“Me too, I want a photo at Usam”: from Montpellier to Nîmes, from number 2 to number 1, the secrets of handball coach David Degouy

“Me too, I want a photo at Usam”: from Montpellier to Nîmes, from number 2 to number 1, the secrets of handball coach David Degouy

David Degouy (44 ans), qui pose ici pour Midi Libre à la Villa Occitana, a signé deux saisons à l’Usam. MIDI LIBRE – ALEXIS BETHUNE

Handball/Starleague. At 44, David Degouy will go from No. 2 coach at Montpellier to No. 1 at Usam Nîmes. Between luxury, calm and voluptuousness at the Villa Occitana in Calvisson; and between two meetings for a seminar that he himself initiated, the multi-card technician spoke to Midi Libre.

The championship has barely ended (last weekend, with PSG's 10th consecutive coronation) when the Usam staff is at work again . A two-day working seminar desired by the new coach, David Degouy, to present his methodology to his assistants, the medical team and the club management.

It was held in Calvisson, at Villa Occitana, a 5-star establishment in Gard. Between luxury, calm and pleasure, and between two meetings, the man who was Patrice Canayer's deputy at the MHB for six years gave an hour to Midi Libre.

Paris region, South-West, Troyes, Lozère, Dunkirk, Montpellier (read below)… but where does David Degouy come from?

It’s complicated (smile). I have a quarter Italian blood through my grandparents. Degouy is a name from the North, from a communist mining town. It’s a beautiful French mix! My birthplace is Meaux. I lived there for ten years. This is where my parents met. And when my grandparents left for the Dordogne when they retired, we followed shortly after.

That's where I started handball in 6th grade, with passionate PE teachers, the Coussets, in Montpon. They had founded the club. With them, you had two choices: handball or handball… When we went down to the South-West, I said to myself: “Great, I'm going to do like my grandfather, who was a rugby player”. And I ended up in the only village where there was no rugby!

And you became a handball goalkeeper and then the number 1 youth coach at 17. And you become head coach again almost thirty years later, at the highest level…

To perform at a high level, I had to go through assistant positions, through young people. It was an obligation, to do your companionship, to prove yourself, in an environment where you are convinced that you have to have been a great player to coach. Which the Danes don't think at all, for example. As Arrigo Sacchi, the trainer of the great Milan, said, you don't make a jockey out of a racehorse…

I am a true product of blue-white-red handball. I had to scramble to succeed. I looked around a lot, searched, to find everything I didn't have.

In this regard, what did Patrice Canayer bring to you ?

I will say his vision of the professional world, and his uncompromising righteousness. It's tough but fair. He loves his players and the more he loves them, the more he pushes them to their limits. Performance comes through that. Its three pillars are work, work and work. I did my BE1 (State Certificate) internship in Montpellier, with Patrice, at the age of 25.

In 2018, he invited me to the Champions League final. Then I had the chance to be his last assistant, it was a dream. Now, I will chart my course at Usam with my experience and my experiences.

Do you think that a n°2 necessarily has the vocation to become a n°1  coach?

Not at all. Because they are two totally different professions. You must already want to go to the fire, to be on the front line. I don't think it's natural. We must clearly identify the two roles, because an assistant is also a coach. Yann (Balmossière, n°1 at Usam last season) will not be an assistant, but a coach. I will be the head coach.

Could you have become one in Montpellier ?

I hadn't asked myself the question but it was quickly evaded by my president (Julien Deljarry), who told me that it wouldn't be me, even if he wanted me to continue. In any case, the frustration of the end of the season with MHB and Kiel gives me the energy to start my career as number 1 at Usam.

What does Usam represent for you ?

A prestigious club, which has made the history of handball. In VIP recently at Parnasse, I met Boro (Golic, former player and coach). He was a model for me. I told him: “Boro, every time I went to Parnassus when I was a young coach, I saw your photo. Me too, I want to have a photo at Usam like you!” Otherwise, I rubbed shoulders with quite a few Usamists, les Portes, Mazel, Chagnard, Chauvet, Morand, or Jacky Brun who got me started in Lozère.

And the current team?

There is a group that I really like, with guys who are committed and give themselves for the club and the jersey. This is also why I chose Usam. I had three offers in France, three beautiful human adventures. The values ​​of solidarity and combat are noble notions here. We have a well-structured team, we have carried out quality recruitment. We will have a lot of strong points. It will still be necessary to use them well and make them profitable.

To finish, we are going to suggest something to tackle: in recent years, Usam has always lost six home matches in the league. It’s too much, no?

This is a stat that makes my hair stand on end, especially since Parnassus is a perfect venue to push a team to the very high level. I'm going to keep it to talk to the players about it. If you want to be European, a large part of the journey must be done at home.

The first project will be defense, because if we want invincibility, it goes there. The second is the game in large spaces, which is part of the DNA of the club: we will come back to that. The objective is to gain stability and regularity. I want Usam to be a feared and respected team.

Finally, I understood that if I wanted to hope to renew at Nîmes, I had a match to win each season (laughs). You will see, we will have beautiful derbies!

Behind the scenes of the interview

A well-filled CV. David Degouy was born in Meaux, in Seine-et-Marne, on the 19th  November 1979. He is married and the father of three children. After a BTS in sales force, he left the Dordogne to become a salesman then branch off towards the bank. Before returning to handball, where he trained as a coach in Champagne, in Aube, where his parents moved.

This will be followed by experiences in Toulouse, Mende, at the training center in Dunkirk, Lozère again then two assistant positions in D1, in Ivry then at MHB. A graduate in physical and mental preparation, he created his micro-enterprise supporting athletes. He also belonged to the staffs of Argentina (men) and the United States (women).

Mercato : Da Silva in 2024… then Faustin in 2025 ? With his last reinforcement, the Brazilian Da Silva (left back, 24 years old, ex-Benfica and Sinfin, Spain), Usam will- Does she have the same good shot as MHB with her compatriot Monte ? "Da Silva, he’s a collegiate recruit, specifies Degouy. Bryan, I've been following him for two or three years."

And it is rumored that for next season (2025), according to our information, the new Nîmes coach would have set his sights on a former Hérault player, center half Faustin (Dunkirk) who passed through Clermont Salagou , like Gallego and Rebichon! This would be very well underway. Succession is assured.

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