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22.11.2012, 17:03
Blog: First goal for Montpellier just before my 18th birthday
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Mathieu Grébille blogs about his introduction to handball and his progression from his school team in Martinique to his Montpeliier debut
 

Blog: First goal for Montpellier just before 18th birthday

Mathieu Grébille is the new rising star of the French handball. After being noticed last year during the quarter-final against Barcelona, he is now the top scorer of his team from Montpellier in this season's VELUX EHF Champions League. The gifted youngster, who could be one of the best players of his generation, writes his first blog for ehfCL.com.

My discovery of handball

I discovered handball at school, where I played it, and thanks to my uncle and my cousin, who had been playing it for a long time. When I arrived in Martinique in 1999, I wanted to play basketball but there was no team for children my age. I was already doing athletics but I wanted to play a collective sport as well. It was in my last year at primary school that my uncle advised me to come and play handball, telling me that high jumping and javelin throwing could be useful. I had played some already, I had liked it, so I went.

What I like in handball

I love sports in general, I did athletics, I loved handball, basketball, and rugby, which is a sport I could have done because my dad was playing it. I think that later on my life, I won't be able to live without sport. I started playing handball because I loved sports. There was the shooting part, which was similar to javelin throwing, and the jumping part, like in high jumping. I was finding in handball what I knew from athletics. Handball is a dynamic sport, where I could use a lot of energy. So I carried on.

My memories of Martinique

I have very fond memories of when I started handball, especially thanks to Patrick Auguiac (U14) and Pascal Julienno (U17). When I arrived at secondary school, there was a class with a handball section. I told my friends to get an inscription so we could all be in the same class. So I played handball with my mates all during secondary school, and every year we would be champions of the island. We beat the Guadeloupe's champions three times as well. And then, with these same friends, we would meet on the weekends at the club. I made a lot of friends there and I keep a very nice memory of the handball beginnings in Martinique.

Being detected and arriving in Montpellier

I was proposed to arrive at the formation centre in my last year of secondary school. My dad refused, he wanted me to finish school where I had begun. I went to the centre at the Le François college, for two years. Every time, I was playing in the category with people older than me. I played with adults when I was 16. It was not that easy, it was a lot more physical and harder because I was confronting people that would be 25 or 30.

But I was doing quite well, and scoring many goals. My training centre told me that I should go to Metropolis (the French name for the territory of France), so I could progress. However, I was reluctant to go there before I had my baccalauréate.

The only club I wanted to play for was Montpellier. My centre coach then sent a letter to Montpellier and in the meantime I was being drafted for the first time to the U18 French national team. I went twice to a a U18 national team meeting, in December 2007 and February 2008. Patrice Canayer called me before the second one so I could come a little bit earlier and so he could try me out in Montpellier. Then told me that he wanted to keep me there. And I accepted.

My first goal

I scored my first goal a few days before my 18th birthday, against Aurillac, in the French league. Canayer puts me on the court in the second half. At some point, we were given a seven meter throw and I went to shoot it. Of course, I missed, the goalkeeper stopped it with a perfect move. Then, a few minutes later, Michaël Guigou gave me a good ball on the wing, I went for the gap and I scored, right above the goalkeeper's head. I felt a lot of joy and emotion because I had scored in front of 3000 people and in front of my friends that were in attendance. I dedicated this goal to them, I was really happy.

Translation: Michael Ferrisi

Read the French version of the blog on handnews.fr


TEXT: Mathieu Grebille, Montpellier Agglomération HB left back
 
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