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29.12.2011, 13:29
"We fear everyone, but also fear nobody."
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France aims to defend its EHF EURO 2010 title.
 

"We fear everyone, but also fear nobody."

After the great result of their female colleagues, who recently won the silver medal in Brazil, the French men are aiming just as high, as they do in every championship in which they participate.

Coach Claude Onesta´s team has won everything, including European, World and Olympic gold, and now in Serbia, their goal is to defend the title they won two years ago in Austria.

Claude Onesta talks to ehf-euro.com in an exclusive interview about the French preparation, the team´s strong group in Novi Sad and his aims at the EHF EURO in Serbia.

ehf-euro.com: How is the preparation going for the French national team and what keeps you busy with regard to handball these days?

Claude Onesta: The preparation will begin on 2nd January 2012 in Capbreton, France. On the first few days, we’ll do some physical preparation, and the playing of handball will increase day by day.

Then, we’ll play two matches against Norway on the 10th and 12th January in France and we’ll arrive in Novi Sad on the 14th. The preparation is going to be very short and we must take care to avoid any injuries.

In a few days, I will name the list of French players who will be at the preparation, probably 20 players.

ehf-euro.com: France is the EHF EURO title defender, which means that the national team didn’t have to go through qualification. Do you see this as an advantage or disadvantage with regard to preparation for the continental tournament?

Claude Onesta: It’s an advantage because it allows us to prepare as we want and to choose our opponents. On the other hand, it’s a disadvantage, because during international weeks we couldn’t play against many good teams, as most of them were playing qualification games. During this period it’s difficult to find many quality national teams available.

ehf-euro.com: Your team suffered a surprise defeat against Slovakia recently, but then shortly after the NT clearly outclassed the Slovaks. How do you reflect on the two games, what happened in the first that the team lost, and what was needed to win the second game that clearly?

Claude Onesta: Our team could lose against many teams if we are not serious enough in the match. Slovakia played very well and took advantage of this situation. We are not invincible!

During the training camp, we may not have prepared well enough for the first match, but we did much more in the second game, and also all the French players were probably hurt by the massive defeat in the first match.

ehf-euro.com: You’ve been the leader of the French National Team for a long time, and with them, you won all possible titles including the European, World and Olympic Championships. What gives you the motivation to continue as national team coach after all those successes and great results?

Claude Onesta: The challenge of trying to win many more medals and titles! I’m not bored with this yet!

ehf-euro.com: A European Championship is always a top tournament with very strong nations playing for the top positions. In Serbia you will face Hungary, Russia and Spain in the preliminaries. Is the first game against Spain the key match in the group? What do you expect from Hungary and Russia with their experienced coaches Maksimov and Mocsai?

Claude Onesta: These three teams are of high quality and with lots of experience. To get to the second round, we must win against each team because all points are important. We fear everyone, but also fear nobody. Each match will be a tough one! 

Further information

Download the Official EHF EURO 2012 Playing Schedule (pdf)

Buy your EHF EURO 2012 tickets HERE.

Ticketing is managed by the Serbian Organising Committees. Should you need further assistance for buying your tickets, please contact via email: tickets@rss.org.rs

Find more information on the tournament on the official website www.ehf-euro.com/SRB2012/

Join the growing community of fans of the event on Facebook www.facebook.com/SRB2012


TEXT: Márk Hegedüs
 
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