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Annaleigh sets sights on Iceland
9:00am Thursday 19th September 2013 in Sport
A WOOLSTON handball player is heading to Iceland as part of the first British team to compete in the European Handball Federation Cup.
Annaleigh Knott will travel to Reykjavík in October after her side, Olympia London Handball Club, won the national women’s league last season.
Annaleigh, a student at Queen Mary University of London, and her Olympia team-mates face Fram in a two-match tie on October 5 and 6.
The 19-year-old is excited for the trip, despite being the only British player on the team.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” she said. “It’s going to be hard work, but it’s definitely going to be worth it.
“We have players from Romania, Czech Republic, France, Norway, but I’m the only British girl.
“We normally train together twice a week, but that’s going up to three times before we travel.
“I was hoping to see a bit of Reykjavík while we are there, but our coach might have different ideas – he’s very tough!”
European competition represents a big step for the former Winstanley College pupil, who only took up the sport three years ago.
“I started at Birchwood High School, but it was in the last two weeks of term so my coach Gary Kelsall took me to Warrington Wolves before they folded,” explained the left-handed right winger.
“A lot of the teams in the European competition are semi-professional and paid, but the coach’s words were ‘we’re going to show Europe that the UK can play some good handball’.”
Annaleigh, who received a £300 donation from MARS Milk Fund to help cover the cost of the trip, is hoping the competition will stand her in good stead for next year’s national trials.
“Competing in the European League is a fantastic opportunity to improve,” she added.
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