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  World League 2007
 
 FRA / France - Team Composition
 
 
Team manager Gérard CASTAN
Head coach Philippe BLAIN
Assistant coach Olivier LECAT
Doctor Jacques BLANC
Therapist / trainer Laurent CADIC
Journalist Patrice DUMONT
 
  No. Name Lastname Shirt Name Birthdate Height Weight Spike Block Club
1 Xavier Kapfer Kapfer 07.11.1981 191 96 354 320 Fart Kielce
2   Bojidar Slavev Slavev 30.06.1984 203 95 348 325 Toulouse
3 Gérald Hardy-Dessources Hardy-Dessources 09.02.1983 197 93 360 335 Tours VB
4   Antonin Rouzier Rouzier 18.08.1986 200 102 350 330 Istanbul Sehir Belediyesi
5 Romain Vadeleux Vadeleux 12.02.1983 196 100 355 335 Lube Macerata
6   Jean-Philippe Sol Sol 01.01.1986 198 92 345 325 Arago de Sète
7 Stéphane Antiga Antiga 03.02.1976 200 94 347 327 PGE Skra
8   Ludovic Castard Castard 18.01.1983 197 95 348 325 AS Cannes
C 9 Frantz Granvorka Granvorka 10.03.1976 195 90 364 327 Tarente
10   Vincent Montmeat Montmeat 01.09.1977 196 88 348 330 Tourcoing
11 Loïc Le Marrec Le Marrec 01.03.1977 190 82 330 312 Tours VB
13   Pierre Pujol Pujol 13.07.1984 186 90 335 315 AS Cannes VB (FRA)
14 Loic Geiler Geiler 14.04.1984 198 85 352 328 AS Cannes
15   Guillaume Samica Samica 28.09.1981 198 88 355 327 Zaksa
16 Meliuahel Takaniko Takaniko 29.05.1985 194 92 340 330 GFC Ajaccio VB (FRA)
17   Oliver Kieffer Kieffer 27.08.1979 200 85 355 335 Stade Poitevin
L 18 Jean-François Exiga Exiga 09.03.1982 176 75 320 312 Tours VB
L 19   Julien Lemay Lemay 17.05.1982 181 71 335 320 Volley Club Menen
 C=Captain  L=Libero
Team Profile   Coach Profile
1979: France organises the European Championship and finishes 4th
1983: Creation of the VolleyBall National Centre in Montpellier
1984: France organises the Junior European Championship in Clermont-Ferrand and finishes 4th.
1985 The players of the French Team prepare for 18 months the World Championship, to be played in France in 1986. In September, France is 3rd at the European Championship in Holland. In November, France is 2nd in the Seoul top ten.

1986 France is 6th at the World Championship.
1987 France is 2nd at the European Championship in Belgium and qualifies for the Olympic Games in Seoul.
1988 France is 8th at the Olympic Games.
1989 France is 5th at the European Championship in Sweden.
1990 France participates to the 1st edition of theWorld League and finishes 5th . That same year, France is 8th at the World Championship in Brazil.

1991 France participates in the 2nd World League and is 8th. The French team finishes 9th at the European Championship in Germany.
1992 France wins the Olympic Games Qualification Tournament in Castelnau Le Lez and qualifies for the Olympic Games in Barcelona. France participates to the 3rd edition of the World League and is 11th . France is also 11th at the Olympic Games.
1993 France is 9th at the European Championship in Finland.
1994 France is vice champion at the Junior European Championship.

1997 France is 4th at the European Championship in Holland.
1998 France is 2nd at the Junior European Championship.
1999 France returns to the World League and is 7th. France finishes 6th at the European Championship in Vienna in Austria and qualifies for the 2001 European Championship.
2000 France is 7th at the World League and does not qualify for the Olympic Games.

2001 France is 5th at the World League. France is 7th at the European Championships in Czech Republic. In Poland, France qualifies for the World Championships to be held in Argentina.
2002 France is 7th at the World League. France participates at the World Championship (for the first time in 12 years) and wins its first ever medal at a World Championship. France brings back a bronze medal, defeating Yugoslavia (previous Olympic Champion). France becomes 5th in the new FIVB world ranking (previous ranking : 10th )

2003 France doesn’t succeed in the preliminary tour on the World League and will finish 10th. France finishes in the second place at the European championships and  at the 5th place at the 2003 World Cup
2004 France doesn’t succeed in the Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament. Last chance for the qualification: May 2004. The French team got his Olympic game qualification in the last tournament in Tokyo. The French players finished this Olympic qualification tournament without losing, and lost just two sets in seven games. But the Team misses its goal in the tournament and is eliminated in the Preliminary Round.

In the 2004 World League, France is 2nd of its pool but does not qualify itself with the final Phases. It thus finishes 5th of this edition 2004.
2005 Just like in 2003, the French team misses the World League and finishes at the 10th place, after losing to Italy on June 17 and finishing last in their pool with only 3 games won. Right after the World League, the team seems to be back on tracks with a 1st place at the World Championships Qualification Tournament. Mission accomplished: the French Team got his qualification for the 2006 World Championships in Japan. This year ends in disappointment for the team, with a 7th place at the European Championships in Belgrade.

2006-2006 was a decisive year in all aspects, despite a very heavy schedule in terms of games to play. A renewed French Team starts the 2006 World League, a very difficult competition with games in Russia, China and Italy. The goal is to get a qualification to the final phase despite being in a very difficult group. By the end of August, the men of Philippe Blain qualify for the final phase in Russia, after winning several games against Russia, Italy and China, home and away. A strong feeling of renewal is growing, and hope is back. The French team confirms what we had foreseen. After a perfectly well managed final phase, the French eventually lose in 5 sets in the Final against the best players in the world, Brazil, and such a result had never been achieved so far. The French are now one of the best team in the world.

The World Championships starts very well for the French Team. Indeed Philippe Blain's men manage to win against Brazil, the only defeat of the whole Championships for Bernardo Rezende and his players. Unfortunately this young team does not manage to capitalize on this result as a few days later France loses against Germany. During the second phase, France loses against Bulgary after an incredible game, which eliminates the hopes of Philippe Blain. Opposed to Italy for a 5th place, it seems the French players have lost all their motivation. They lose the game and finish at the 6th place in this 2006 World Championship.
 

Philippe Blain is France's Head Coach since 2001.

 

He was part of the French National Team from 1980 to 1991. He started his professional career as a setter with the French Junior Team and in the French National Championship, then he changed to receiver with the French Senior National Team.

 

Throughout his international carreer he accumulated 340 selections with the National Team. A very technical player, he was elected MVP at both the 1986 World Championships and the 1987 European Championships.

He ended his professional career in the Italian club of Cuneo.

 

As soon as he quit playing, he started devoting himself to training, sharing his technical knowledge and was the Head Coach of his last team, Cuneo, for four years. He moved on to the French Club of  AS Cannes, where he spent two years (1999 and 2000) and with which he won the Cup of Cups in 1999. Then in 2001 he became Head Coach of Sète ARAGO (France) for one season.

 

So far, the highlights of his carreer as a Head Coach are a Bronze Medal at the 2002 World Championships in Argentina, a Silver Medal at the 2003 European Championships, a qualification for the 2004 Athens Olympics Games and a Silver Medal at the 2006 World league.

 

Philippe Blain is also the Secretary of the FIVB Coaching Commission.