FEATURE: After leaving Paris SG in disappointment after three seasons, the French left back has settled well in Hungary. On Saturday he plays his former club for a second time within a week
Accambray becomes "a really happy man" in Veszprém
Last season William Accambray wasn't exactly the happiest handball player in the VELUX EHF Champions League.
Overlooked by Paris Saint-Germain coach Noka Serdarusic, the French left back spent most of the time on the bench, despite hard-core fans chanting his name from the Coubertin stands.
The situation prompted the national team player to leaving the French capital in the summer, when his contract expired.
"I am not angry anymore. It feels like one of those situations that you learn from, good or bad," Accambray says. "Even though what I experienced in Paris was far from what I expected, I must use it to move forward."
Still play a major role
So the choice to move was easily made. Several German clubs knocked on the door but he joined Veszprém, convinced by the option to still play a major role in the Champions League.
"I wanted to play in one of the best teams in the world, so when Veszprém called it felt obvious for me to say 'yes'," the 29-year-old left back recalls.
After six seasons at Montpellier HB and three at PSG, moving to Hungary meant the first foreign adventure for Accambray. Not speaking the language has not caused him problems so far.
"The players are great, the coach is great, I am a really happy man at the moment," he says. "I might not be playing every game since we have got 20 players but that is fine."
His most prolific performance
His first weeks at Veszprém have gone by rather quiet, and his most prolific performance happened just last weekend when visiting his former team in the Match of the Week.
Some may think that with two goals, Accambray still has much room for improvement but Veszprém coach Ljubomir Vranjes said he was "satisfied. William has to learn to be patient, and I have to be patient with him, too."
According to Vranjes, playing for the Hungarian side can be tough.
"In Veszprém you want to win every game. In some of them I would need more from him. But, considering that William hasn't played much over the course of the last two seasons, he has been doing good so far," the coach says.
At least, Accambray was looking happy on the court where, not so long ago, he was wondering what he was doing.
"Handball had become just a job. I was going to training just because I had to," the left back reflects.
Battle for the top spot
While his new team were beaten (33:28) and lost their lead in Group B to PSG, the battle for the top stop will get new impetus on Saturday when the French side are visiting the Veszprém Aréna.
"This was the first defeat for us this season, so it hurts a little bit," Accambray says. I think the game was very intense and probably a very nice one to watch for the fans. We were not aggressive enough in the first half, which is why we lost it."
According to Accambray, Veszprém "have to focus again to win and be in the best position to finish first of the group."
Accambray may play more, he may play less. But either way, the French tall guy is a happy man again.
TEXT: Kevin Domas / ew
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