VIDEO. “I lasted because I never looked back”: Patrice Canayer speaks one last time

VIDEO. “I lasted because I never looked back”: Patrice Canayer speaks one last time

27 mai 2018 : pour la seconde fois de son histoire, Patrice Canayer mène le MHB au titre européen. MAXPPP – Federico Gambarini

Le coach du Montpellier Handball a décidé de quitter le club au bout de 30 ans. Les adieux sont prévus ce vendredi soir au FDI Stadium à l’occasion de MHB-Toulouse.

Patrice Canayer almost split the armor. Three seconds, during his last press conference. Before pulling yourself together…

On the morning of his last match at the helm of Montpellier Handball, 30 years after having led the first in Chambéry (September 10, 1994, 11-27), the technician remains the same, focused on the only goal that matters: his team. Master of his emotions in all circumstances, the old coach, 63 years old, still intends to control everything. Until the last second. And "manage as usual", this evening against Toulouse. Without looking in the rearview mirror.

Those who have been around him all these years won't really be surprised. Patrice Canayer doesn’t like to dwell on his glorious past. Apart from a bronze offered by a sculptor friend after the victory in the Champions League (2003), nothing in his house in Jacou recalls the work and a unique track record in French sport.

"Only fools rejoice in the passing of time…"

"I’s lasted because I never looked back. I don’t like looking at photos, the time passing. It hurts me, he admits. Only fools rejoice in the passing of time."

Since the start of the week, however, he has had to make do, dig up a few photos and delve into his memories to satisfy the curiosity of journalists and fans. At the risk of reopening a few scars.

"Telling a player that you won't keep him is what has been the most painful all these years" , confesses Patrice Canayer. Some, like Michaël Guigou, have still not forgiven him. "But someone had to do it… It’was my role as manager."

Corinne, his wife, experienced all these ordeals from the inside. His words are rare. His words shed a little more light on the character: "Patrice fundamentally loved all of his players. They loved them so much that our two daughters used to say that they mattered more than all of us combined. I am well placed to know how much all this, all this stress, took a toll on him. It was a total investment, that of a lifetime."

Others than him would have already given up on the matter. Instead, the most successful coach in the history of French handball still admits to being annoyed and angry with the whole world since the elimination of his MHB in the quarter-final of the League of Nations. champions, in Kiel.

"When opportunities present themselves in high-level sport, you must not let them pass you by. I hope we have planted a seed and the club will soon reap the rewards."

"If I am called to do the Olympic Games"

Patrice Canayer will watch all this from afar. He believes he will have to detox this summer before moving on to other things: political commitments, business advice, walks with the grandchildren…hellip; "I'm not sure that this is truly the end of Patrice in handball", however warns Corinne. "Why should I deprive myself if I miss it", confirms her husband, solicited by many big clubs since the announcement of his departure last August.

"If tomorrow I am called to do the Paris Olympic Games, whether with girls or boys, I will go all straight away", he launches in a final pirouette.
Notice to amateurs.

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