(Photo: © FIH / FFH / Jérémy Roussin)

Following two test matches against Belgium, the French coach Scott Goodheart selected his team for the upcoming WorldHockey World Cup Qualifier in Lille, France.

France has completed a two-game series against Belgium, winning game two 4-3 and losing game one 4-5.  

Game one was a high standard with both teams working hard to create opportunities in attack.   France lead the game 4-3 with 90 seconds to go, however a lapse in defensive concentration saw Belgium strike twice in succession to take the win.

Game two was a less attractive affair, with both teams struggling to find space and flow.   A goal difference between the two teams in both matches was a fair indication of the closeness of the games.

“Regardless of the scores, these games were critical for us in order to select the team for the World Cup Qualifier, and also to finalize some structural tactical changes we have made to the group,” said Head Coach, Scott GOODHEART.

Following the two test matches, GOODHEART announced the 18 players for the WorldHockey World Cup Qualifier tournament.   All players in the France Squad of 24 were available for selection, with the exception of midfielder Christoph AMEND (22) after he sustained a broken hand playing EHL at the beginning of October.

Included in the 18 are two players making their major-tournament debut, being striker Olivier SANCHEZ (20) and defender Guilin THOMAS (23).  Also new since the European Cup team is striker Yannick SCHAMBERT (23), who has returned back to the team following a back injury sustained in June.

 “All three players have earned their spot in the side.   SANCHEZ and SCHAMBERT are playing well in attack, and THOMAS gives us potency and strength in defence.  In particular, SCHAMBERT gives us another option with our penalty corner offence,” said GOODHEART.

France now plays England in two practice matches next week before playing Poland in game one of the Qualifier tournament.

Team France for WorldHockey World Cup Qualifier: Arnaud BECUWE, Matthieu DURCHON, Martin GENESTET, Tom GENESTET, Thomas GOURDIN, Joost JANSEN, Arnoud JANSEN, Maxime LANOS, Henri Julien LHOMME, Valentin MIGNEAU, Nicolas MONNIER, Oliver SANCHEZ, Yannick SCHAMBERT, Francois SCHEEFER, Lucas SEVESTRE, Fréderic SOYEZ, Guilin THOMAS, Maxime WILSON.

Source: FFH