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04.10.2016, 11:40◄ last page     

Women’s EHF Champions League countdown: 10 days to go - Metz Handball (FRA) are a regular participant but still wait for their first quarter-final berth

Four Rio silver medals boost Metz’s quarter-final dream

For the 18th time Metz Handball are part of the Women’s EHF Champions League but their biggest success occurred in other European Cup competitions: In 2013, the French record champions were EHF Cup finalist, and four times Metz made it to the semi-finals of the Cup Winners’ Cup.

In the EHF Champions League their best result were two participations in the main round. So now, Metz are aiming for their first ever Champions League quarter-final berth.

The team from the Moselle region is boosted by the French result at Rio, as four Metz players - goalkeeper Laura Glauser, new arrival Béatrice Edwige, young gun Tamara Horacek and team captain Grâce Zaadi - returned home with Olympic silver medals.

Coach Emmanuel Mayonnade started his mission 1 January 2016 and steered the team to the French title five months later.

He is now focusing on both - the domestic competition in a truly improved French league and the international challenge in the EHF Champions League, where Metz will face two-time EHF Champions League winners Buducnost, Thüringer HC and Norwegian debutants Glassverket in the group stage.

“I am like a kid in front of a Christmas tree when it comes to Champions League. Watching this competition made me dream to be part of it,” said coach Mayonnade, looking forward to his first international match with Metz.

“It is our idea to make it to the next round, but teams like Thüringer HC are part of this competition since years and have more experience. So I do not start any calculations.”

Mayonnade is mainly anticipating the match at Podgorica.

“We should not have any inferiority complex in relation to such teams. We should keep on thinking positive and enjoy those games with Buducnost.”

His team did not change that much, the only new arrival is line player Edwige, who in Metz and the French national team replaces former Metz legend Nina Kanto, who quit playing handball.

Metz Handball (FRA)

Qualification for the Women’s EHF Champions League 2016/17 season: French champions
Newcomers: Béatrice Edwige (OGC Nice)
Left the club: Nina Kanto (stop) et Alice Leveque Besancon)
Coach: Emmanuel Mayonnade (since2016)
Team captain: Grâce Zaadi
Opponents in the group matches: Buducnost, THC, Glassverket in Group A

Women’s EHF Champions League record:

Participations (including 2016/17 season): 18
Main Round (2): 2011/12, 2014/15
Last 16 (2): 1994/95, 1995/96
Last 32 (1): 1993/94
Group Matches (8): 1996/97, 1997/98, 1999/2000, 2000/01, 2002/03, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2013/14
Qualification (4): 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08

Other EC records:

EHF Cup:
Finalist (1): 2012/13
Quarter-finalist (4): 2000/01, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2007/08

Cup Winners’ Cup:
Semi-finalist (4): 1998/99, 2003/04, 2009/10, 2010/11

French champions: 20 times (1989, 1990, 1993-1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004-2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016)
French Cup winner: 7 times (1990, 1994, 1998, 1999, 2010, 2013, 2015)

TEXT: Björn Pazen / ew

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