Paris primed to make European breakthrough
Paris 92 have been knocking on the door in the second tier for a few years now, yet to make a breakthrough.
Regulars in the old EHF Cup, the club in the French capital has long been seen as somewhat of a stepping-stone for international players on their way to bigger things, with the likes of Stine Oftedal, Mayssa Pessoa, Crina Pintea, Lois Abbingh and Sonja Frey passing through in recent years.
Club captain Deborah Lassource is keen to shake off this reputation, however, saying: “We are competitors and therefore we want to go to the end of this competition. Our group seems homogenous, that means great games. We will play at 100% and take as much pleasure as possible in each game, we are eager to be here.”
Playmaker Lassource will not be available for the group phase, having suffered an Achilles tendon injury with the French national team, adding more responsibility to summer signing Nadia Offendal.
Classy winger - Laura Flippes
It is a rare sight to see an established French international leave one of France’s top two, Metz and Brest, for another French club. Allison Pineau did it with a single season at Paris and Laura Flippes went down the same route.
At just 26, Flippes has her best years ahead of her and Paris are already seeing the benefits of signing the lefty, who can play right back or wing, as she is their second top scorer in the French league with 36 goals by the end of 2020.
Danish delight - Nadia Offendal
Paris has seen many a top-class playmaker come and go over the years: Oftedal, Frey, Pineau, could Offendal be the next?
The 26-year-old Dane is enjoying her first move abroad this season, having left Odense after a seven-year spell. Besides being a strong playmaker, Offendal is a serious attacking threat - as shown in her 38 goals so far this season, the most of any Paris player in the French league.
A night to remember
In the EHF Cup 2014/15 Quarter-final, Paris looked down and out after a second half collapse saw them lose their first leg against Holstebro 40:27.
But late on Friday 13 March, something special was bound to happen in the second leg. Led by the Oftedal sisters, Stine and Hanna, as well as Deborah Lassource, Paris charged into a seven-goal half-time lead.
In the second half, the home team even managed to reach the magic 13-goal lead, 32:19 in the dying minutes, but a goal from the Danish team’s left back Jamina Roberts limited their defeat to 32:20 and spared Holstebro’s blushes and they went on to win the title.
The great escape fell just short, but it was an unforgettable effort.
Arrivals and departures
Arrivals: Laura Flippes (Metz Handball), Nadia Offendal (Odense Handbold), Catherine Gabriel (Nantes), Léa Serdarevic (Toulon Saint-Cyr Var), Katarzyna Janiszewska (Union Halle-Neustadt), Joana Resende (Benfica)
Departures: Tamara Horacek (Siófok KC), Melvine Deba (Metz), Allison Pineau (Buducnost), Océane Sercien-Ugolin (Krim Mercator), Maelle Chalmandrier (Saint Amand Handball - Porte du Hainaut), Lucie Strapova (Nice), Lea Schupbach (HSG Bad Wildungen Vipers), Ulrika Toft Hansen (retired)
EHF Cup Winners’ Cup:
Finalists (1): 2012/13
Finalists (1): 2013/14
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