By Aline Chatel
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First recruit announced by the Caen Handball even before the end of last season, Hugo Jullien illustrated the direction the club wanted during the off-season. “We are looking for an ambitious, determined player who already knows the Proligue level and still has room for improvement,” said coach Roch Bedos when presenting the arrival of the centre-half.
Hugo Jullian, 22, shares this responsibility with the Portuguese Francisco Pereira, known as Kiko. Trained in Montpellier, where he is from, Hugo Jullian played for Massy (Proligue) last season. It was his first professional experience.
Hugo, what brought you to Caen?
The project interested me and I considered it a good opportunity to keep moving forward. I hope to win my place and have the confidence of the coaches. I aspire to have as much playing time as possible to blossom and reach the most interesting level of play possible.
You were already in Proligue last season at Massy…
Yes. Normally, Massy plays the playoffs, but we finished the eighth. There were a lot of changes in the team, like this year in Caen, which requires a small period of adaptation. At the start, I lacked a lot of playing time. I had a lot more responsibility in the second half of the season, but my choice fell on Caen. These are small details that have favored balance.
You are a young player in a young team: is it positive?
Yes, the group took well, we all get along well. We try to erase this youthful effect and mature quickly enough to move forward as a group with a little more experience.
You are two young centre-halves, a position where experience is often put forward.
Despite our young age for this position, we will try to have the necessary experience to put the team in good conditions. Of course, it’s sometimes easier to manage matches and hot balls when you have more bottles. It is also possible when you are young. We went through clubs that brought us high-level culture. We met people who have that experience. It is up to us to do what is necessary to restore confidence in the coach, who gave us these responsibilities when we were so young.
What are your strengths?
I’m a fairly complete player, a percussion player, capable of shooting through, a space player too. I also think I can bring leadership to the game, as an organizer in particular.
How do you plan for the future?
The goal is to have a very good season with the guys. I think we have a team for that. With our youth, we will try to project ourselves forward. We have to manage to put our game in place. We will try to finish in the best possible position. Depending on this season, we will see what will happen next. I like to take things as they come. Everyone would like to play at the highest level and progress as much as possible. I am in an environment where it works a lot. That’s what I came for.
Were you able to discover Normandy?
With the friends, we were able to walk in town and by the sea. Luckily the weather is very nice. On a sunny day. We enjoy ourselves and everything starts for the best!
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