Paris Cockerels v Stade Toulousain (CNFA)
15/06/2019 Parc De Parilly 16:00
As we near the end of a thrilling season, the 2019 CNFA Grand Final is finally upon us.
Reigning CNFA champions, the Paris Cockerels will face Stade Toulousain who are in their debut season following a merger at the beginning of the season. These two hard working teams are a certain to make for a thrilling match-up.
The Cockerels will go into this match-up quietly confident after being in this exact position last year before going on to win the Premiership and then gain further experience at the 2019 Champions League.
Their time spent under pressure and 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 in recent years, having made the Grand Final in each of the last 10 seasons and winning the competition five times. A clear demonstration that they a powerhouse of the CNFA.
Team captain Pierre Boscart talks to their 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…having a tall player in each part of the ground is also an asset of ours.”
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 for the first time since Toulouse made the Grand Final in 2014.
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,” said Coach Martinez.
Pride in the club and the city you play for is a big part of any sport, Cockerels captain Pierre 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 footy community.”
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 doing game initation 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, quick inside 50’s and accuracy in front of goal. They will aim to create another shootout this weekend and will force the Cockerels to kick a big score in order to beat them.
In contrast, the Cockerels have a vast range of size and skill which will allow them to be dominant in the air, whilst also using their pace to burst out of contests. The Cockerels side display different strengths to Stade Toulousain, meaning both teams with have the momentum at different stages throughout the match and will be desperate to capitalise on their opportunities.
With these strengths on show 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.
Liam McAllion – AFL Europe
Special thanks to Fine Wine Partners for their support of the growth of the game throughout Europe.