Hackney land silver at London Youth Games handball finals
- Credit: Archant
Hackney girls’ handball coach Nana Badu said he was ‘really proud’ of his side, after landing a silver medal at the London Youth Games handball finals.
Badu saw his side top their group by beating Richmond (6-0), Wandsworth (9-0) and Camden (2-0), before cruising through to the finals at the Copper Box Arena this weekend.
“I’m really proud of our girls, we have three year 11’s and the rest of them are year nine and year eight’s, so we got a younger squad this year,” he said.
“Really proud of them and didn’t expect them to get this far, we just thought we’d come for the experience and then next year and the year after look to win, as we going to have this group for two or three years.”
The girls’ brushed off Newham in the quarter-finals, before defeating previous champions Barking and Dagenham 4-2 in a thrilling end-to-end semi-final to make the final, where they slipped to a 3-0 defeat to Ealing.
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“They’ve just been amazing and I know we’re going to win this next year, I know that after seeing how they performed out there today.
“It was a really good atmosphere and good to play in an actual handball arena so that’s amazing, as we normally get a quarter or half of a school hall to train.
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“Some of the girls have had like four training sessions and we lost to a club team with national players and we didn’t look out of place in the final at all.”
Badu praised his players for their efforts and believes the future is bright for the borough in the handball competition.
“We’ve got some amazing players, I had to fight and struggle to get them from netball, basketball and try to convince them to play handball as it’s not a popular sport and something we do in this country a lot,” he admitted.
“For us it’s been difficult, but I just can’t believe where they’ve got to today.”
He also praised Naomi Donker for her stand-out performance and not buckling under the pressure of being targeted.
“She’s going to go far and England are actually looking at her,” Badu added.
“She’s amazing, loves handball, does athletics as well and I just want her to love the game and yeah she’s a target for other teams and I told her the reason they know you is because you’re that good.”