Saint-Raphael with the trophy in their sightsArticle
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Men’s EHF Cup countdown - part 2: Saint-Raphael Var Handball (FRA) are aiming to go all the way after missing out on last season’s EHF Cup Finals
»2016-17 Men's News

Saint-Raphael with the trophy in their sights

Last season, two goals separated Saint-Raphael Var Handball and a place in the EHF Cup Finals as they lost an all-French quarter-final against Chambery.

This year, coach Joel de Silva has no intention of missing out: “We want to go in the same direction as last season, but this time we want to win the EHF Cup.”

In group A, his team faces 2015 EHF Cup winner Füchse Berlin (who eliminated Chambery in qualification), Ribnica and GOG.

The French runners-up have bolstered their squad with Spanish world champion and two-time EHF Champions League winner Dani Sarmiento (from Barcelona) as the successor to Icelandic playmaker Arnor Atlasson and Belarusian World Championship star Artsem Karalek. The line player joined the team which knocked his former team Minsk out in the previous round.

It is the fifth international season for Saint-Raphael, and for da Silva it is “important for our progress to face Europe’s top teams.

“Mainly the four German teams but also Granollers and Porto are his favourites for reaching the EHF Cup Finals in Göppingen  in May.”

Besides the pair of changes in the squad, another major change occurred in the club management as former Saint-Raphael player Emeric Paillasson became the new manager.

Saint-Raphael Var Handball (FRA)

Qualification for the 2016/2017 EHF Cup Group Phase:
Round 3: 28:30, 33:25 against Minsk (BLR)

Newcomers: Dani Sarmiento (Barcelona), Artsem Karalek (Minsk)
Left the club: Arnor Atlason (Aalborg), Ognjen Djeric (Selestat)

Coach: Joel de Silva (since 2014)
Team captain: Aurelien Aubily

Opponents in the group phase: Füchse Berlin, RD Riko Ribnica and GOG in Group A

European Cup records

EHF Cup:
Quarter-finalists: 2010/11, 2011/12, 2015/16

French champion: - (runners-up 2016)
French cup winner: -

TEXT: Björn Pazen / cor