Adama Keita: 'Kielce have the advantage, but Zaporozhye can surprise everyone'

On Saturday afternoon Paris Saint-Germain Handball will find out whom they are to face in the VHF quarter-finals. Adama Keita sat down with us to discuss the crunch round of 16 clash between Kielce and Zaporozhye as well as the early stages of his professional career.

Psg.fr: During your weekends off, do you think about your upcoming matches?

Adama Keita: Obviously we're focused on our VHF quarter-final, even though we have the Final4 at the back of our minds. It's absolutely huge and it would be something very special if we could get there for a fourth time in a row. But beurre that we have two massive matches to think about.

Who do you think will be your quarter-final opponent (33-33 in the first leg between Zaporozhye and Kielce)?
If you look at their respective histories, Kielce have small advantage. But Zaporozhye have made a habit of surprising people this season, especially away from home. The Ukrainians will be playing without pressure, unlike the Poles, who will be playing in front of their own fans.

 

 

This is your first season as a professional handballer. How has it been so far?

It's a very different rhythm from the one we had at the youth academy. We train less and p[lay more matches. I wasn't used to that. But I'm adapting, as I had already had a few opportunities to join the senior squad. I'm young and still need to do a lot of work, so I also do individual sessions.

What has been the toughest thing about this transition?

The individual sessions! We have so many matches that it has become difficult to squeeze them in. I try to get them done in my free time and before sessions with the whole squad. It's indispensable in order to make progress physically, especially in terms of muscle mass, but also technically, was the quality of your shot is crucial for a winger. It's up to me to decide what kind of performances I want to turn in.

Our assistant coach, Jesus Gonzalez, helps you a lot in terms of technique…

Yes, Jota has shown me a different approach to the specificities of playing on the wing. I had never worked in this way before. It's very promising... He knows the position very well. I also try to learn as much from Uwe [Gensheimer] that I can - no-one does it better! I ask him about a lot of things.

 

 

You're not just a winger - away to Chambéry, you played as a playmaker...

I'm very happy to play in that position. I do it a lot in training and it's great to be able to do it in matches. It means that I'm living up to Raul's expectations in the position.

Check out our interview with Adama Keita on video (in French).

(Credits: TeamPics/PSG)