Volleyball: the president of the Béziers Angels takes stock of this season and talks about the future

Volleyball: the president of the Béziers Angels takes stock of this season and talks about the future

Bernard Fages retient du positif de cette saison. Midi Libre – Michael Esdourrubailh

Au lendemain d’une nouvelle défaite synonyme d’élimination en quart de finale de Ligue AF, le président des Béziers Angels se confie et dresse le bilan de cette saison 2023-2024. Entretien.

What do you remember from the last performance of your players, Friday evening, against Mulhouse (2-3) ?

The girls gave their all. If we were going to go out, I wanted it to be with our heads held high. Even though there were a few small errors that prevented us from winning, we delivered a successful match. I am proud of the face we showed.

What assessment do you draw from this 2023-2024 season ?

We've had a pretty complicated year, but I think we're in our place and we've done everything we can with our possibilities. We had to adapt very quickly upon arrival at the sports center. It’s a magnificent piece of equipment that everyone envies, but it required a little time to adapt. We also had a lot of injuries and with the squad we had this season, it was sometimes complicated. We were almost never able to evolve with our major six. But despite all that, I think we had a great season and the results are rather positive.

The group was completely renewed last summer. Is it complicated to perform in these conditions ?

Yes, definitely. When you change twelve girls, the physical trainer, the assistant coach as well as the statistician, it takes time to adapt. I think that it takes at least one season so that we can get the most out of a group in terms of cohesion and solidarity, these are not things that can be done in eight days. It’s complicated to change everything every offseason and hope to have excellent results every year. When we see clubs like Mulhouse, Nantes or even Cannet, which have much higher budgets than ours, we understand the difficulty we have in competing. And yet, despite these conditions, I find that we are already doing a very good job and that we are very close to these teams on the ground. So yes, it’s obviously exhausting to always start from zero or almost, but today, we have no other choice.

What are you missing to reach a new level ?

We would need at least 200,000 euros more to manage a club of this size. The problem we have is that we are asked for more and more things and the more we play, the more money it costs us. And as we reached the quarter-finals of the European Cup, expenses were once again very significant this year, without us having any money coming in at the same time. In these conditions, from the moment you have a much lower budget than the big guys in the championship, it's difficult to fight. Today, everyone needs to sit around a table and move in the same direction. We will have to look for additional revenue at the sports center, we also have some ideas on the subject. While hoping that we will have even more support from the institutions. We are already helped by the communities and I thank them for that, but in the end, we see clearly that there is still a little lack of money to go for a title or make an epic on the European scene.

Where are you in preparing for the next exercise ?

We are in advanced discussions with Frédéric Havas for the position of coach. As for recruitment, we were two months late for non-sporting reasons. But today, everything is being finalized. I think the final recruits will be finalized in the next ten days.

Former French international (138 caps), Frédéric Havas (50 years old) has worn the colors of numerous French clubs. The possible future coach of the Béziers Angels has held the position of manager at Levallois Paris Saint-Cloud for several months.

The M18s move on to the next round

All dreams are allowed. Traveling to the Côte d’Azur last weekend, to compete in the seventh round of the Coupe de France, the M18s of the B&ziers Angels won their two confrontations face à Fréjus (1-2) and Pont-à-Mousson (0-2). Two successes synonymous with qualification for the next round on April 21. The last stage before the finals, which will be held at Pau (Pyrénées-Atlantiques), from May 10 to 12.

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