more win against Albania and losses against Great Britain and Bulgaria.
From that point on, Australia did not make it to the IHF Men’s Emerging Nations Championship and their team lost steam, finishing 11th in the 2018 AHF Asian Men’s Handball Championship, 12th in 2020 and 16th in 2022.
Last January, Australia were hit by injuries and COVID-19 cases and ended up in 16th place at the AHF Asian Men’s Handball Championship. Still, right now, guided by the experience of players like backs Caleb Gahan and Timothy Anderson or line player Karl Warrener, they hope to improve their best finish at the IHF Men’s Emerging Nations Championship, which will mean avoiding the last place.
With a group featuring Cyprus and the Republic of Moldova, Australia need only one win, which could come against the Republic of Moldova, as Cyprus are the most experienced team in the group. Still, a motivated Australia team can seal some surprising results.
Boasting five players featuring outside of Australia, three in the lower divisions of the Germany pyramid and two in Norway, Taip Ramadani’s side will hope to impress and build their form for the next years as they definitely need to grow the segment ahead of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games.
Key players: Caleb Gahan (centre back), Timothy Anderson (right back), Karl Warrener (line player)
History in the tournament: 2015: 12th
Group at Bulgaria 2023: Group B (Cyprus, Republic of Moldova, Australia)