GB Men Face Stiff Test Against Austria

GREAT Britain Men take on Austria twice this week in the qualifying stages of the 2013 World Championships, and it promises to be one of their toughest challenges yet.They play in Tulln on Thursday night, and then come to London to play them again on Sunday afternoon (2pm) at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.Nothing less than two victories will do if GB are to progress to the play-off stage of the competition, while Austria will be looking to get their campaign off to a strong start with a double win.Austria have named a squad which is littered with quality and experience.With an average age of 27, their 18-man squad has an average of 60 international caps, while GB’s squad average 23 years and 17 caps.Austria just missed out on a spot in the finals of the 2012 European Championship by one point. They beat Iceland 28-23 and drew with Germany 26-26, topping the group for most of the qualifying period before losing the return legs and missing out.Their squad for the two matches against Great Britain includes their top scorer in those six Euro 2012 group stages Robert Weber, who scored 26 goals including eight against Germany.Weber has scored 319 goals in 90 international appearances, but three of his team-mates have netted even more.Viktor Szilagyi – their 33-year-old centre back who plays domestic handball in the Bundesliga for Flensburg – has scored 720 goals in 157 international matches.Patrick Folser has scored 540 times in 203 appearances for Austria, while 29-year-old Roland Schlinger has bagged 473 goals in 125 appearances.While Great Britain’s most experienced players have far fewer international appearances, they are still capable of scoring goals.Yorkshire-born Steven Larsson has scored 160 goals in 24 games, while Scotland’s Chris Mohr has found the net 107 times.And more recently, Gawain Vincent hit form against Estonia last week and scored six times, while Alex Girvan scored seven against Lithuania the previous day.Tickets are available on the door for Sunday’s match, which starts at 2pm. ← Previous Story Norwegian troubles – After Ege, Kjelling missing EHF EURO 2012 Next Story → Sterbik has heart-surgery – 10 days to the full trainning

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