While some holidaymakers are attacking sand castles or enjoying the siesta-aperitif-barbecue combo on the Var coast, Toulon handball players returned to the sports hall this Friday morning.
A summer return where the key words were called presentation, physicality and smiles.
After a speech by President Perrine Paul, coach Stéphane Plantin and an exchange between the employees of Toulon Métropole Var handball (TMV) and the players, the Rebelles carried out their first pre-season physical tests under the watchful eye of of the coach and the son of the voice of physical trainer Alexandre Dingome.
And to get to know this new Toulon workforce better, here are five recovery figures to remember.
13 professional players
Like last year, the TMV group will be made up of 13 professional players (1) for the 2022-2023 fiscal year.
“This season, the team will be more homogeneous since all the positions are doubled except for that of centre-half.says coach Stéphane Plantin. But we can find solutions in particular thanks to the versatility of several girls.”
Added to this are five young (2) questions from the training center directed by Dominique Blanchet. “They will be integrated as much as possible into our traininghe continues. This forms a group of 18 players. Especially since last season we suffered too much from working two-on-two, three-on-three or four-on-four… doing very little six-on-six.”
This Friday, between the injured and the selected national youth teams, a few Toulonnaises were missing but the vast majority were present.
In addition to the coach and the physical trainer, Chrystal Belard – who manages the video analysis, the sequencing and the statistical data – integrates the staff, is also with the players. “And the goalkeeping coach, Sandy Leborgne, who is already with the club, should also join us.”
5 rookies and 2 youngsters
The TMV group is not experiencing a lot of changes during this offseason. To compensate for the departure of six professional players, the Toulon club has recruited five reinforcements for the next exercise.
Not to mention Bosnian left-back Armina Isic, who arrived in January and spent the second half of the season with the Rebels. The academy has also been strengthened with the arrival of an 18-year-old full-back and an 18-year-old centre-half (2).
24.7 years of average age
The TMV relies on a relatively young team. The average age of the professional group is 24.7 years old. Just below the quarter century.
The most experienced players turn out to be last season’s captain Amandine Balzinc (29-year-old goalkeeper, currently in care at Capbreton (3)) and Norwegian rookies Mie Sando (28-year-old pivot, Champions League finalist in 2013 with Norwegian club Larvik HK) and Malin Holta (29-year-old center half, three selections with Norway).
The youngest is Maria Berger-Wierzba (20-year-old Danish left back), one of the best players in 2021-2022.
7 weeks of preparation
“We have almost seven weeks of preparation before our first game in early September against Besançon.says Stéphane Plantin. Our pro team is almost 50% renewed. You have to create a collective. And for that, we had to play a lot. The objective of this preparation is that the girls quickly feel the project of the game. We will very quickly switch to oppositions of six against six so that we can find automatisms.
In August, the Rebelles will play five friendly matches including two return matches against Nice and Plan-de-Cuques.
1. Goalkeepers: Amandine Balzinc (29 years old), Ophélie Tonds (24 years old). Wingers: Eden Julien (26 years old), Mélanie Jobard (23 years old, recruit), Élise Caramello (22), Manon Pellerin (21, recruit). Pivots: Camille Mandret (24 years old), Mie Sando (28 years old, recruit Norwegian). Backs: Armina Isic (26, Bosnian), Maria Berger-Wierzba (20, Danish), Djurdjina Malovic (26, Montenegrin), Chloé Pugliese (23, recruit). Center half Malin Holta (29, recruit Norwegian).
2. Goalkeeper: Charlène Servant (19 years old). Pivot: Auriane Salmon (20 years old). Backs: Anaëlle Abiven (17 years old), Ilana Fontaine (18 years old, recruit). Center half: Marylou Rangier (18, recruit).