“National handball wants to make history”

“National handball wants to make history”

At 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, the National Handball team welcomes Croatia at the indoor stadium of Kanithou for the qualifiers for EURO 2024 and with a victory against the powerful opponent to qualify for the first time in its history to the finals of the competition.

Thus, on Tuesday at the same stadium, the press conference of the specific match was given with present representatives of OCHE, the Municipality of Chalkidea and the National Football Team.

What was said in detail:

Kostas Violitzis (member of the Board of Directors of OHE): “It is the last game of the qualifying cycle and we believe that it will lead us to a historic qualification for the EURO. In Chalkida we feel comfortable, this seat has only been combined with victories. I firmly believe that this time too our coaches and our athletes will do their utmost to achieve a great victory-qualification.

We want to thank the local authorities, the Municipality of Chalkidea, DOAPPEX and the Region of Central Greece. What is important to mention – because it is the first time in a long time that a match is held on a Wednesday – is that the people fill the stadium and we rely a lot on the men and women of Chalkida. I hope tomorrow at 19:30 we can all celebrate a historic qualification together”.

Fotis Gounis (Director of DOAPPEX): “It is our honor that the National team is hosted, once again, in Chalkida. We hope that tomorrow the National Team will celebrate a historic qualification in this stadium, which is magical. But, we don’t only play with charms, we also play with the competitiveness of the athletes, but also with the support of the sports fans for this and we invite the people from Chalkida and the wider region to support the effort of our National Team”.

Giorgos Zaravinas (federal technician): “We are returning after about a month to Chalkida for the final stretch of the group. Clearly, we are satisfied so far with the first place. We have the opportunity to play in front of our audience and continue this two-way relationship that exists and involves effort, love and support.

The reality is that we are in the most difficult part of the group. There is optimism and confidence in the team, but we all know that we have created expectations and we want to look worthy of them. What concerns us, in the first phase, is to enter the game ready mentally and physically. I think it might be one of the most important games in the history of the National Team.

I don’t want to go into detail about the opponent, everyone knows the handball size of Croatia and what it means to win something against this team. There are many qualification scenarios, but to succeed in one of them we must claim every phase, every minute, because points, goal difference, everything count. The Croatians are in third place, the match is one-way for them and they will certainly want to prove that we are wrongly in first place and they are in third. For them, it is a strange and unacceptable condition.

On the other hand, we will claim with all our strength the game and we must not leave the matter of qualification in the hands of third parties and other teams in the other groups. We have learned with the people on our side and I hope that tomorrow too they will create a beautiful atmosphere that will help us in our goal”.

Haris Mallios (Captain of the Men’s National Team): “We are going back to our house. I have no words to thank the local agencies and the people. We feel love and ‘warmth’ on all levels and I think it shows. Great is a little to describe the games that are coming. They are two very demanding matches. We’ll go step by step, starting with tomorrow’s game. Croatia is a team whose history says it all, but we want to write our own history. I think that the Croatians count us enough, their egos have been hurt, the third place is shocking for their level.

We are in first place in the group and we want to stay there, we look higher, we are not afraid of responsibilities or demands. If a little while ago, we said we were in first place, with two games to go, we would have been laughed at. The team is mentally and physically ready. I am sure that there will be difficult moments in the match and there we have to show stability and calmness which I think will be the ‘keys’ of the match. There is a lot of confidence in the technical staff and in ourselves, we are fully prepared.

The team is confident and the energy levels we will give tomorrow I don’t think we will have seen in any other game. Even if we win, on Sunday against the Netherlands we will be even hungrier and in the EURO we want to go further, dreams have no ceiling, we are here to make them come true. I believe the world will give us the push we need.”

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