Youths experience highs and lows of European competition

Tryst Partille Cup squad.
Tryst Partille Cup squad.

Two youth teams from Tryst ’77 Handball Club have returned after competing in an international tournament in Sweden.

The Tryst teams were competing in the Partille Cup in Gothenburgh which featured teams from as far afield as Brazil, China, South Korea, Kenya and Canada.

The youngster found themselves facing sides mostly from mainland Europe but also a couple of teams that were a wee bit further travelled in the shape of Zimbabwe and Nepal.

Partille Cup is the world’s largest handball tournament and this year was its 45th staging. More teams than ever were taking part – over 1100 teams with more than 18,000 participants from 44 countries.

At this year’s tournament Tryst entered teams in the girls’ 14 and boys’ 14 age categories.

Although Tryst 77 Handball Club have been frequent visitors to Partille Cup, this was the first time these squads and these players had taken part.

And while the coaches try and prepare the players as best they can for the size and scale of the competition and the high standard of the participating teams, it can still come as a bit of an eye-opener to the young players.

But the Tryst players embraced this prospect and embraced the challenge, staying positive throughout and enjoying the experience.

Both Tryst teams performed extremely well at a competition where previous experience has taught that winning a game against the high quality teams in opposition is something of an achievement.

The format of Partille Cup is such that every team is placed in a group of six or seven teams and plays against all other sides in their section. Once all the group placings are finalised the teams then go onto either the ‘A’ knockout phase or the ‘B’ knockout phase.

The Tryst teams had it tough with an extremely difficult draw. However, despite this, when the Tryst teams were focussed, they played some excellent handball and when everything clicked then the teams played extremely well. In most matches they were never too far away from competing with these top handball countries.

However in the tough environment of this tournament, any lapses are taken advantage of and from time to time when concentration dropped or mistakes were made then these were punished to the full.

But the players and coaches were realistic about what awaited them and there was much satisfaction in how these young players performed.

There were some wonderful successes and some frustrating defeats. The highlights were the girls’ win over Zimbabwe and the boys’ stirring comeback against Norwegian side Baekkelaget SK.

The players had a fantastic time and made many new friends from all over the world. They have seen so much and been exposed to a very beautiful country and a very respectful culture. The coaches have seen big improvements in everyone’s playing ability.

A big thank you to kit sponsor Orca Telecom and also to coaches and leaders Alan Govan, James Yule, Fiona Kennedy, Brian Johnston, Marina Govan and Joanne Cleland, without whom the trip would not have been possible.

Squad: P.Arnachellum, J.Pettigrew, C.Croal, G.Elliott, H.Evans, R. McEwan, J.Holland, E.Forbes, C.Faulds, R.Connelly, C. Elliott, J. Piatek, E. Brown, M. Russell, C. Chan, C. Yule, R. Johnston, P. Leonard, L. Govan, A. Semple, A. Thomas, C. Gray and G. Goldie.