Elohim Prandi: 'We're nothing without our fans'
Before facing Toulouse in Liqui Moly StarLigue Round 2 action on Sunday afternoon, Paris Saint-Germain Handball Elohim Prandi left-back sat down for a chat that covered his personal form as well as the return of fans to France's handball arenas.
Psg.fr: You are starting your second season in Paris. How do you feel?
Elohim Prandi: Very good! I had fear bit of injury trouble last season - it was a roller coaster, but I hung in there and worked hard. This summer, I worked ceaselessly in order to be physically ready. Now I want to go out there and win everything.
Is this a season where you have to take more responsibility, or will it be next year when, some of the coaching staff leave?
It starts now! Some of them are going to leave in eight months, and things will move quickly. Mikky (Hansen), who plays in my position and has done great things here, is leaving. I want to start becoming more important now, so that when he passes the torch to me, I will be even more operational. I also want to find a place in defence. I'm very excited about that! I want to live up to it, but in my own way. Mikky is Mikky, Yoann is Yoann (Gibelin, who plays at left-back and will arrive in Paris next season) and I am me.
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In the league, several of your rivals have already been caught out. Have you been keeping an eye on them?
It's still early days... But it's certain that Nantes and Montpellier don't have any get-out-of-jail-free cards left. Our aim is not to do the same. I hope we don't! But obviously, it's still very early days. The championship is more difficult every year. Great players arrive in France. All the teams can beat each other. Anything can happen. We have to be concentrated and rigorous to avoid this kind of problem.
Against Istres (34-25), you found your bearings more quickly. Do you feel a progression in this area?
Of course! It's normal that things are going in that direction. You can't take too long to get into a game, otherwise you get left behind.
The team has hardly changed over the summer. Is that an advantage?
We've been playing together for a year now. With the new players from last season, we have been able to create an osmosis with the players already in place. We know where we have to be to optimise our moves. It's immediately more fluid. It's a real advantage!
This year, you can take full advantage of centre-halves Luc Steins and Nikola Karabatic. Are you satisfied with the extra range of skills they bring?
They are two great players. No-one is going to have a career like Niko's [laughs]. Everything he brings to us in attack and defence is important. Luc brings a lot of movement and speed. They are two different styles, which I like a lot! They complement each other a lot. It's a pleasure to play with them.
Are you happy to see the fans at Coubertin once more?
We are nothing without them! It's the fans who keep us going. You can feel it when they aren't there. We saw it last season; we had to adapt. Against Kiel in the quarter-final of the EHF Champions League, we saw how they spurred us on. It is essential for a team to be spurred on by its fans. I'm of the belief that we are nothing without each other.
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Check out the first part of our interview with Elohim Prandi, on video.
(Credits: A. Gadoffre/TeamPics/PSG)