PSG Handball – For Luc Steins, department budget cut “doesn’t stop you from playing good handball”

Luc Steins, a 1.73m centre-half, arrived at PSG Handball in November 2020 as a medical joker for Nikola Karabatic. Since then, he has been named the best player of the championship for two consecutive seasons in 2021 and 2022, and today he is the center of PSG Handball.

Mathieu Grébille, on the other hand, is 1.98m, a more classic handball size. He is playing as a left winger after a long spell at the back. A change of position due to several serious injuries that sidelined him for months at his former club Montpellier, where he spent his entire career before arriving in Paris in the summer of 2020. At PSG, he shares the left wing position with him. Adam Keita.

For 100% PSG les Mag, Luc and Mathieu took time to tell their handball stories, but also look back at the start of the PSG Hand season, which was marked by numerous departures, injuries and a significant budget cut.


PSG Handball lost two of the five matches it played

Mathieu GREBILLE – It doesn’t bother us, but it annoys us, yes. After that, it is not the first time that PSG has lost the Champions Cup. You should also see that we were undefeated last year [30 victoires en 30 matchs de championnat]. We are not invincible, but we are still not defeated. Achieving such a performance was truly a collective feat. But in previous seasons, it was not an easy task to make a clear round every time. So we know very well that this year we have the post season that we have been waiting for and it started with the Champions Cup. So, inevitably, the group changed a little there. In preparation we had minor injuries, injuries… So it’s not a worry because it’s only the beginning of the season and there are many things we can improve on individually and collectively. Therefore, it is better to lose the Champions Cup and not lose a single one in the league, even if it is not the way we want. It’s infuriating, but it’s up to us to use it to re-motivate ourselves and let’s not forget that when we won last year, a lot of people were going to try and beat us.

The budget of the PSG handball department, which was only 16 million euros last season, was reduced by 2.5 million euros.

Luc STEINS – It doesn’t stop you from playing good handball. I don’t think it will change anything for us on the field. Of course, we lost some important players, but there are also players who came to strengthen us. Maybe it sometimes takes a little longer than a band that’s been together longer. But it doesn’t change much for us, I think. The difficulty may be slightly greater than usual or before. But no, I think it’s up to us to play well on the pitch and we’re still training every day like last year. We still have incredible players who have strengthened us this season. So it is up to us to work harder and show that we can still win all the matches in the league. But it won’t be easy like last season.

Dainis Kristopans found himself alone after the departure of Nedim Remilly and a serious injury to his replacement Dominique Maté due to the fact that the right-back position was not doubled.

Mathieu GREBILLE – A bit the same for all players. Inevitably, it’s a bit more complicated when there’s only one for a task. Personally, I have a feeling that we have a really extraordinary team. But unlike some teams that might have 18 or 20 professional players, we’re just numbers. Since we are in a collective, with a system that we really need everyone, we must inevitably restore the balance as soon as it is missing. We’ve already lost Ned, a player with big, big game volume. If we lose Dainis, we lose 2.15m… Still leaves a huge gap on the pitch! So I hope it won’t happen. After that, he’s a really good guy, so I hope it continues. But it’s up to the coach and us to turn around and rest him if necessary. Three or four seasons ago, Nedim was alone in his position. More precisely, before the arrival of Christophans, PSG managed to keep a single right-back by rotating. It’s up to us to try to find the best way to use the Kristopans without wearing them out too much. But it’s true, with the schedule we have, it’s going to be a big season for him and it’s going to be tough.

On the chicken that PSG is in the Champions League, this looks favorable

Mathieu GREBILLE – Actually, you have to be careful. You have to be careful because you can’t lie to yourself: on the other hand, the chicken is very, very tough, a bit like ours last year. It brings together big, big clubs, very prestigious and we have less prestigious clubs in the group this year. But this is the Champions League and you have to be 200% from one game to the next. We have to win in Plock, we have to win in Veszprém. It was very hot there again, very complicated and it will be difficult. And we shouldn’t believe that it will be easy, on the contrary, because we are probably in a chicken that grows little. Especially, as the coach said, when you are in a very difficult pool, you can make more mistakes because you know that you will be facing an opponent who will be logically potentially weaker at the exit. When we’re out there, we know that no matter what, if we don’t position ourselves well in our pool, we’re going to face a very big boy.

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