Uruguay coach Botejara: A golden opportunity to compete at high level

Uruguay will take part in the 27th IHF Men’s Handball World Championship, which will be held in Egypt during January 2021, in which 32 teams are participating for the first time in the history of the tournament.

At Egypt 2021, Uruguay will make their first appearance in their history in the world championship, after being ranked third in the 2020 South and Central American Nations Championship.

Uruguay are one of the newcomers for Egypt 2021 (along with African teams Cape Verde and D.R. Congo).

They have made 10 appearances in the Pan American Championship, starting in 1994. Their best result was finishing fourth in the 2012, 2014, and 2016 editions.

They are based in the first group with the teams of Germany, Hungary and Cape Verde.

Jorge Botejara, the coach of the national team, is trying to appear in a distinctive way during his country's first participation in tournament.

Botejara talked to Egypt 2021 official website: “I see that my mission with Uruguay in the next WorldChampionship is taking two different paths at the same time. The first is to establish a reference for the players and institutions in our country that gives them a strong impetus to grow and develop their level, and the second is a very important opportunity to compete at the high level for the time".

“We are a developed association and I do not have a contract with the federation and I have been working as a coach since 2000. We have improved our level of play and we were close to qualifying for the World Championship before, so in any case I think that our goal is to try to develop and perform better and make outstanding players." Botejara revealed his goal during his mandate with the team.

Regarding his opinion on the level of his team and whether he plans to restructure the squad before the next tournament, Botejara said: "Our level is what allowed us to be in third place in our continent and with the growth of men's handball in Uruguay, so we take the next participation as an opportunity to continue our development, so the next stage depends a lot on development and what the federation will do and support which eventually leads to the creation of the infrastructure and the venue in which we will train. At the present time we do not have a place for our training as an association, and this condition will have a direct impact for the next stage".

The coach of Uruguay also commented on the tournament's draw that placed them in the first group with Germany, Hungary and Cape Verde.

"The draw for our group has two different levels, Germany and Hungary are outside our capabilities and we hope that we will have a chance in front of Cape Verde to qualify".

“We have five professionals abroad, among them four in Spain and one in Italy, so I will rely on the four professionals in Spain and the rest of the team will be promising and amateur players. The World Championship will give our young and amateur players the opportunity to reach a professional environment. " Botejara unveiled the strategy that he intends to follow with the team during the coming period.

The head coach also spoke about the preparatory program for the World Championship, as he said : “Because of the Corona pandemic we started our program in September with physical exercises only with the start of local competition in our country, and we have planned to start training during October, but we are waiting for our federation to solve some issues that will allow us to train in the stadium, and if the situation of thr Corona virus allows us, we hope to hold friendly matches with Argentina, Brazil and other countries on our continent, perhaps go to a tour in Spain, but we do not know that at the present time".

"It is related to the things that I talked about before and having a chance against Cape Verde, so being third in our group would be great for us, and after that it all depends on the development of our performance" the head coach added regarding fortunes at the tournament.

Botejara also spoke about Egypt's organisation of the tournament, "I think that the organisation is so far wonderful, and the Organising Committee will consider and take all necessary measures for the success of the tournament”.

Finally, Jorge Botejara sent a message to the Uruguanian fans saying: "At the beginning our team will respect all the traditions of all sports in our country and we have the insistence on achieving our goal at 100%. I hope that handball will receive better support for its development throughout Uruguay as the idea of handball in Uruguay is that it is the only sport that has reached the level of the men's and women's World Championships, and I think we have captured the attention of our nation". The head coach concluded