PRESS RELEASE 05.12.2003


French squad named for Olympic qualifier

December 05, 2003 - French head coach Philippe Blain has named a full-strength 18-man squad to attempt to gain Olympic qualification at the European Olympic Qualification tournament in Leipzig, Germany from January 5-10.

After finishing fifth at the 2003 Men's World Cup behind Brazil, Italy, Serbia and Montenegro and USA and consequently missing out on one of the three Olympic qualifying berths, France have another chance of qualifying at this Continental tournament.

The likes of captain Dominique Daquin, Stéphane Antiga, Philippe Barca-Cysique and Frantz Granvorka have all been named while Mathias Patin and Oliver Kieffer, who both sprained ankles during the World Cup campaign, are also fit and ready to go.

It's another difficult assignment for France with Russia, Spain and the Netherlands also chasing the same prize where only the winner will qualify for Athens. In their favour is that France have been drawn with Spain, the Netherlands and Finland in their pool with Russia, Poland, Bulgaria and Germany fighting it out in the other pool.

The teams who do not qualify at this attempt will have another chance in May at the 2004 World Olympic Qualification Tournaments.

France: Yohan Cohen, Hubert Henno, Dominique Daquin, Andy Ces, Frédéric Gibert, Jean Charles Monneraye, Stéphane Antiga, Laurent Capet, Frantz Granvorka, Vincent Montmeat, Loïc de Kergret, Loic Lemarrec, Marc Schalk, Philippe Barca-Cysique, Xavier Kapfer, Mathias Patin, Oliver Kieffer, Sébastien Frangolacci