British Handball is set for an “historic” moment this week when the men’s senior squad host their first international match on UK soil since the 2012 London Olympics.
Team GB are gearing up to face Finland for a two-legged clash as part of the 2025 World Championship Qualifier Phase 1.
The first leg will take place on Thursday at Ravenscraig in Scotland, throwing off at 7pm, with the team having travelled north on Wednesday following their training camp at Loughborough College. After the first leg, hosted by Scottish Handball in association with British Handball, the GB team will fly out to Finland the next day for the second leg on Saturday, with a place in Phase 2 qualification up for grabs.
Then, in January, as part of the Promotion Round of the EHF Euro 2026 tournament, GB will play a double header against Kosovo – with the winners progressing to Round 1 of the qualifiers proper in November next year. It will be the first time GB has been involved in any stage of the prestigious tournament.
Ricardo Vasconcelos, Head GB Senior Coach and Head of Performance at England Handball, said: “It’s amazing to be involved in this historic moment for British Handball as we prepare to take part in two major tournaments.
“Kosovo and Finland are regulars at this stage of the competitions, so it will be a huge challenge, but being able to host these matches after 10 years is incredible.
“Myself and the squad are so happy and thankful to the British Handball Association (BHA) for taking that step. It shows how much the sport has developed due to the hard work and dedication of players, families, clubs and key partners.”
With the squad already named for this week’s matches against Finland, many of those called up have come through performance pathways in England and Scotland and now play for clubs at home and abroad.
Ricardo Vasconcelos added: “The key aspect for us is that we are facing teams of the level we need to reach in our path, and we are very excited to do so to benchmark and continue our progress. We’re bringing together the best players from clubs all over the country and further afield too, which will be a brilliant experience for them.
“It will be an amazing opportunity to showcase our sport and inspire the next generation of talent.”