France national coach, Scott Goodheart, has selected the team to compete in the FIH Champions Challenge 2, starting in Lille, France, on the 2nd of July 2011.
This team was finalised after a total of 32 players took part in the recent Celtic Cup in Cardiff and a 4-Nations tournament in Dublin, which included a strong 4-2 win over Pakistan.
“We had a great opportunity to see a large group of players in tough international matches at the Celtic Cup and the 4-Nations Tournament. A number of additional players have also become available due to completing exams. This has made selection very difficult – which is a good thing for the team,” said Goodheart.
Experienced defender Joost Jansen will return to the side, along with Cesar Hauet and two young players who were undertaking the baccalaureate exams in June – 19 year olds Hugo Genestet and Viktor Lockwood.
It is likely further changes will be made at Les Bleus next tournament in Paris at the end of July as the coaching staff try to finalise selection for the 2011 European Nations Championships in August.
“This is very exciting for our group and French Hockey generally. We have the opportunity to play an important international tournament in front of a home crowd, and the team will include two of our most promising young talents in France,” said Goodheart.
Other nations competing in the tournament include China, currently ranked 14 in the world, and two other teams that will be competing with ‘Les Bleus’ at the European Nations Championships in August - Ireland, currently ranked 18 in the world, and Russia, currently ranked 22 in the world.
“The tournaments we have just completed in Cardiff and Dublin demonstrate how close most of these teams are in ability. There should be some very competitive hockey in Lille, and we will have to work very hard to get good results against what we know will be very experienced and determined opposition” said Goodheart.
The qualifying matches ahead for France in Lille are (local time):
2 July, 17h00 vs Russia
3 July, 17h00 vs Ireland
5July, 17h00 vs Scotland
The finals will begin on 7 July, with semi-finals on 9 July and the final on 10 July.
France is currently ranked 17 in the world, and is chasing their first qualification to the Olympic Games since 1972.
The 18 players for the Champions Challenge 2 in Lille are (age, club, caps):
BECUWE, Arnaud (30, Santander HC (ESP), 96)
CATONNET, Matthhieu (21, Amiens SC, 29)
DIERCKENS, Matthias (23, Lille MHC/INSEP, 27)
DIERCKENS, Bastien (23, Lille MHC/INSEP, 33)
GENESTET, Hugo (19, St Germain HC/INSEP, 14)
GENESTET, Tom (23, St Germain HC/INSEP, 52)
HAUET, César (21, Hamstead & Westminster HC (ENG), 23)
JANSEN, Joost (23, CA Montrouge/INSEP, 64)
LHOMME, Henri (27, FCHC Lyon, 24)
LOCKWOOD, Viktor (19, Lille MHC, 2)
MAGNER, Fabien (21, Paris Jean Bouin/INSEP, 31)
MIGNEAU, Valentin (25, Lille MHC/INSEP, 57)
PAUCHET, Jean Baptiste (26, St Germain HC, 33)
POURCELET, Fabien (23, St Germain HC/INSEP, 16)
SANCHEZ, Olivier (22, CA Montrouge/INSEP, 38)
SCHAMBERT, Yannick (25, Lille MHC/INSEP, 64)
SCHEEFER, François (23, CA Montrouge/INSEP, 80)
SEVESTRE, Lucas (22, St Germain HC/INSEP, 53)
Head Coach: Scott GOODHEART
Assistant Coach: David PARKER
Assistant Coach: Chris ROWOHLT
Assistant Coach: Axel GUIGNARD
Manager: Sandra HARIK
Physiotherapist: Lionel LABADIE
Sports Psychologist: Makis CHAMALIDIS
Federation Francaise de Hockey Media Release.
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