London 2012 - Woodward tips handball women for big things
Britain's women's handball team have been tipped to make the next leap forwards – after booking their qualification to the European Championship group stages – by British Olympic Association performance chief Sir Clive Woodward.
Woodward watched Jesper Holmris' side beat Finland 27-20 to secure their progress to the next phase, which will see them take on Russia, Montenegro and Poland home and away in six matches over the next year.
"I thought it was fantastic,” said Woodward.
“The athleticism and physicality was very impressive and it was a great game to watch.
"Success starts from the top and British Handball really have the leadership and the organisation right and that filters down into the rest of the team.”
Lynn McCafferty was joint top scorer with seven goals alongside Kelsi Fairbrother, while Lyn Byl added four goals to help reach the group stages which begin with a match against Russia in October.
“The first half was fantastic – the best performance we have had so far," said Holmris.
“Finland played much better than they did in the first leg, but our defence was just amazing and Sarah Hargreaves in goal was awesome in the first half.
“Both Lynn McCafferty and Lyn Byl also played really well, but the whole team played their part.”
However, Holmris is under no illusions about the task ahead.
He added: “Russia and Montenegro are two of the top teams in the world. It’s a tough group, but it’s just a great chance for us to play against those teams.”