26 December 2016
The 21 players called by Didier Dinart and Guillaume Gille to prepare the 2017 World Championship got together on Monday in Capreton. Here is what is waiting for them in the next days.
The French team got together on Monday December 26th in Capbreton, and has begun the preparation for the 2017 World Championship, which they hope to win at home, and thus hold the title won in Qatar in 2015. Until the opening game against Brazil, on January 11th, the French players will have two very strenuous weeks.
Fitness and tactical work in Capbreton
At first, the 21 players called in the pre-list by the two head coaches Didier Dinart and Guillaume Gille will stay in Capbreton. This first phase will last until December 30th. The training program includes some fitness and some specific physical preparation, after an exhausting first half of the season, but also some tactical sessions, in particular in order to find defensive solutions against power play, which made the French team suffer a lot during the last months.
“It will be one of our working axis, confirms Didier Dinart on the French team’s official website. Our opponents, who think we are the favourites, use the power play. We indeed have to find systems to block these attacks.“
Getting to the heart of the matter in Toulouse and Montpellier
The French team will then join Toulouse, where they will stay from 2 to 7 January. They will get deeper to the heart of the matter, with more tactical sessions and some training matches. This second period will end with a friendly match against Slovenia in Toulouse’s Palais des Sports, on January 6th. Slovenia will be in Group B in Metz during the World Championship with Spain, FYR Macedonia, Iceland, Tunisia and Angola.
The French team will then spend three days in Montpellier, from 7 to 9 January. The aim of this third training session will be to work on the final details. Like in Toulouse, the French players will have the opportunity to test themselves against Slovenia, on January 8th in the Arena of Montpellier. After this last game, the two head coaches will settle on the final list of 16 for the World Championship, which will be unveiled on January 10th. The French squad will then be ready to start the competition, beginning with the opening game at AccorHotels Arena.
France’s schedule during the first round
January 11th : France-Brazil, AccorHotels Arena, Pari
January 13th : Japan-France, Hall XXL, Nantes
January 15th : France-Norway, Hall XXL, Nantes
January 17th : Russia-France, Hall XXL, Nantes
January 19th : France-Poland, Hall XXL, Nantes