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11.07.2014, 11:57
Rémili with redemption on his mind
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FEATURE: After disappointing showings at the last two major events, France are on a mission to put things right in Austria
 

Rémili with redemption on his mind

When you talk to Nédim Rémili about his recent competitions with the France national team, the word ‘revenge’ is mentioned quite often.

The French right back was not present at the Youth World Championships last summer, but was there two years ago for the Men’s 18 EHF EURO and has bad memories of it.

“We finished 12th at the EURO and 13th at the following World Championship. To be honest, we felt really bad about it. Losing your games by ten goals when the senior team was winning every game they could, we felt like the shame of the nation at some point.”

With that in mind, Remili and his team will travel to Austria in two weeks’ time for the Men’s 20 EHF EURO with the will to turn things around.

"We've got to take revenge on ourselves and on some of the other teams as well. We were eliminated by Norway last summer, losing by ten goals, so we want to wash this away.

“There are a couple of lost games that are still stuck in our throats, and we want to turn things around this time," he claims, knowing it won't be an easy task: "We're playing against Spain and Norway, two of the favourites. Judging by our performances in the last championships, we can't claim ourselves to be favourites," he wisely admits.

“We know our defence is our strength, so we'll base our games on this and fastbreaks. We'll see how it goes, but judging by what I can see in trainings, we may do something good.”

Home grown

Only 19 years old, Remili has played in only one club so far, Créteil, where his dad used to play and is now the general manager.

“I think that when you are a young player it's one of the best places to play. They give you a chance if they see you're good in training,” he says, adding that “the coach is willing to take some risks to give some play time to the young ones.”

After Quentin Minel, Antoine Ferrandier and Hugo Descat last summer, there are still three players from the Créteil squad in the French selection and coach Yohann Delattre is more than happy to introduce them, presenting them as three very different profiles.

“Nedim has been in the squad for some time now. He's a very mature player, with a lot of court time in his club. He’s left-handed, tall, and is a real solution against 6-0 defences.

“The other two are Youenn Cardinal and Thibault Minel. "Youenn is quite the surprise element. We'd been following him for some time, but he used to play at the back position in his club. We use him on the wing and he's doing a very good job at it so far.”

The relationship between Nédim Rémili and the club is something very deep that has built the player he is now.

“I don't think my career would have been the same if I had played elsewhere. I had the chance to play in the town I live in, with my dad by my side.

"He's always been keen to put me back on track when I threatened to become big headed. He kept me cool-headed. I'm very very proud and impressed by guys who go and play far from their homes. Just like the Minel brothers. I've had the luck to play in Créteil, which feels a bit like second home to me.”

Despite being the target of several clubs across Europe, the right back knows he's still got a lot of work to do.

"This EURO has to be, for me, the proof that my game has changed in the last two seasons. I want to have a result with these guys, who happen to be my friends as well. We don't want to walk with our hands down anymore,” concludes Nédim.

Tournament information

The Men’s 20 EHF EURO takes place in the Austrian cities of Linz and Traun from 24 July to 3 August 2014. For more information visit the official website and the event’s Facebook page.

Over the next two weeks and during the tournament eurohandball.com and the EHF EURO Facebook page will also feature regular reports, features and photo galleries.

Austria also hosted the Men’s 18 EHF EURO 2012 when the same generation of players took to the court. Back then Germany won, Sweden came second and Denmark placed third. Austria finished sixth.

The previous Men’s 20 EHF EURO took place in Turkey in 2012. Spain won ahead of Croatia and Slovenia. Austria had not qualified.

Photos: Kevin Domas


TEXT: Kevin Domas / cor
 
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