Not ready to start revolutionArticle
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NEWS REPORT: Jérémy Roussel, the new coach of record French champions Metz Handball intends to follow the path set by his predecessor Sandor Rac.

»EHF CL Channel »2014-15 Women's News

Not ready to start revolution

At only 36, Jérémy Roussel will be one of the youngest coaches on the Women's EHF Champions League benches next season. For his first experience of training women, he chose the most successful French team ever, Metz Handball.

"I realise that this club is part of the city, part of the region. It's a reference in France," he humbly admits.

"I'm not going to start a revolution, I'll just pick up where Sandor Rac left the team at the end of last season," he said.

After enjoying the club's twentieth national title last June, Rac decided to join league opponets from Le Havre, hence the arrival of Roussel.

No burden to steer Metz

You might think arriving in such a successful club could be a weight, but the coach, who only trained Aix en Provence before, sees this as an advantage.

"When you sign to Metz, you know you're not here only to aim at the second place. We've got loyal fans, loyal back-up from the local authorities," he says.

"You know that this support won't turn into a burden, even if you have some lows in a season."

He will inherit roughly the same squad as last season, and this fact will make the task easy for the young coach, especially since Ekaterina Andryushina will have a double function next season, both player and assistant coach.

"She will be very helpful, and I will rely on her a lot at the beginning," says the one who coached the Karabatic brothers two seasons ago.

"Not only her, but also all the big sisters in the squad, like Nina Kanto and Paule Baudoin. Girls that don't necessarily need to be told what to do."

Two premieres

And when you ask Roussel what he thinks is the difference between coaching boys and girls, he does not actually find one. "With both genders you have to be honest and energetic. When you play at such level, you can't cheat. Sure, some of my aggressive speeches wouldn't be as efficient with girls as they were with boys, but to me there are not much differences."

And if discovering how to coach women was not a big enough task, Jérémy Roussel will also have the chance to discover the Champions League.

"I am very motivated for this competition," he says, eyes wide open.

"This is the most beautiful European competition. A lot of people says I will go through hell playing it. We've had a very, very strong draw. Larvik is, of course, the favourite. Some say they've got experience, the other ones say they're getting old, but I'm definitely on the experience side. Lublin and Baia Mare are getting better every year. The goal will be to make it out of the first phase."

Photo: credit Metz Handball, Kevin Domas

TEXT: Kevin Domas / br