Foppa feels not like a youngster anymore
She might have only turned 20 three months ago. But it feels like Pauletta Foppa has been around in international handball for a decade.
Foppa is the first up-and-coming player featured in a series of ‘Rising Stars’ by DAZN and eurohandball.com.
The Brest Bretagne Handball line player was one of the eye-catching talents at the Women’s EHF EURO 2020 in Denmark, where she won silver with France.
Her national team performance, climbing the steps three by three, hasn’t come as a surprise regarding the strong appearances with her club.
"I am a real part of the teams I am playing in"
“It is a nice feeling not to be the youngster anymore. It means that I am a real part of the teams I am playing in,” Foppa said. “I try not to think about it too much, though. I try my best to help my team when I am on the court and I leave the rest in the back of my mind.”
Looking back on the DELO EHF Champions League group phase, Foppa wasn’t completely satisfied with Brest finishing in third place of group B.
“When you are playing at this level, you always aim for higher. Third is good, but we have some regrets over the games in Moscow, for instance,” Foppa said. “It might sound pretentious, but it is not the position I would have signed for before the start of the competition.”
Foppa is as demanding to her team as she is to herself. Ask how she would rate her own performances since the start of the season, and she will say they were “OK, but I have still got a lot of room for improvement.
“I think I’ve proven I was able to give great performances, but now I have to stabilise it,” Foppa said. “I want to be able to score five at every game, instead of scoring eight now and two the following game.”
"It takes time to learn how your opponents play"
Consistency comes with experience. Being able to retain your best level, even though you are not in the best of form, is something that takes time to learn.
“It takes time to learn how your opponents play, as well,” Foppa said. “With time, you have tips on how to attack this player or that player. I am sure that will be something I will catch up with over the years.”
A boost to Foppa’s experience will be Brest’s two play-off matches against Team Esbjerg, on Sunday at 17:00 CET in Denmark (live on EHFTV) and next week in France.
Both teams were in the quarter-final last year when the season was cancelled amid the global pandemic.
"We have greater things in mind"
This year, the play-off stage might only be the first step towards bigger things.
“It is nice to be there already, but we definitely have greater things in mind,” said Foppa, referring to the DELO EHF FINAL4 in Budapest on 29/30 May.
“I am sure we have the quality to get there, but it still seems so far away, as many factors will be taken into consideration,” she said. “The team that will play the best, which will be able to find a way through all the hazards of this season, will not be far from the truth.”