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World League 2011
22nd Edition

 
 FRA / France - Team Composition

 
Team manager Gérard CASTAN
Head coach Philippe BLAIN
Assistant coach Mauricio PAES
Doctor Jacques BLANC
Therapist / trainer Jean-Paul ANDREA
Journalist Nicolas BAILLOU
 
  No.   Name Lastname Shirt Name Birthdate Height Weight Spike Block Club
  1 Yannick Bazin Bazin 18/06/1983 190 95 337 315 Galatazarai
  2   Ludovic Castard Castard 18/01/1983 195 85 348 325 AS Cannes
  3 Gérald Hardy-Dessources Hardy-Dessources 9/02/1983 197 93 360 335 Tours VB
  4   Antonin Rouzier Rouzier 18/08/1986 201 100 350 330 Cuneo
  5 Romain Vadeleux Vadeleux 12/02/1983 196 100 355 335 Lube Macerata
  6   Jean-Philippe Sol Sol 1/01/1986 198 92 345 325 Arago de Sète
  7 Stéphane Antiga Antiga 3/02/1976 200 94 347 327 PGE Skra
  8   Marien Moreau Moreau 25/10/1983 201 100 345 328 Munich
  9 Guillaume Samica Samica 28/09/1981 198 84 355 327 Zaksa
  10   Jean-Stéphane Tolar Tolar 4/07/1984 199 90 330 309 Tourcoing VLM
  11 Loïc Le Marrec Le Marrec 1/03/1977 190 82 330 312 Tours VB
  12   Nicolas Marechal Marechal 4/03/1987 198 83 338 327 Jastrebski
  13 Pierre Pujol Pujol 13/07/1984 186 90 335 315 AS Cannes
  14   Loic Geiler Geiler 14/04/1984 198 85 352 328 AS Cannes
  15 Baptiste Geiler Geiler 12/03/1987 198 90 343 327 Friedrichshafen
  16   Emmanuel Ragondet Ragondet 6/08/1987 191 77 338 320 Arago de Sète
  C 17 Oliver Kieffer Kieffer 27/08/1979 200 85 355 335 Stade Poitevin
  L 18   Jean-François Exiga Exiga 9/03/1982 176 75 320 312 Tours VB
  L 19 Edouard Rowlandson Rowlandson 20/07/1988 190 89 330 310 Arago de Sète
 C=Captain  L=Libero
 
Team profile

The French Men’s National Team announced their arrival as one of the best teams in the world when they finished second to Brazil in the 2006 FIVB World League Finals in Moscow.

The French, who finished fifth in the first-ever World League in 1990, negotiated a tricky passage through to the Finals, playing in Russia, China and Italy.

By the end of August, it was mission accomplished. Head Coach Philippe Blain’s Men had booked themselves a place in Moscow after winning Pool matches against the Russians, Italians and Chinese, home and away.

In the Final, France lost in five sets to Brazil, but it was still their crowning glory so far in the world of Volleyball, and set them up nicely for the 2006 FIVB World Championships in Japan.

France won the bronze medal at the 2002 FIVB World Championship in Buenos Aires, their first appearance at the tournament in 12 years, moving them from 10th to fifth in the FIVB world rankings. After their silver medal at the 2003 European Championship and the impressive World League performance three years later they had every right to be in a confident mood.

The 2006 World Championships started very well for the French when they beat Brazil, which would prove to be the only defeat of the event for the eventual winners.

Unfortunately, the young French team did not capitalize on the Brazil result and a few days later lost to Germany, which negated all the benefits of the Brazil win.

During the second phase, France lost to Bulgaria in an incredible game, killing off any lingering hopes of French glory, and they finally finished sixth after losing to Italy in a playoff.

In the 2007 World League Preliminary Round, the French were up against Japan, Italy and USA. Victims of the Americans, the French missed out on first place in their Pool.

Blain and his players were given a lifeline, though, with a wild card for the final phase in Katowice, Poland. But after losing a five-set match against Poland, the French team were on their way home.

The French had to quickly pick themselves up in November 2007 for the European Championship in St. Petersburg and Moscow. Bad news struck, though, when Blain lost three of his major players. Frantz Granvorka and Oliver Kieffer were injured just before leaving France, and Pierre Pujol was ruled out of the rest of the tournament after injuring his ankle in the first set of the first game against Slovakia.

Even so, France started well with two victories versus Slovakia and Slovenia before losing to Spain. But in this second phase, the French lost against Serbia, Netherlands and Germany to finish ninth.

In 2008, France failed to achieve its main goal of the last few years: to participate in the Olympic Games. After this terrible disappointment, Philippe Blain's squad had an unsuccessful run in the 2008 World League, finishing 10th.
Coach profile

FIVB Coaching Commission President Philippe Blain was named France's head coach in 2001 after a successful playing career. He played 340 times for the French National Team from 1980-1991 and was elected MVP at the 1986 FIVB World Championships and 1987 European Championships.
 
Blain started his professional career as a setter with the French Junior Team, a position he also played in the French National Championship, before changing to receiver for the French Senior National Team. He ended his professional career at Italian Club Cuneo before devoting himself to training players, taking charge at Italy’s Cuneo and France’s Cannes and Sète Arago.
 
The highlights of the 49-year-old’s career so far as France head coach are a bronze medal at the 2002 World Championships in Argentina, silver at the 2003 European Championships, qualification for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and silver at the 2006 World League Finals.

 

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