Women's handballers to start second half-season against Halle-Neustadt
The BVB women's handballers have another long journey on Wednesday (8/2). They will visit SV Union Halle-Neustadt at 19:00 CET for the first game in the second half of the Bundesliga season. After their stunning 31-21 win over Besancon in the European League on Sunday, Henk Groener's players are eager to follow up with another success at domestic level.
The impact of the resounding win over Besancon is still being felt. "It was an outstanding performance at the front and back," said Henk Groener, even though he did not feel the opening stages were quite as good as the scoreline might suggest. But the coach does not want to be too critical; after all, his team beat their strong opponents from France very comfortably once again and edged closer to qualification for the quarter-finals. With a big lead for long spells – there were periods where BVB were 15 goals in front – Groener also had the opportunity to rest some of his key performers. "It was also urgently necessarily as the game in Halle will demand everything of us once again," said the coach.
There his team will face an opponent whose recent results have suddenly and unexpectedly left them in the thick of a relegation battle. The club consequently decided to relieve Katrin Schneider of her coaching duties, with sporting director Jan-Henning Himborn taking over the reins in the dugout. The "Wild Cats" will be hoping that will help them turn things around and quickly get back on track following some extremely unpleasant results.
That is not the only reason Groener is especially wary. "We already saw in the defeat in Bensheim what happens if we're not 100% present. Then things can go wrong too. But I think that we learned our lessons from that," said the Dutchman, in an open admission that the Black & Yellows took some time to get over their DHB-Pokal elimination. With that in mind, he was at pains to point out once again that Halle's squad is better than their position in the table suggests.
"There has been a lot of unrest and a change of coach does not always make for stable performances. But they also regularly play good games and they will want to show their own fans what they're capable of after the defeat against Neckarsulm. The atmosphere there is always very good, so there's a lot in store for us," added Groener.
Anyone wanting to follow the match from home can tune into the Sportdeutschland.TV live-stream. Throw-off will be at 19:00 CET.