Updates on French Footy and French Cup now announced

By Alban Schieber

The 2013/2014 season is now officially over in France. Here is a quick overview of the season:

It all started back in September when the Bordeaux Bombers organised with AFL Europe and the CNFA the 2013 Axios Euro Cup. During this tournament the French Coqs made history by reaching the Grand Final and beating Ireland for the first time (34-33). Unfortunately the players were a little short during the final against England Dragonslayers with the end result being 92-15.

The Axios Euro Cup was also a big event for French Women’s footy with the first ever French national team competing for the European Crown against girls coming from all over Europe in the Crusaders team.

Once AFL Europe and all the other teams had left Bordeaux and its wineries, the CNFA went back to work and the clubs as well. When the championship started, the Aix Marseille Dockers were unable to join anymore and were replaced by the ALFA Lions (Lyon).

Here is a summary of the whole championship won by the Toulouse Hawks (see story about the CNFA Grand Final here).


(Click on picture to enlarge)

In February the Hawks organised another competition, the annual South Cup. Running on the same format as most European Cups, all the teams competed in a seeding round in the morning before playing the finals in the afternoon. This year 6 teams competed including the Toulouse Hawks 1 & 2, Bordeaux Bombers, Montpellier Firesharks, ALFA Lions and the returning Perpignan Tigers. The Bordeaux Bombers won the 2014 South Cup defeating the Montpellier Firesharks in the Grand Final.

In April, France also had the chance to host the annual Topdeck ANZAC Cup held in Villers-Bretonneux where AFL Europe were involved. This year the Aussies came back with the strongest team so far and defeated the French Coqs. We can for sure say that all the boys who played had an unforgettable experience.

Unfortunately, this season didn’t see any French Cup as the CNFA decided that the French Cup will be played in september. “We want the French Cup to become the big start of all our coming seasons. It will be a good opportunity to meet the new clubs and new players and give everyone a chance to show that they can compete in the Championship. This will also allow the national coach to see all the players before every Axios Euro Cup and help him to make his final decision on the team!” said Thomas Urban, CNFA President.

CNFA is also proud to announce that the 2014 French Cup will be held in Bordeaux on September 21st.

1. The possible inclusion of  the Nancy Bobcats and the Pau Bears (new clubs in the process of formation)

2. The Perpignan Tigers will return before joining the 2014/2015 season

3. The ALFA Lions, Paris Cockerels, Strasbourg Kangaroos, Montpellier Firesharks, Toulouse Hawks, Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes and Bordeaux Bombers will once again be there to ensure one of the biggest French Cups.

French clubs

Last but not least, CNFA worked with a communication agency called Bleue Com Une Orange which was in charge of developing our sponsors programs and our social media. This also helped us to reorganise new processes and give a better picture of our sport in France.

Now we are focusing on the IC14 where we hope to offer a good image of our footy and show the world our improvement.

#coqsweek #IC14 #gofooty

France one step closer to the IC14

From hosting the Axios Euro Cup for the first time to playing in their first Axios Euro Cup final, France enjoyed much success in the AFL Europe competition in 2013.

The form team of last year is now looking to continue their successful run in Melbourne at the 2014 International Cup.

President of the CNFA (National Committee of Australian Football) in France and Head coach of Les Coqs, Thomas Urban, believes that his team has the potential to cause some upsets, but they still have a way to go before they can take on the big guns.

“We played Papua New Guinea three years ago and they smashed us. We are not ready for them yet.”

Since finishing 14th in the 2011 International Cup, Urban and the CNFA have grown the game exponentially in France, to the point where they are considered one of the stronger European teams.

Preparation for the International Cup began two years ago when Urban chose many of the players he hoped would play in the French team however some things have not gone to plan.

“Because of the money problem, some of our more experienced guys will stay in France,” said Urban. “It does however allow an opportunity for some of the young guys who could be brilliant in the next couple of years.”

Included in the team who will be attending are stars of the 2013 Euro Cup, speedy midfielder Joevin L’Hotellier and Les Coqs imposing captain, Grégoire Patacq.

“We also have two big ruckmen who I’m sure everyone will be paying attention to,” said Urban. “Thomas Depondt, who learned his craft playing for the Lock Roos in South Australia and Clément Coste who was one of the best AFL Quebec players last year.”

The French connection runs deep with some of the players having also played or been involved in the Canadian team.

“Playing Canada would be great,” said Urban. “Our inside knowledge could give us the competitive edge.”

Another advantage that the French will enjoy is the advice of Richmond Tiger’s player, Daniel Jackson, who will be sharing his knowledge of the game with the team once they arrive in Melbourne.

Having also just crowned a champion in their local season (Toulouse Hawks), the French will be prepared for any challenge that comes their way this International Cup.

“We will carry our momentum through from the season and hopefully come away with a few wins.”

#coqsweek #IC14


Thomas Urban, President of the CNFA and Head coach of Les Coqs