PSG Handball – For Luc Steins, the cut in the section’s budget “does not prevent you from playing handball well”

Luc Steins, 1.73m center half, arrived at PSG Handball in November 2020 as a medical joker for Nikola Karabatic. Since then, he has been voted best player in the championship two seasons in a row, in 2021 and 2022, and today he is a centerpiece of PSG Handball.

Mathieu Grébille, for his part, measures 1.98m, a much more classic size in handball. He plays left winger after being left back for a long time. A change of position due to several serious injuries which kept him away from the field for months with his former club Montpellier, where he spent his entire career before arriving in Paris in the summer of 2020. At PSG, he shares the left wing position with Adama Keita.

For 100% PSG les Mag, Luc and Mathieu took the time to tell their story with handball, but also to look back on the start of the PSG Hand season, marked by numerous departures, injuries and a substantial drop in budget.

EXTRACTS

On the two defeats suffered by PSG Handball in five games played

Mathieu GREBILLE – It doesn’t worry us, but it annoys us, yes. Afterwards, this is not the first time that PSG has lost a Champions Trophy. What you also have to look at is that last year we were undefeated [30 victoires en 30 matchs de championnat]. We are not unbeatable, and yet we were undefeated. It was a truly collective feat to achieve such a performance. But in previous seasons, making a clear round was not something easy that was done every time. So we know very well that we are going to be expected this year, after the season we have just had, and it started with this Champions Trophy. So, there, the group has changed a bit. We had minor injuries, injuries during the preparation… So it’s not worrying because it’s only the beginning of the season and there are a lot of things on which we can improve, individually but also collectively. So it’s better, even if it’s not what we wanted, to lose the Champions Trophy and not to lose a single match in the league. It’s infuriating, but it’s up to us to use that too to re-motivate ourselves and not forget that while we won last year, a lot of people also prepared to try to beat us.

On the drop of 2.5 million euros in the budget of the PSG handball section, the total of which last season amounted to just over 16 million euros

Luc STEINS – That doesn’t prevent you from playing handball well. I don’t think it changes anything on the pitch for us. Of course, we lost some important players, but there are also players who came for us. It maybe sometimes takes a little longer than with a band that’s been together longer. But for us, it does not change much, I think. The challenge may be a little bigger than usual, or than before. But no, I think it’s up to us to play well on the pitch and we still train every day, like last year. We still have incredible players who have strengthened us this season. So it’s up to us to work harder and show that we can still win every game in the league. But it won’t be easy, like the last season.

On the fact that the right-back position is not doubled, Dainis Kristopans finding himself alone following the departure of Nedim Remili and the serious injury of his replacement, Dominik Mathé

Mathieu GREBILLE – It’s a bit the same for all the players. Inevitably, when there is only one for a position, it is a little more complicated. Personally, I have the feeling that we have a truly extraordinary squad. But unlike some teams that may have 18 or 20 pro players, we are just the numbers. And as we are in a collective, with a system in which we really need everyone, as soon as one is missing, so we have to rebalance. We have already lost Nedim, who was a player with a big, big volume of play. If we lose Dainis, we lose 2.15m… It still leaves a big void on the pitch! So I hope that won’t happen. Afterwards, he’s a pretty good boy, so I hope he’ll hold on. But it is up to the coach and us to do what is necessary so that we can turn and ensure that he rests. Three or four seasons ago, Nedim was also alone in his post. Precisely, before Kristopans arrived, PSG had managed to hold on with a single right-back, by rotating. It’s up to us to try to find the best way to use Kristopans without it being overused. But it’s true that with the schedule we have, it’s going to be a big big season for him and it’s going to be difficult.

On the chicken in which PSG are in the Champions League, which seems affordable

Mathieu GREBILLE – In fact, you have to be careful. You have to be careful because you can’t lie to yourself: on the other side, the hen is very, very tough, a bit like the one we had last year. It brings together big, big clubs, very prestigious and in our group, this year, on one of the less prestigious clubs. But it’s the Champions League and you have to be at 200% from one game to another. We have to win at Plock, we have to win against Veszprém. Over there, once again, it was very hot, very complicated, and it will be difficult. And we must not believe that precisely because we are in a hen which apparently and less raised, it will be easy, on the contrary. Especially since, as the coach said, when you are in a very tough pool, you can afford more missteps because you know that at the exit, you will logically come across an opponent who will be potentially weaker. While there, we know that whatever happens, if we are not well placed in our pool, we will come across a very big guy opposite.

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