The 21 players for the American Tour have been announced. The tour is 5-25 February.
France will start their 2011 preparation with a three-week tour to Argentina and the USA. Scott Goodheart, France’s Australian coach has planned eight test matches against Argentina, Canada and USA.
"This tour is the first long term and 'non-tournament' outing for more than 3 years, so its a big and important step for this group. We have selected a young team so that they can benefit from being in a new environment, and also against quality opposition", declared the coach.
Since 2009, the France men’s program was settled at INSEP, the national sport centre for 22 Olympic sports, located in Paris. With a brand new pitch and amazing state of the art facilities, INSEP has been the full time home for most of the team, as well as the training base for its players based outside of France. It is an ideal and perfect environment for the preparation for the European Championships in August.
For Goodheart, "Argentina is a quality opposition. They had interesting results recently against the World Champions, Australia, so we will have four very tough matches against them."
"We are fortunate to have matches against both USA and Canada. Canada are an experienced and class team who are consistent Olympic and World Cup attendees. We haven't played them for some time so it is a good opportunity to learn as much as possible. USA are well coached and on the road up the world rankings, so all four matches in San Diego will be really useful to us”, he said.
France is taking a young team (average age 23) that worked hard the last 12 month, including two 18 year olds being selected for their first major tour with the national senior team.
"Both Hugo Genestet and Guilaume Deront have worked very hard in the last four months at INSEP and have both earned their spot on the tour with the senior group. As 18 year olds, both players bring a new energy to the group as well as some unique and impressive skills that will help our offensive strategies," said Goodheart.
France will be travelling with an international umpire, giving the opportunity for the group to work on the rules, interpretations, video and relationship management on the pitch. The results will be posted on the FFH website: www.hockey-france.net.
Source: Federation Francaise de Hockey
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