The French footy team is heading to Melbourne for our world cup! It has been 3 years in the making so we can’t wait. Come and cheer for us! We have matches August 6, 9, 12, 15 & 18.
We have set up a crowd finding to reduce the burden on these players for a trip costing more than $100,000. A goal of $6,860 will help to cover some of the significant costs for our young group.
Australian Football was first seen in France in 1916, played by the diggers who were fighting in a foreign land. Fast forward 100 years and an annual ANZAC Cup is played each year in Villers-Bretonneux to remember the great sacrifice that was made to protect this ever-grateful town and region.
It wasn’t until the 1990’s that matches began to be played by both locals and expats. These matches and the creation of several clubs led to the formation of a national championship in 2008. This championship is played all over France using rugby pitches in a 9 vs 9 format. The best players from each club come together to form the French national team, the Coqs. This will be the third International cup for the French team, having competed in both the 2011 and 2008 edition. We also have seen the development of the women’s game in France, and while we do not have enough for a full team at the IC, we have 11 French women representing the European Crusaders.
Our 28 players come from all over France with the majority being between 22 and 28 years of age. Some have visited Australia before but this will be the first time for many. Some players have been brought to the game through friends or word of mouth, others have simply seen a video online or looked for an alternative sport in their local area. Regardless of how they discovered the game, they have all learned the unique skillset, enjoyed the spirit of the different clubs and embraced the footy community in France.
To prepare for the tournament, we will arrive in Sydney a few days before, to acclimatise, to train and to take advantage of the rare opportunity on the other side of the earth! We will train with Sydney University and have also been invited to visit the GWS Giants. In Melbourne, we will be based on the east side of the city and are looking forward to building a strong connection with the Kew Football Club and continuing our relationship with the St Kilda City Football Club.
Airfares alone for our traveling group of 28 cost over $2,000 per person, which is a huge sum for these players. They have adopted our sport and now they are looking forward to experiencing our culture and hospitality! Let's show them that we really are the lucky country ;)
Allez les Coqs!