The 2019 European Championships are just around the corner and as part of the build-up, AFL Europe will be previewing all nine teams involved in this year’s tournament. The European Championship is AFL Europe’s premier 18-a-side tournament, played every three years, and this year will see teams from across the continent travel to London to see who comes out on top.
In this third European Championships Squad Preview, we take a look at a men’s team making their first appearance, the French Coqs.
With summer being the French off season for AFL, a lot of preparation has still gone into what could be a successful tournament ahead for them.
Including preseason fitness training, an extremely positive Euro Cup tournament and great game up against the Australian Master’s team shows the Coqs are ready. This side, although technically in their league’s off season, have had great opportunities to still be involved in the game and practice in some pressure filled environments in which this Euro Champs tournament can deliver.
With this adjustment to 18 a side new to many of the AFL Europe players, the French Coqs will be relying on their preseason training to succeed and run out these bigger grounds with less rotations.
Beating the Australian Spirit in the ANZAC Cup earlier in the year, this French side has proven on multiple occasions that when playing at their best they can beat anyone who comes their way.
The Coqs pace from defence to offense and ability to have strength and fitness all across the ground is one of their main advantages coming into the tournament.
These qualities directly shine through the players of Yohann Thierry and Vincent Monnier, who spectators should keep an eye on in the midfield.
“Yohann is quick and slippery around the contest and Vincent is a physical presence that never loses a one on one battle… As a coach though, I am looking forward to seeing which of our new players embrace the new format and take their games to the next level,” said Coach Andrew Unsworth.
With nine debutants, representing all of the eight French league sides, AFL in France is in a great place and the competitiveness for spots and quality of football throughout their club season, will now build the success of the national side.
They have developed a level of fitness that will suit the bigger 18-a-side grounds, and this French side is playing with a unique brand of football in which they hope their endurance and speed will be key factors in running teams off the park as a result of their high-intensity pressure.
This particular game style will not only potentially bring the Coqs success on the field, but will aim to draw in the crowds and it’s likely that the spectators will see some thrilling football when the Coqs are in action.
Going into the tournament, the French are keen to show AFL Europe what they can achieve, and are looking at the European Championship as the perfect opportunity to prepare for major tournaments in the future.
“Our goal is to show that our best football is as good as any other team in Europe! Given that we do not have full size fields in France, we also need to expose our players to 18-a-side football in preparation for the 2020 International Cup,” said Unsworth.
Liam McAllion – AFL Europe