We use cookies

By continuing to browse ihf.info, you agree to our terms of use , privacy policy and the use of cookies. For more information, please review our cookie policy.



Date: 8/8/2017

Title holders France opened their IHF Men's Youth World Championship campaign earlier this morning in Georgia with a 22-goal victory over Asian champions Bahrain in Group A and after the game their Head Coach Eric Quintin spoke with IHF.info.

IHF.info: It is always good to start a championship with a win, but you were very animated on the bench just before Bahrain took a time-out after 25 minutes. Were you not happy with the level of your team before then?

Eric Quintin: We know, and our boys know, that the beginning of a championship is the most difficult moment of the whole championship. We had in our minds that we wanted to be clean in defence and make good decisions and plays but we did not.
We knew that the Bahrain players would be difficult to play against in space, but we tried to do it because we have ambitions. However, we went down in the first half and I was disappointed because we had to do this and we didn’t. 

In attack, it was the same and we were not clear enough in our minds, but at this stage of a championship it’s always like that.

IHF.info: What were you unhappy with? Was it tactical, mental or physical – or a combination? What did you see that you need to work on?

Eric Quintin: It was a combination of tactically and mentally which we need to work on, but not physical. We got time playing every player but wanted to be intensive and it wasn’t as intensive as we expected. 

We tried to play our game and we hope to improve game after game. Our preparation was not too long – just two weeks – so we know each game has to be positive so we can continue improving.

We know our next game will be harder so we know we have to prepare.

IHF.info: Your next game is against Norway, but it comes after a rest day – would you rather play again straight away?

Eric Quintin: It doesn’t matter – it is what it is. We know that Norway will be a good game and we are happy to play these kinds of games.

These games are where the players want to be; they want to be professional players, to play in hard games and we know that Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Egypt will be hard games so maybe it was good for us to start with Bahrain. 

Our rest day tomorrow will be useful for our improvement.

IHF.info: The French men’s youth team won this competition last time in 2015, the men’s juniors just won bronze in Algeria at the IHF Men’s Junior World Championships and the team you have here are current M18 EHF EURO champions – and your women’s U19 side just won the EHF EURO on Sunday. 

That’s quite a list to live up to – do you embrace this with your players or do they feel pressure to continue this success in the younger age categories?

Eric Quintin: They feel it a little bit. They are thinking about the generation above them because they have won the European title and the world championship. They are proud and want to be the same.

But what’s most important now are the games here and how we play in them - how can we try and work to improve our game? 

We are very proud of French handball but we know too that we have a lot of power and have to get results.