Canberra Cup gets under way this weekend

Sydney uni player with ball in hand looks yto attack UQ defence

The Canberra Cup is set to take place on March 25th and 26th at Brindabella College, Lyneham, where the Canberra Handball Club will face off against some of the best handball clubs in Australia.

Tournament preview

This exciting men’s handball tournament provides a great opportunity for participating teams to assess their performance against other top-tier teams leading to the 2023 Australian Club Championship. The Canberra Handball Club will compete against Sydney University, University of Queensland and Saint Kilda in this year’s event.

This year’s competition, which is being held in Canberra for the first time, is a precursor to the 2023 Australian Club Championship, in July. The ACT Handball Association invited three of the top handball clubs in Australia to participate alongside the Canberra Handball Club.

Sydney Uni, the reigning Australian champions and representatives of Oceania at the 2022 IHF Superglobe, is a team with vast experience and is the one to beat at this year’s Canberra Cup. They will pin their hopes on their creative centre back, Mateusz Matlach to lead their attack, and with the likes of left-wing Icaro Gregorio and junior national team centre, Alejandro Peña, they will have a lot of variety and flexibility in attack.

University of Queensland, last year’s Australian Club Championship runners-up, will be relying on a string of loaned players after many from their current roster were not avaialble for the trip to the capital. Amongst the team are several members of the u21 Junior Squad that competed at the 2023 IHF Trophy for juniors in Costa Rica. The player to watch is Jacob Crook, who is on loan from the Brisbane Handball Club. A sharp centre-back with good change of speed and direction will cause problems to the best defensive lines in the tournament.

St Kilda, Victoria’s premier handball club, has been restructuring following a difficult transition from the covid lockdown era. They are led on the court by national team goalkeeper Thomas Gerstch and are serious contenders for this title.

Finally, the home team, the Canberra Handball Club, despite a mixed start to the season in the NSW League, is continually improving day by day. The team plays a dynamic style of handball that promises to entertain. Saša Šestić and Karl Warrener are the their most experienced players and will be vital to the team’s ambitions in the tournament.

Marie Arnaudon

Photo credit: Chris Seen

Tournament schedule

25 March – Morning

10:00 Canberra v UQ

11:30 Sydney Uni v St Kilda

25 March – Afternoon

17:00 St Kilda v Canberra

18:30 UQ v Sydney Uni

26 March

9:30 St Kilda v UQ

11:00 Canberra v Sydney Un