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Group A: Angola - Mission Olympia 2020

Grit Jurack is the official ambassador of the 2017 Women’s World Championship in Germany. Tickets for the event are available at Until the World Championship will be thrown off with the opening match Germany vs Cameroon in Jurack’s hometown Leipzig, she will analyse the four groups of the preliminary round and have a closer look at each team.

Today it's all about Group A and the national team from Angola. 

„I think it’s not enough to beat only one European team to reach the round of sixteen. In the first place, it will be hard to win even one match. But we will fight“, says Morten Soubak.

Since January 2017 the Dane is coach of the Angolan national team and he prepares the team for the Olympic Games in Japan in 2020.

„I don’t know exactly how much girls and women are playing handball in Angola. But the quality and quantity of good players is limited if you compare it to Brasil or Europe”, says Soubak. The trainer came to Africa a year ago and wants to make the African champion competitive. “I’ve never been to Africa. This is a new adventure, both regarding handball and my life. And I’m doing fine here”, says the 53-year-old. Besides his role as national trainer he is also employed by C.D. Primeiro de Agostoin, one of the two biggest clubs in the country.

“I’m not only trainer of the women’s team, but also some kind of coordinator. This means, I’m often training the U18 and U20 teams as well. Training starts at 6:30 in the morning, afterwards the women go to school or university. In the evening we start our second unit”, he summarises a normal day.

Training takes place in the open air. “We don’t have a sports hall. We train outside on a plastic floor. This is where the matches take place as well”, so Soubak. The journey to the matches doesn’t take long. “Every club is in Luanda. There are six competitive Clubs in the men’s sector and in the women’s sector as well. “I would like to see ten additional teams on a high level for each sector”, explains the Dane.

A lot of the top performers are pregnant or stopped playing handball. “We are in the middle of a small transitional phase. “I need well-playing women for the next year because in 2018 we will play at the African Championship, where we can get the ticket for the World Championship in 2019. And the World Championship leads to the qualification for the Olympic Games. Of course we want to perform well at the World Championship in Germany, but a lot of my decisions are made with a view to the long-term goal”, says the coach.

In December it is summer in Angola which is hardly endured by a Northern European. “Even if we are training at 6:30, it’s very different to training in Europe. From 7 am on you get the feeling of being grilled. That’s why I am looking forward to cold Germany. All of my players have played in different World Championships; they know Europe and its climate. It’s not a worry to me”, Soubak explains.

The journey to Trier starts at the end of November. “At first we are staying a few days in Angola, then the journey continues to Portugal, after that we play a tournament in France and following we are looking forward to Trier”, the coach looks ahead.