INTERVIEW: Montpellier's last line of defence Thierry Omeyer is looking forward to fighting for one of the very few titles missing from his list of achievements at the EHF Cup Finals
Ready to take on anyone
Montpellier’s progress to the EHF Cup Finals is in no small part due to Thierry Omeyer, who saved 36 shots during the two quarter-final matches against Nantes.
A key element in Patrice Canayer's squad, the 37-year-old still does not want to be put in the spotlight: "Against Nantes, I think we all defended very well collectively. It's easier for me to save shots when the guys in front of me defend hard. All alone, I wouldn't save half the shots I save.”
Not satisfied with only saving shots, he delivered five assists in the second half, proving that he really is at the core of Montpellier's game.
After playing seven seasons in Kiel, winning three EHF Champions League titles along the way, he decided to come back to Montpellier last summer, a club that helped him enter the spotlight.
It was, he said at the time, "nice to come back to where it all started", in fact, the team with which he won his first Champions League in 2003.
But even if he has already planned another move, this time for PSG next summer, he's very quick to dismiss any negativity: "I am still in Montpellier, and I will do everything to help the team win the EHF Cup. I've always been a fighter on the court, and I don't see any reasons to change this.”
The EHF Cup is a trophy he has never won, and indeed he had never taken part in this competition before this season: "A lot of us in the Montpellier squad had never taken part in it actually," he admitted.
But he knows that in Berlin, it won't be an easy task for him and MAHB: "We're playing against Constanta in the semi-final, who are a bit of the surprise act here and won't have anything to lose. We'll have to play the kind of game we played along the season, defending hard and playing fastbreaks, in order to avoid their tough defence. And if we could save some energy for the eventual final, I wouldn't say no either.”
But when you ask Thierry who he'd rather play against in the final, he says he does not mind, because "you have to be ready to take on anyone to win a trophy".
Having played in Kiel, he has seen this Berlin side rise and go all the way to the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in 2011, where Thierry was a key element in the Zebras win in the semi-final.
"Of course, it's a great memory since we won the Champions League that season. But this will be a completely different thing next weekend” he said, adding that playing against Berlin in the final might not be the easiest of things.
“I've played in the Max-Schmeling-Halle, and I've always had a hard time. Berlin have great fans, and some great players as well. To win their first European trophy in front of their fans would be something huge for them, and I'm sure this alone will be a big motivation,” concluded Omeyer.
TEXT: Kevin Domas / cor
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