Sportingly relegated to the third division at the end of last season, Valencia handball was finally saved after the administrative demotion of the Nice club. A new page opens for the Valence club.
The history of Valencia handball (VHB) with the high level continues. The 2021-2022 season had seen the club fail at the gates of maintaining the Proligue (2e division). Descended to the third national level, the VHB improved with a helping hand of fate: the Nice team saw itself demoted administratively, allowing the Valentinois to remain in the second division. An announcement, at the beginning of summer, which owes nothing to chance. “We were lucky to be maintained, because we are good students in the management of the club. We must not waste this second chance”underlines the president of the club, Julien Bertini.
Start again from the beggining
For Julien Bertini, this repechage is an opportunity to start from a blank page. This does not mean erasing the past, but looking to the future and forgetting the traces of a complex 2021-2022 season. To do this, a new coach has been recruited and he is no stranger to the Valence supporters. Aziz Benkhala, 44, is a former club player. In 2014, he started his playing career with VHB. Having become a coach, notably in Grenoble, he always remained in contact with Julien Bertini. When the previous coach announced his intention not to continue the adventure in Drôme, the choice of the club quickly turned to Aziz Benkhala. “In Valencia, I spent four very good yearsremembers the new coach from Valentin. After my career ended, I left my experience. I’m happy to come back here”.
A fighting mindset
In addition to this change in the staff, the VHB team has also been significantly overhauled. With ten departures and ten arrivals, it is a brand new first team which presents itself on the floor of the Mendès-France room with ambitions. “We are aiming to maintain it as early as possible in the season, announces Aziz Benkhala. When this is reached, we do not set a limit. Afterwards, of course, it will be complicated to maintain, but we will fight in all the matches. We wouldn’t give up.”. The Valence team this year is made up of experienced players and players with high potential. The followers of the club will have to be patient because the automatisms must still be found. The young people will also take their bearings in a difficult Proligue championship. “We have to find the right balance between the experience of the experienced and the liveliness of the young people. There will be time to adapt, but we will have a combative team”. Precisely, the state of mind is all that the president of the club asks, to make this season one of renewal. “The players have heart. They have a coach who will push them. I expect them to give their all on the pitch and for the public to appreciate this gift of self”.
Update on the season
In this context, Valencia handball lost its first two league games. The next one will take place this Friday, September 23. The VHB faces Sarrebourg, a direct opponent for the maintenance at the end of the season. The match takes place at 8:30 p.m. at the Mendès-France sports hall. Ticket office here.