Handball. The preparation of Nîmes, a Starligue team, will go through Nevers and a friendly match against Pontault-Combault, Wednesday August 7

Nîmes, a resident of the Liqui Moly Starligue, and Pontault-Combault (Proligue) will play a friendly match on Wednesday August 7 at La Maison des Sports in Nevers.

After Ivry and Chambéry in 2011 or more recently the French U19 team in 2022, the Maison des Sports de Nevers will once again host the top level, Wednesday August 7, with a friendly match between Nîmes (Liqui Moly Starligue) and Pontault-Combault (Proligue).

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“The match was arranged through the network of Morad Bounouara (former international referee for Nevers, now National Technical Advisor) and Sassi Boultif (Nevers coach),” explains Michaël André, co-president of USON. “They know the Starligue and Proligue coaches well and suggested Nevers to host them during the preparation period.”

Nîmes, who finished 7th in Starligue (the equivalent of Ligue 1 in football), and Pontault-Combault (3rd in Proligue, the lower level) are big names in national handball.

Four French champion titles

Coached by Yann Balmossière, the club’s former iconic captain, USAM Nîmes Gard has won four French championship titles (1988, 1990, 1991 and 1993), three French Cups (1985, 1986 and 1994) and a third place in the Champions League in 1994. Twice champion of D2, Pontault-Combault spent twelve seasons among the elite, including the last in 2018-2019. The Seine-et-Marne team has just failed in its quest for promotion, beaten in the play-off by Frontignan-Thau at home (28-31).

A schedule dependent on the Olympic Games

The two teams will not only be playing a friendly match. “They will be training from Monday to Thursday,” explains Michaël André, “with training sessions” at the Espace des Saules in Coulanges-lès-Nevers on Monday and Tuesday, “and physical sessions at the Maison des Sports bodybuilding club.”

The match is scheduled for 6 p.m., but could be changed depending on the French team’s performance at the Olympic Games. “The quarter-finals are scheduled for the same day. If France is involved, we will adjust…”

Yannick Borde



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