EJC 2008: France not feeling pressure from earlier success

Category: - published 2008-07-10 by

Having won the last two European Junior Championships, France enters this year´s tournament, starting on Saturday, as the number 1 favourite. Head coach Olivier Moret refuses to feel any pressure from the French team’s success in the past.

“It's a different team. There is no player from the 2006 team and we were obliged to build a new team. All the teams know that the tournament is going to be really hard. Everybody wants to beat the champion”, Moret acknowledges.

He sees his team´s depth as its major strength. Moret refuses to name the key players in his team.

“There is less difference between the first team and the backups than in the earlier tournaments.”

Moret´s team is bringing almost all of the best talent in France to Sevilla.

“One of the best offensive linemen and a starting corner are seriously injured. We miss two other players who don’t not their French identity cards. But we will do with the team we have. A team is more than an addition of individuals.”

Moret sees lack of gametime experience as his team´s major weakness.

“We can't find a friendly game. I don't know what is the real level of the
team in game conditions.” The French team has prepared for the EJC by having four minicamps.

Playing in group A, France will face Sweden, Russia and Spain in the first phase of the tournament.

“Sweden, Germany, Austria are the biggest challengers. But we have to
respect all the teams. Spain will want to show us how good they are”, Moret says.

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