"Women’s handball has waited for this event"Article
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Interview with Vardar’s French star and former World Handball Player of the Year, Allison Pineau, ahead of the first MVM EHF FINAL4 in Budapest

»EHF CL Channel »2013-14 Women's News

"Women’s handball has waited for this event"

One day prior to the MVM EHF FINAL4 in Budapest Allison Pineau, on 2 May 2014, celebrates her 25th birthday – and her biggest wish as a present is to proceed to the final.

In this interview Pineau explains how it feels to be in a multi-cultural team including a French colony and to face former teammates in the semi-final against Buducnost.

When you transferred to Vardar before this season, did you expect to come so far?

Allison Pineau: I think nobody could have imagined this big success for the club would come in the first season together, but I think each player wished this would happen.

You have a very international team - which language is spoken in training and during the matches? And how is your Macedonian now?

Allison Pineau: I think we speak all languages that we have in the team. Mostly it’s Macedonian and Serbian during the games and training sessions. My language skills are better than at the beginning when I started to learn. I understand a lot of Macedonian now.

Does it make things easier for you that you have a small French colony (Leynaud, Dembele) at your side?

Allison Pineau: Our French group is cool and helping. I’m happy to share this experience with them. It’s good to feel that you can speak your
mother tongue every day.

In Budapest you will face your former Oltchim teammate Cristina Neagu, now playing for Buducnost, in the semi-final. Who will be the better performer?

Allison Pineau: I don’t know who will be better, but I hope that it will be me, because I wish to proceed to the final. It will be interesting again to
play against her. Indeed we don’t play in same position, she mostly plays left back and for me it depends, sometimes centre, sometimes left back.

What is your general opinion of having a MVM EHF FINAL4 tournament as the final highlight of the Women’s EHF Champions League season?

Allison Pineau: My first thought is that I am proud to be part of this first FINAL4 in the history of the competition. It’s a great opportunity that women’s handball was waiting for.

During one weekend, the entire handball world is in the same place to see this fantastic moment. I appreciate the event already and I will do even
more the closer the date gets.

You had been awarded World Handball Player of the Year before and your teammate Andrea Lekic is the most recent winner. Is it an advantage for Vardar to have the current World Handball Player of the Year in your team?

Allison Pineau: The club can be proud and happy for that, the players as well. I believe that it’s an advantage. Really this is a great moment in life for every player to receive this award. Congrats again to Andrea Lekic, as nothing comes accidentally in sports and she deserves it.

What are your expectations when travelling to Budapest?

Allison Pineau: I think like every team at this event we hope that we will make it to the final and later we will see what we can do.

What headline do you want to read on Monday, 5 April in L’Equipe about you?

Allison Pineau: I would like the newspapers to write that we won the first FINAL4 in the first year of this new Vardar team - but that would be a little

Is there any favourite team in your opinion – or do all teams start on a level playing field in Budapest?

Allison Pineau: When you ask me this question it is Győr, but we never know what can happen in two days.

TEXT: Björn Pazen / ts