Volleyball: the Béziers Angels coach wants his players to “let go and play at 200%”

Volleyball: the Béziers Angels coach wants his players to “let go and play at 200%”

Un gros défi attendent Fabien Simondet et les Béziers Angels. Giacomo Italiano

Entretien avec Fabien Simondet, le coach des Béziers Angels, avant la première manche des quarts de finale de Ligue AF, ce mardi (20h), à Mulhouse.

In what state of mind will you approach these quarter-finals against Mulhouse ?

With a lot of desire and motivation. As always in the final phase, these will be complicated matches. We are going to face one of the biggest budgets in the championship, we will have to give our all to try to get through this round.

You know these high-stakes matches very well. What are the keys ?

In these moments, I believe that the mental aspect is crucial. It will absolutely be necessary to be present in the fight and the state of mind. I think that the team that puts the most energy on the field will leave with a big advantage for qualification.

Even if it perhaps seems a little weaker than in recent years, what do you think of this Volley Mulhouse Alsace team ?

That she is one of the best in the championship. There will be big individuals on the field. It may be a little less smooth collectively than in recent years, but this team has enormous potential. We will have to be wary and put out very big performances to qualify.

This year, the play-offs formula starts you with two trips. We imagine that this will not be easy to manage.

I don't really agree, I even tend to think that it's not necessarily advantageous for the team that receives first. We will have two away matches without too much pressure, before hosting in our hall. If we manage to win even one of our two trips, we could have a small advantage. In this configuration, it is mainly Mulhouse which will have the pressure on these first two meetings. Especially since there will be the Coupe de France final at the end of the week, which could also cost them a little energy. It will be up to us to do everything we can to try to bring something back from Mulhouse and put ourselves in a slightly more favorable position.

Were you satisfied with the first performance, last Saturday, of your new Polish cutting edge ?

Yes, I saw some very interesting things. She could perhaps have had a few more balls, but that's already encouraging. Julia had only arrived four days before, she had to get her bearings and manage this pressure from the first match. It’s good for her and for the team to have had the opportunity to express herself for the first time on the field before the play-offs. She integrated very quickly into the collective, which is promising for the future.

What will your words be before entering the court ?

I have a fairly young group, which needs to be given confidence. We will try to bring a lot of positive things and take as much pressure off the players as possible. Mulhouse will be favorites in this confrontation, I want the girls to let loose and play at 200%.

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