A total of six Borussia Dortmund women’s handballers have been called up by their national teams and will be away on duty with them from 3 April. Right-winger Meret Ossenkopp could make her debut for the German national team. Update: Emma Olsson has also received her first call-up.

Germany coach Markus Gaugisch has also included captain Alina Grijseels and pivot Lisa Antl in his squad, which will be aiming to secure qualification for the World Cup in their upcoming play-offs against Greece (first leg in Hamm on 6 April). The DHB team will go into the two clashes as the clear favourites (return leg on 12 April).

Meret Ossenkopp, who missed the game against Buxtehuder SV on Wednesday at late notice due to illness, is delighted with her first call-up. “I wasn’t expecting it, even though I’ve often been on the standby list. It’s a great recognition for my performances in the past few weeks and gives me more motivation.”

Though Ossenkopp has already been on the radar, she did not assume that she would be called up: “I was really happy when I got the call. A childhood dream has come true. The sense of anticipation will definitely last until the course, and I’m already excited just thinking about it.”

The other players called up are Yara ten Holte, Zoë Sprengers and Harma van Kreij, who will be part of the Netherlands national team taking on Sweden in Almere on 7 and 8 April. The two countries last played each other at the European Championships in November. The Scandinavians won the fifth-place play-off back then. Despite the defeat, the Netherlands have already qualified for the World Cup.

Emma Olsson will be part of the Sweden B-national team facing the Netherlands in two friendly games.