Djukic tips bright future afer GB bow out of Olympics

Britain men’s handball coach Dragan Djukic tipped a bright future for his side after they finished their London 2012 Olympic campaign with a strong performance.

Eurosport

Team GB ran Beijing silver medallists Iceland close for 40 minutes before the Scandinavians' superior ability shined through, with the hosts eventually falling 41-24 at the Copper Box.

Djukic, in his last game as head coach, believes there is a structure to help the sport grow as he leaves for a similar role with Israel.

“Everything is in place – this generation is young,” said the Serbian.

“I hope handball will survive here in Great Britain. I want to say a big, big, big thanks to the crowd – every player could feel this support.

"I think that this performance was because all the pressure had gone. In the first half we played like we planned to play at the start of the tournament.

"It was a unique opportunity because Iceland play amazing handball. I think that, along with Croatia, they could be in the final.

"Our players had to sacrifice a lot. I have to say thanks for all they did as it is not easy to stay with me for three years. My wife knows this best.”

A superb start from Great Britain saw them neck and neck with Iceland at 6-6 after ten minutes gone and were proving to be a match physically for their opponents.

Each time Iceland, who had a famous win over world and Olympic champions France, threatened to pull away, Team GB pegged them back and were only one behind with five minutes left of the first-half.

In their final match of the Games, Great Britain were cheered off at half-time and were only three behind at 18-15.

Iceland found their form early into the second half and had soon opened up a ten-goal lead, with just 15 minutes to play.

The Scandinavians powered away from Team GB as the Djukic’s side began to tire, but Great Britain would be happy to have posted more than 20 goals against Iceland.

Goalkeeper and captain Bobby White believed he finally delivered a performance worthy of the Games, which he feels is the best experience of his life.

"I don't think I performed my best in the first four games,” said 29-year-old White.

"I felt like I was letting the boys down, but I got very excited out there then. The coach told me to feel the emotion of the crowd and that's what I did.

“Of course, I'm disappointed we lost, that's the normal emotion. But I just had the best experience of my life, competing at the Olympic Games.

"The crowd has been great and supportive the whole way along and today it was just as electric."

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