CNFA Season Preview
For this week’s ‘Match of the Round’ we caught up with CNFA President, Alban Schieber, and got his thoughts about the upcoming season and the teams competing ahead of tomorrow with round 1 kick offs.
This season is quite special for us as it will be played between October and April when we usually play until mid-June. The reason is quite simple and quite exiting as well for all the players: we will have our Grand Final in the Stade Jean Bouin in Paris. Our 2017 Grand Final will be the curtain raiser of the last Top 14 game between Paris and Racing Metro 92.
Another thing that will make this coming season so special is that for the first time ever, every single team competing in the 2016/2017 Leo Lagrange Championship has a real chance to run for the premiership or at least the semi-finals. In fact, all clubs have been doing a good job over the summer to get numbers, fitness and competitive players.
After a couple of “on and off” seasons, the team starts to have experience players surrounded by quite a lot of young athletes. The team has played for the first time internal games at training.
Even though they are brand new in the competition it would be a mistake to think that they are not a serious competitor in the race to the semi-final. They are based on a few skilful players who have won two premierships with the Toulouse Hawks. They have had interesting numbers at training with 30+ players coming for clinics and training. Blagnac is a good place to recruit rugby players. We wish them the same first season that the Cockatoos had last year.
For the first time since their last premiership, the club has finally break the ice and recruited before the start of the season. They have also been playing a few internal games to give a chance to the 30 players to get a kick and have a chance to show their abilities. They should be back in the race after two seasons struggling.
Coyotes de Cergy-Pontoise:
They are probably the team to follow as they climb the ladder step by step. Every year they get better! And what’s better than runner-up? The Coyotes have raised the bar from playing entire games with 9 blokes a few years back to a strong grand finalist squad of 20 players last year. You can be sure that they are all pumped to climb that last step that is keeping them away from the premiership.
The 2016 premier is going to run after a second title this year. The Paris team based on strong squad numbers with experience players who are both French and Australian. They also have a few new players coming along. Training together the Cockerels is a chance that give them plenty of opportunities to play.
Disappointed after a semi-final lost against their brother’s, the Cockatoos. They are very motivated to win the premiership again. As the Cockatoos, they have both French and Australians players with a good knowledge of Australian Football.
After bringing the club back into the championship last year, the Tigers hope to conquer the only “missing title”. For that they have been recruiting and securing players in Perpignan but they will also get some help from the Montpellier Firesharks (reborn this summer) and a couple of Australians. This should give them the extra boost to join the final 4!
Like always they are capable of everything. Strong, skillful and athletic, they are always hard to play and full of resources. If the injuries leave them alone, they are for sure one of the most dangerous team in the tournament.
Good luck to all team involved in the 2016/17 CNFA Championship. We’ll be following the results closely.
Special thanks to Alban Schieber for putting together such an amazing season preview.