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  2008 World League
 
 FRA / France - Team Composition
 
 
Team manager Gérard Castan
Head coach Philippe Blain
Assistant coach Olivier Lecat
Doctor Jacques Blanc
Therapist / trainer Didier Bennetot
Journalist Julien Watelet
 
  No. Name Lastname Shirt Name Birthdate Height Weight Spike Block Club
1 Yannick Bazin Bazin 18.06.1983 190 95 337 315 Galatazarai
2   Bojidar Slavev Slavev 30.06.1984 203 95 348 325 Toulouse
C 3 Gérald Hardy-Dessources Hardy-Dessources 09.02.1983 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 01.01.1986 198 92 345 325 Arago de Sète
7 Stéphane Antiga Antiga 03.02.1976 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 04.07.1984 199 90 330 309 Tourcoing VLM
11 Loïc Le Marrec Le Marrec 01.03.1977 190 82 330 312 Tours VB
12   Nicolas Marechal Marechal 04.03.1987 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 Samuele Tuia Tuia 24.07.1986 195 95 345 325 Skra Belchatov
16   Emmanuel Ragondet Ragondet 06.08.1987 191 77 338 320 Arago de Sète
17 Gary Gendrey Gendrey 30.11.1985 198 85 353 327 Tourcoing LVM
L 18   Jean-François Exiga Exiga 09.03.1982 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   Coach 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 Championship in Japan.

France had won the bronze medal at the 2002 FIVB World Championship in Buenos Aires, their first appearance in the tournament in 12 years moving them from 10th to fifth in the FIVB world rankings, and 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 are on their way home.

The French had to quickly pick themselves up in November 2007 for the European Championship in Saint 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.

 

FIVB Coaching Commission President Philippe Blain, named France's Head Coach in 2001, also enjoyed a successful playing career. He played 340 times for the French National Team from 1980 to 1991 and was elected MVP at the 1986 FIVB World Championships and 1987 European Championships.

 

He 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 47-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.