Match of the Round

CNFA Men’s Grand Final

Paris Cockerels v Stade Toulousain

28/09/2019  Parc De Parilly, Lyon  16:00

After a thrilling season, displaying some of the best players Europe has to offer, the CNFA men’s Grand Final is this weekend and will be home to a big crowd in Lyon.

With this match originally planned to be in June, the build up and excitement to this game has been brewing as both sides are eager to play some great footy this weekend.

Reigning CNFA champions, the Paris Cockerels, will face Stade Toulousain who are in their first official season after merging with the Toulouse Hawks.

The Cockerels will go into this match quietly confident after winning last years premiership and have further experience under pressure, competing at the 2019 Champions League.

This experience in big games will definitely help them in what is certain to be a pressure filled occasion on the weekend.

The success of this Paris Cocks club has been prevalent for an entire decade, having made the Grand Final in each of the last 10 seasons and winning the competition five times.

A clear demonstration that they are a real powerhouse of the CNFA competition.

Team captain Pierre Boscart, talks about his sides strengths, the reasons behind their success and what they will bring to this Grand Final.

“We are a consistent team that’s always rising and always want to be first on the ball, giving a lot of pressure to our opponent… also having a tall player in each part of the ground is also an asset of ours.”

Pride in the club and the city you play for is a big part of any sport,  Boscart explains this is a major factor for their team in relation to Australian Football in Paris.

“We owe it to our friends, the Paris Cockatoos. They gave us a really hard time in the semi final. We will be very proud to represent not only our team but the whole Paris and French footy community.”

Stade Toulousain have gelled extremely well in their first season and seem to get over the line in the close games.

Winning the semi final over the season leaders of the ALFA Lions by two points, Stade Toulousain have been itching to get back to the big dance.

This will be the first time in Toulouse footy history that this club has made the Grand Final since 2014, meaning it is a big occasion.

Stade Toulousain coach, Emilien Martinez, was not concerned by the fact that his players will be the less experienced side on the day, instead seeing this as a real positive and opportunity for his team.

“For most of our players this will be their first Grand Final, I would say this can be our best strength, we simply have no legacy to handle.”

Photo by Patrick Vielcanet Photography

The CNFA is forever growing and while teams like Stade Toulousain put in a lot of effort to make it to the Grand Final, they are also going to great lengths to introduce new people to the game and are great ambassadors for AFL Europe.

“We are doing our best to raise the amount of players by initiating it in schools, open days and being present to any event we are invited to,” said Coach Martinez.

Stade Toulousain have shown this season that they can kick some big scores, through winning the contested ball in the midfield.

Adding this to their quick inside 50’s and accuracy in front of goal, Stade Toulousain will aim to create a shootout this weekend and will force the Cockerels to kick a big score.

In contrast, the Cockerels have a vast range of size and skill which will allow them to be dominant in the air, and have the ability to burst out of contests.

With these strengths on display and the recent finals matches involving close scorelines, we will see this encounter come right down to the wire as both sides look to claim the title of CNFA Champion for 2019.

 

Stay tuned to next week’s edition of Around the Grounds to see who came out on top!

 

Special thanks to Fine Wine Partners for their support of the growth of the game throughout Europe.

Liam McAllion – AFL Europe