By Aurelien Rey
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News: Your team resumed training on July 25. How does this beginning of preparation take place?
Edouard Fernandez: First there were medical tests. Then from the first day, we started to work on handball, especially tactics, without contact to avoid injuries. The first week, we did 11 sessions, between handball and physical preparation. We’ll do 9 this week. We gave a lot of information during the first days, now the players have to digest all that.
How did you find your squad, almost two months after the defeat in the Final Four final against Sélestat?
EF: The players show a lot of desire in training, they are very attentive to the instructions we give for the new game plan. It’s a very young team, so we can push a little more physically, while being careful not to not overload either.
“We hope to find a right-back to relieve Antoine Léger a little”
Do you have an idea of the game project you are going to set up?
EF: Yes, I will give my way of seeing handball. We have already set up 70% of the combinations against 0-6 defenses, and we started working on the 0-6 defense on Monday.
Fast play was JSC’s hallmark last season. Will you stay in this line?
EF: I think today’s handball is played a lot on the defense-mounted ball. To defend well is to be a deterrent, to cause the opponent to lose a lot of balls, and to get the ball up quickly afterwards. We take risks defending like that, but if we do it well, we recover a lot of balls.
“On a young group, you shouldn’t put too much pressure on them”
Most of the recruitment was already done when you signed…
EF: Yes, it’s true. There were two recruitments left to make when I arrived, we made one, the center half (Editor’s note: the Spaniard Rodrigo Pérez Arce). We hope to find a right-back to relieve Antoine Léger, who is all alone on the job, but the timing is complicated. If we can’t find it, we stay as we are and we’ll grit our teeth!
Are you aiming for the rise in Starligue from this first season?
EF: The objective is not yet defined, but the climb, we play it all the time! I’m more for taking match after match. It’s difficult to project yourself into such a homogeneous title, with big teams, big budgets. On a young group, you should not put too much pressure on him. We will already see how the preparation is going, especially since there have been many changes in the off-season.
Six warm-up matches
The JSC will play six preparation matches in the space of three weeks, with opponents of different levels (one from N1, two from Proligue, three from Starligue)
– Saturday August 13 (7:30 p.m.): Cherbourg – Gonfreville (N1), in Saint-Lô
– Tuesday August 16 (5.15 p.m.): Pontault-Combault (Proligue) – Cherbourg, in Pontault-Combault
– Friday August 19 (6:00 p.m.): Cesson-Rennes (Starligue) – Cherbourg, in Cesson
– Friday August 26 (8:00 p.m.), “Caraty” tournament: Cesson-Rennes (Starligue) – Cherbourg, in Brest
– Saturday August 27 (time to be defined), “Caraty” tournament: Chartres (Starligue) or Dunkerque (Starligue) – Cherbourg, in Brest
– Friday September 2 (time to be defined): Caen (Proligue) – Cherbourg, in Falaise
“This will allow us to confront several styles of play”, underlines Eduard Fernandez Roura, satisfied with this programming when the timing was tight. “We were lucky to find six friends in a short time. For the Caraty tournament in Brest, we were offered to replace Chambéry who declined because they are going to play the 1st round of the European Cup. We accepted because we were looking for matches and it will give us two big tests two weeks before the start of the season. »
“I plan for the future with this team”
As often, it feels like the JSC is starting from scratch. How do you feel about it?
EF: Me, I repair from zero here, that’s for sure! Now we want to create an adventure together. It is true that there have been many changes, but now there is an inflection point. We must not forget all the great things that have been done before, but I plan for the future with this team.
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