Cape Verde coach: Egypt 2021 is an opportunity to reinforce our identity

Cape Verde are making their first appearance in the 27th Men’s Handball World Championship, which will be held in Egypt from 13 to 31 January 2021, with the participation of 32 teams for the first time in the history of the event.

They will play in the World Championship for the first time after the team was ranked fifth in the African Nations Cup in 2020 in Tunisia, and it was also their first participation in the African tournament.

Cape Verde are based in Group A with the teams of Germany, Hungary and Uruguay.

Theit Portugese coach, Jose Tomaz, is striving for the national team to appear in their best shape during their participation in this international tournament in Egypt.

Jose Tomaz spoke to the Egypt 2021 official website, where he said: "This is an unprecedented moment for Cape Verde, as this first participation in the World Championship is an opportunity to strengthen Cape Verde's identity in the world not only for sporting performance, but also for error-free behaviour." He said

"My role includes many things as helping to develop handball in the beautiful islands of Cape Verde through internships, teaching agents and various training, which is an area that I consider essential within the national team. We are setting goals for the 2022 African Cup of Nations, where we will fight for a place on the podium, and in the next World Championship. Our goal is to develop the competitive level of the national team through playing and learning from the best". Tomaz added

Regarding his plan for the team before the tournament, Tomaz said: "We have a very small team with one high-level competitive experience, and the team's structure should include a few new players, but mostly the team that participated in the last Nations Cup will be relied upon", he explained.

About the tournament's draw, the Portuguese coach said: "The draw had two different facts, the first being the presence of Germany and Hungary and they would compete for the first and second places in the group as they are considered the best national teams in the world, and they have goals to be on the final ceremony's podium. On the other side, Cape Verde and Uruguay are two new teams without a curriculum. They will compete for the third place with great ambition, which will enable those who reach to achieve a distinguished classification at the end.

“Our strategy in structuring the team was changed with the emergence of the Corona pandemic so we could not develop internal work in the Cape Verde part, which will definitely allow us to increase the number of potential players for selection and in this way the team will depend on the players who play abroad. The training schedule has also changed and we will have 20 days of training over two tournaments which will be held in Portugal where it will include several matches with the big Portuguese clubs". Tomaz revealed his team’s preparatory plans for the tournament.

The Cape Verde coach continued; "By participating in the World Championship we will have the opportunity to compete with the best teams in the world, which will enable the Cape Verde team to develop their level towards good performance.

“We want to know our position and our classification around the world so that we can build a correct path of performance. Therefore we are required to make more work, effort and dedication and the necessary exercises and means to make this applicable. We also want our participation to become a means to promote and develop handball in Cape Verde." The Coach Continued

Jose Tomaz praised Egypt's capabilities to organise the World Championship, as he said: “Egypt's commitment to the success of the World Championship is wonderful, and we all regret that the presence of the Corona virus does not allow excellent playing venues to enjoy the great human warmth of fans of this beautiful sport, and each of us will respect the protocol specified by the organising committee".

Finally, Jose Tomaz sent a confirming message to the fans of his country, "The commitment that we will play as true heroes and the great respect for the flag of our country and our cultural and social identity, in every match, we will fight together to overcome ourselves, we want the people of Cape Verde to be proud of this team”. Tomaz concluded