Metz are back and are full of ambitionArticle
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NEWS REPORT: The French side are coming off the back of their most successful season to date and hope to transfer their good form to Europe's elite competition
 

Metz are back and are full of ambition

Two years after their first Main Round appearance in the Women’s EHF Champions League, Metz Handball return to the main European competition with ambition, but without any kind of pretension.

Metz Handball are the most successful team in France with 18 French championships, 6 French cups and 7 leagues cup triumphs. Last year, Sandor Rac's team lost the EHF Cup final against Team Tvis Holstebro despite a tough first leg win in Denmark (35:31).

"For just one goal, we could have done the treble: championship, French cup and EHF Cup,” goalkeeper Gervaise Pierson comtemplated at the end of last season.

However, the disappointment is now gone.

“The past year was the best season ever for Metz. That's why we cannot talk about disappointment. Holstebro were very strong and there are not a lot of teams that have won in Denmark. This was a very good surprise.

“On the second leg, at home, I had two players injured. How could the final have gone without these injuries?” Sandor Rac said to ehfCL.com.

During the summer, Metz signed Barbora Ranikova, who will be in goal with Gervaise Pierson, Laura Glauser and the youth talent Chloé Bulleux, who will play on the right wing after Katty Piéjos moved to French league rivals Fleury Loiret Handball.

Quality preparation

In August, they had the chance to play the Handball Fiesta tournament in Györ after another friendly competition in Schmelz.

“We really wanted to play against the best teams in Europe,” explained Rac.

“Once again, the main objective is the championship for this season,” said Metz Handball President Thierry Weizmann said before the beginning of the season.

“Even if we don't want to think about this competition too early, if we can qualify for the Main Round, it would be wonderful for us,” confessed right-back Marie Prudhomme.

According to Rac, there are no favourites in Metz's group.

“Even if Krim look really strong, I think that the four teams have the chance to finish first. We played Leipzig this summer and we saw that this team also has a role to play in our group.

“Finally, Sävehof played some good games the past year in Champions League,” admits Rac.

Metz have had a great start to their season, with five wins from five in the French league, including a 34:27 win against Fleury, their main rival.

They will face Leipzig in their opening game on Saturday 5 October at 16.00 hrs. local time, which will be live on ehfTV.


TEXT: Kevin Domas / cor
 
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