NEWS REPORT: Following a 12-year absence from Europe's beach handball courts, France have again registered a team for the Beach Handball EUROs
France enter Beach Handball EURO 2017 in Croatia
In indoor handball, France's men are the current world champions and Olympic silver medallists from Rio 2016, while the women also won silver at Rio and have just ended the Women's EHF EURO 2016 in Sweden as bronze medallists.
In about six months' time one of the most successful handball nations of the recent past takes on the challenge to conquer Europe's beach handball courts as well when the Beach Handball EURO 2017 takes place in Croatia in June.
For the first time since 2004, the French Handball Federation has entered teams for the Beach Handball EURO, registering men's and women's teams for the senior event as well as for the U17 championship
This step follows half a year after the federation hosted its first beach handball tournament in Montavilet on the Atlantic coast at the beginning of July.
"We are late-starters, but we want to be quick-learners," said former French international goalkeeper and coach of the women's team, Valérie Nicolas, just days out of the Montavilet tournament.
"We have the EURO next summer and we definitely want to be ready at that point. Montalivet will be all about seeing what we can achieve and how. It's time to get thrown into the deep end and see whether we can swim."
The Beach Handball EURO for senior women's and men's national teams will take place from 20 to 25 June 2017. It will be preceded by the Beach Handball EURO for under 17 women's and men's teams which will take place from 16 to 18 June 2017.
The venue of choice is the popular Jarun Lake just south of the capital Zagreb's city centre where four beach handball courts will be built.
TEXT: EHF / ts