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21.03.2013, 16:09
New opportunities in France squad
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Onesta selects squad for Norway qualifiers
 

New opportunities in France squad

Claude Onesta, France's head coach, announced his squad to play against Norway in the EHF EURO 2014 qualifying games in April.

The selection came with a few surprises, due to the team being overwhelmed with injuries.

Xavier Baracet, Madrid's right-back, is out due to a shoulder injury and will undergo surgery next week leaving him out of action for three to six months.

Michael Guigou, the left winger from Montpellier, is also out with a thigh injury.

Thimothey Nguessan, who was a surprise addition to the squad at the World Championship in January, has been left out to make room for Kentin Mahé.

"Well, I just want to see someone else, I haven't had much occasion to see Kentin play with us so far, and with Mathieu Grébbéille coming back as well, I had to leave one of the three home," Onesta explained on Canal+.

Bertrand Gille, Chambéry's line player will not play either, as he continues to recover from a hamstring problem.

Of course, Daouda Karaboué and Didier Dinart, who both put an end to their international careers recently, will not be in the squad.

The rest of the team is quite similar to what we usually know, except for the addition of Creteil left winger Hugo Descat and Dunkerque goalkeeper Vincent Gérard.

Descat is at the moment the fourth best scorer in the French league, and has been a regular fixture in France's young national teams for a few years. Vincent Gérard has been rewarded for his excellent season with his club, and he finally gets a chance to show what he is capable of on the international stage.

France's team will be together from 1 April, before playing twice against Norway, the first game in Stavanger on the 3 April, followed by the home game in Nancy on 6 April.

These games will be crucial for the lead of the group, since both teams are tied with four points at the moment.

ehf-euro.com spoke to Hugo Descat about his selection and what to expect from him in the upcoming games.

ehf-euro.com: What was your first reaction when you learnt you had been selected?

Hugo Descat: I was very happy, but quite surprised as well, I did not expect it. I fell back down to Earth pretty quickly, since we had an important game in Tremblay on Friday and that I know I am in the squad partly because of Michael Guigou's injury.

ehf-euro.com: Was it a total surprise for you or did you still see it coming a little bit?

Hugo Descat: No a complete surprise. I know I've done a lot of hard work, but I'm not quite there yet. Actually, I didn't even know I was called in the national team until my coach came and informed me. I was so focused on the preparation of the Tremblay game that I didn't quite lift my head up.

ehf-euro.com: In which frame of mind are you going to Norway? Just to see what it's like or to actually gain your place?

Hugo Descat: Well it is my first cap so I don't quite know what to expect. If Claude Onesta called me, it must be because I've got some qualities, so I want to show what I'm capable of.

When you get the call from your national team, you don't go out there to be a tourist; you've got to give everything you've got. Now that I'm there, I'm going to try my best to stay.

France squad for the EHF EURO 2014 qualifiers against Norway on 3 and 6 April:

Luc Abalo (PSG Handball), William Accambray (Montpellier Handball), Igor Anic (Cesson Rennes Métropole), Arnaud Bingo (Tremblay en France), Sébastien Bosquet (USDK Dunkerque), Hugo Descat (US Créteil), Grégoire Detrez ( Chambéry Savoie Handball), Cyril Dumoulin (Chambéry Savoie Handball), Jérôme Fernandez (FENIX Toulouse Handball), Vincent Gerard (USDK Dunkerque), Mathieu Grebille (Montpellier Handball), Samuel Honrubia (PSG Handball), Guillaume Joli (USDK Dunkerque), Nikola Karabatic (PAUC Handball), Quentin Mahe (VfL Gummersbach), Daniel Narcisse (THW Kiel), Kévynn Nyokas (Chambéry Savoie Handball), Thierry Omeyer (THW Kiel), Valentin Porte (FENIX Toulouse Handball), Cédric Sorhaindo (FC Barcelona)


TEXT: Kevin Domas / cor
 
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