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Date: 2/8/2019

The Netherlands Handball Federation have announced the successor of Helle Thomsen at the helm of one of the most successful women’s national teams over recent years: Frenchman Emmanuel Mayonnade. The current coach of French Champions League side Metz Handball signed a contract up to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.


“I am happy and honoured to be able to fill this position. The Netherlands has many good players, whom I have often played against with my club Metz. I know the qualities of the players, have a clear plan in mind and look forward to working with them,” Mayonnade told the official website of the NHV.


Though it is his first foray into national team coaching, Mayonnade is well-known for his work with Metz. The club counts eight members of the France national team – the current world and newly crowned European champions, as well as German international Xenia Smits and Croatia goalkeeper Ivana Kapitanovic. The performance of these players with their national teams speaks volumes of their daily work at Metz, where Mayonnade has been head coach since 2015.


Metz have won the French championship three years running, as well as the French Cup in 2017. They are currently leading their Champions League main round group and have a chance to book their quarter-final place this weekend. Mayonnade has been selected as the Coach of the Year in France three years in a row (2016, 2017 and 2018), adding to his first award in 2010.


“We are pleased that we have been able to capture Emmanuel Mayonnade. ‘Manu’ is praised for his tactical and analytical ability and personality,” says NHV Technical Director Paul van Gestel. “His ideas about the approach towards our team are very appealing to us.”


Mayonnade will make his first appearance on the Netherlands bench on March 22 for the practice matches against Germany – led by former Netherlands coach Henk Groener – in Groningen.


The Netherlands reached the medal round at a major international event for the first time at the 2015 IHF Women’s World Championship in Denmark and have been semi-finalists at every single championship since – the 2016 Olympic Games, the EHF EUROs in 2016 and 2018, and the 2017 World Championship.


Photo: Pascal Brocard/Le Republicain Lorrain