In a Proligue championship that has gone from 14 to 16 clubs and which seems more challenging than ever, Dijon Métropole handball is on the starting line with, as always, the avowed ambition to play the play-offs (you have to finish in the top 6 ) even thinking of the final oven. With a smaller group than last year and which keeps a certain stability, the Dijon club does not have a huge margin of maneuver. The first meeting which is proposed to him has everything of the perfect trap with a trip in Moselle always perilous on the side of Sarrebourg.
A tight workforce
During this offseason, the DMH saw 3 wingers leave: Virgile Carrière (Ivry), Jan Sobol (stop) and Kevin Préciado (N2) and two full backs: left-hander Lilian Pasquet and Abdoulah Mané who hardly had time to shine in Côte d’Or. On the arrival side, a right winger Lucien Auffret who officiated under the “orders” of Denis Lathoud in Strasbourg, a Belgian left-back Quinten Colman who arrives from his native country and a young goalkeeper Basil Poignot ex bisontin who we hardly saw during the preparatory meetings. There will therefore be a slight deficit in rotations compared to last year with, for example, a single left-hander on the rear base in the person of Théo Laguillaumie. Fingers will have to be crossed to avoid big physical problems and Ulrich Chaduteaud will have to cleverly balance each other’s playing times to keep a minimum of freshness. Always led by his pair of historic thirty-something “grognards” Pierrick Naudin (always captain) and Marc Poletti, this Dijon is not lacking in assets. His pair of center half Steeven Bois Vincent Maguy presents an interesting range of play both in construction and in finish. Bastien Khermouche at the pivot is a solid fighter, a perfect relay for Marco Poletti. Théo Laguillaumie has made a promising preparation. On the rookie side, Qinten Colman showed great fighting virtues on both sides of the field and Lucien Auffret is that kind of wisp winger who is always interesting. The two “thieves” seem in any case quickly to have found their mark in the group. But more than on individualities, it is on its collective that the DMH will have to rely. If he can still count on his pair of experienced goalkeepers Wassim Helal, MAxime Diot (the latter still convalescing and absent for a while yet), he will have to show a conquering state of mind with a big defensive activity that will allow him to exploit his qualities in the game of transition and counters. He will also have to find offensive efficiency, especially in shooting which was often lacking last year.
Beware of Sarrebourg
On paper, as we usually say, we would tend to give Dijon the favorite of this first meeting, especially in view of last year’s ranking (6th for Dijon 13th and penultimate for Sarrebourg). Except that obviously it’s not that simple. The Mosellans will continue in Proligue thanks to the passage to 16 clubs. Even if Dijon had won there last year, it must be remembered that the DMH was led 11-5 after 25 minutes and that it only owed its salvation to a goal from Loïs Pasquet at 5 seconds of the term (25-26). In addition, this time the Sarrebourgeois will be able to count on the support of a reputedly enthusiastic public. Last but not least the team coached by Christophe Bondant recruited very intelligently in the offseason. Thus landed in Moselle a solid Polish international right-back Kamil Adamczyk (1m97 and 100kgs all the same), a no less sturdy pivot (1m96 and 96kgs) disembarking from Créteil, Geoffroy Carabasse or an old acquaintance of the Dijonnais in the person of the very stirring Marius Randiantseheno, center-half with fiery support, ex Nancy who had driven the Dijonnais crazy during the barrage of play-offs last year. In short, the first opponent of the Dijonnais gives himself the means to play a role other than last year and no doubt that he would see himself catching Dijon in his nets. It’s up to the Burgundian fish to be the smartest.