Local handball champions Swieqi Yobetit Phoenix are due to compete in the European Handball Federation Cup this September.
The competition is one of handball’s biggest in Europe, being the equivalent to football’s Europa League
This will mark the first time that a Maltese team will ever be participating at the prestigious sporting event.
The team have been drawn to play against Croatian team RK Dubrava from Zagreb in the first round of the competition.
“Croatia has an impressive handball pedigree, having been world, European and Olympic champions for the past fifteen years,” Phoenix Sports Club President Orlando Bonnici said of the tough incoming challenge.
The first round matches will be held in Zagreb on the 7th and 8th of September.
The winner will go on to meet Portugal’s Benfica, who have already been touted for progression to the next rounds.
With regard to the local team’s preparations, Bonnici confirmed training was already well underway.
Swieqi Yobetit Phoenix have also bolstered their lineup with local and international signings. “This is an important step for Maltese handball, and we intend to perform well in the double encounter against Croatia’s best,” Bonnici told press.
The club president closed his statement by thanking all those in support of Swieqi Yobetit’s venture into the EHF Cup, including SportMalta, the Malta Handball Association, as well as the various sponsors “who have helped make this dream come true.”