Jordan will be taking a handball team to the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku from May 12-22, hoping that their late inclusion will mark a positive return to the international scene.
Jordan have replaced Afghanistan at the multi-sport event, accepting an invitation from organisers who will cover the team’s expenses for taking part.
And while it has been some time since the team participated at this level, Tunisian coach Adnan Bin Al Hareth believes the opportunity has come at the right time as the sport looks to rebuild on the Asian level.
“Once we received the invitation we immediately assembled a squad of experienced players,” explained Bin Al Hareth.
“We are training hard twice a day and are pushing the players to the physical limits so they are as fit as they can be.
We know the level will be high in Baku but the players have worked hard and are in good shape considering the late circumstances.
We will do our best and hope to make an impact there.” Jordan have been placed in Group B alongside with Turkey, Morocco and Iraq, while Group A include Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan.
“We have very strong teams in our group with great experience, but I believe that we can surprise them and move to the second round.
“We will receive huge benefits from competing as we look to return to the Asian level. Playing against these teams will allow us to gain more experience, and also it will test our current level so that a strategic plan for Jordan handball can be put in place for the future.”
The national team includes Khalid Ibrahim, Ahmad Al Bes, Muath Taha, Ahmad Nayef, Ahmad Abulkareem, YazaN Ta’ani, Mohammad Nayef, Tareq Al Mansi, Khaled Ezzeldien, Mahmoud Al Hindawi, Suhaib Abu Rumman, Ahmad Al Ansari, Abdulrahman Al Aqrabawi and Hani Al Saed.