Champions League

DELO WOMEN’S EHF FINAL4: Metz Handball – skirts and team-spirit

photo: Olivier Stephan
DELO WOMEN’S EHF FINAL4: Metz Handball – skirts and team-spirit
Ibolya Szekeres

DELO WOMENS EHF FINAL4 – 11-12th of May 2019

Budapest, Papp László Sportsarena

The four participants: Metz Handball (FRA), Rostov Don (RUS), Vipers Kristiansand (NOR), Győri Audi ETO KC (HUN)

METZ HANDBALL – facts

  • French champions for a record of 22 times; consecutive title-holder since 2016 in France
  • has a squad which is based mostly on French international players, with nine players who are constant national team members, among them World-and European Champions and Olympic silver medalists (Edwige, Niombla, Zaadi, Glauser, N’Gouan, OKanor, Flippes, Houette, Nocandy)
  • foreign players: Ivana Kapitanovic (CRO) – GK, Xenia Smits (GER) – LB, Alexandra Zych (POL) – RB, Jurswailly Luciano (NED) – pregnant and did not play in this season – RW, Ekaterina Levsha (RUS) – RW, Sharon Nooitmer (NED)-LP, Ilya Bel-Gareh (NED) – RW, Daphne Gautschi (SUI) – LB – the four last named players has played very short periods or did not play at all in CL matches
  • Their head coach, Emanuelle Mayonnade is also the head coach of the Dutch national team
  • The assistant coach is a former Russian player, Ekaterina Andryushina who finished her club-career in Metz
  • the team is a rookie in the DELO WOMEN’S EHF FINAL4
photo: Olivier Stephan

Fun facts:

  • they are the only team in the Champions League which have an official sports jersey combined with a skirt instead of shorts
  • will play in the second semifinal of the DELO WOMEN’S EHF FINAL4 against Russian Rostov Don, a team they defeated twice this season in the Main Round of the CL
  • in the quarter-finals, they eliminated the team which was considered at the beginning of this season as one of the biggest favorites for winning the CL, the Romanian powerhouse CSM Bucuresti
  • Gnonsiane Niombla is the only Metz player who has taken part in the DELO WOMEN’S EHF FINAL4 before, finishing third with CSM Bucuresti in each of the past two seasons

Gnonsiane Niombla, photo: brestbretagnehandballofficiell

Gnonsiane Niombla about qualifying to the event:

” It’s crazy to qualify for the EHF FINAL4 with this team, with so many impressive young players who play handball in a fantastic manner together.

About the secret of the success in Metz:

” In Metz we are really a team. If you look at the games against Bucharest in the quarter-finals, at no point did you see any of us take the ball and trying to score her goal. The team is the biggest strength here. We play very good handball and everybody has in mind that the own person is not the most important entity.” -says the 28-year old backplayer on the ehfl.com.

About their chances:

“This is a competition where everything can turn around very quickly. With the players we’ve got in the team, I doubt we’ll go to the EHF FINAL4 just to play a semi-final and visit Budapest. The formula means that you can play two hours of very good handball and lift the trophy.” – Niombla says.

Key players: Laura Glauser, Grace Zaadi, Manon Houette, Xenia Smits, Beatrice Edwige

The team of Metz:

Goalkeepers: Laura Glauser, Ivana Kapitanovic

Lefwings: Manon Houette, Marion Maubon, Laura Kanor

Rightwings: Ekaterina Levsha, Ilya Bel-Gareh

Leftbacks: Xenia Smits, Orlane Kanor, Gnonsianne Niombla, Ornella Dos Reis

Playmaker: Grace Zaadi, Meline Nocandy, Dapne Gautschi

Rightbacks: Laura Flippes, Alexandra Zych

Lineplayers: Beatrice Edwige, Astrid N’Gouan, Sharon Noitmeer

Head coach: Emmanuel Mayonnade

Assistant coach: Ekaterina Andryushina

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Champions League
Ibolya Szekeres

Hungarian living in Norway with a great passion for handball, primarly women handball. Travels all over the world to follow handball matches and tournaments and to write good articles on this website.

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