London 2012 - Brits take time over new handball coach
Getting the right choice to replace outgoing Team GB Men’s handball coach Dragan Djukic is vital to securing funds for the sport, according to one of his assistants.
Bill Baillie is part of Djukic’s backroom staff for the London 2012 Olympic Games and is full of praise for the Serbian, who departs after the summer to work in a similar role for Israel.
But the Scot feels that with future funding for the sport based on GB handball getting to the next Games in Rio in 2016, he could not predict who the British Handball Association will appoint next.
He said: "Will they bring someone from the domestic game or appoint another foreign coach, I don’t know.
"Our next funding is dependent on qualification for Rio so what they feel they need in a coach for that, I can’t second guess, though I wouldn’t have thought that it would impact on the players.
"He’s brought vast experience as he’s coached in the Champions League and with the Swiss national team.
"He’s opened a lot of doors for us as he’s well known and that’s given us a lot of contacts to get players abroad and given them playing experience.
"Now some of the players have vast experience and that’s largely down to him. He got us in the same arenas as others going to the Olympics."
Line player Chris McDermott is disappointed that Djukic is leaving, but is not surprised and hopes that he will go out on a high.
He said: "It’s disappointing as it’s a big blow to GB handball as he’s a great coach, but it’s been expected for a while so I think it shouldn’t take to appoint a new coach.
"It will bring the squad together as he’s shown a commitment to us, and it will be great for him to go out with a bang."
Ciaran Williams, former captain and playmaker, believes nothing has changed in the run-up to the Games with Djukic’s announcement and says the squad is right behind him.
"The squad was well aware the BHA couldn't guarantee anything for him post-Games right now, and he has his career and livelihood to think of. It's not a problem and won't change anything."