Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Adventure Continues in France . . .

Over the weekend Laurie and I made a big decision after consulting various members of our family and agreed to return to Europe for another season of EuroBall, this time in France.

Here is a link to a very kind comment on our decision to coach in France which apears on Olivier Rival's French Football Blog http://elitefoot.blogspot.com/

Our New Team 

Bron and Villeurbanne are both suburbs of France's third largest city, Lyon.

The fact that Lyon is considered to be the Gastronomic Capital of France may have entered into my decision making process.

The process of accepting this job was a long one.

I first met Julien Urgenti, who is a former Falcon player and coach, on line about a year ago. After corresponding for several weeks last Summer he sent me his playbook to review, which I happily did, making just a few minor suggestions to a well written document.

We continued to talk football throughout the following months as he started a football blog for French coaches to learn more about the game. He even asked me to write an introductory article for his blog on the 3-5-3 defense.

You can find Julien's French football blog at http://jecoachejepartage.blogspot.com/

During the early part of April, while the Thun Tigers had a few days off for Easter, Julien invited me down to Lyon for a few days to visit Lyon, attend a Falcons' practice, and talk a lot of football. We really hit it off well.

With Julien in Lyon last April

We kept in contact via Facebook for the next few months and when Laurie arrived in Switzerland in June, Julien again invited the two of us to come to Lyon after our season was over.

We were planning on visiting Avignon already, so the stopover for a day in Lyon was a natural stop.

This time, we were joined by the Falcons' President Christophe Thuau for another round of great cuisine and a guided tour of this splendid city with which Laurie fell instantly in love.

Again, we all talked a lot about football during our time together and found that our approach to the game and organizational ideas really meshed.

Christophe and Julien in June

One thing led to another and eventually they offered me the Falcons' Head Coaching job for the 2012-13 season.

As I stated earlier, I wanted to discuss this with our family face-to-face, not over the phone, before making a final decision. The past week those meetings were held and they all said to GO FOR IT!!! 

So, we are -- thanks to their support!

Fédération Française de Football Américain

The Falcons were a Division III team during the recently completed 2011-12 season, and as far as I know will be one again in 2012-13.

There is some talk that the team might be moved up to Division II next season, but I am told that the odds of this happening get smaller each day.

The Division III season is a long one that would require me to leave for Lyon at the end of September. I would be able to return for one month for the Christmas/New Year holidays. The regular season ends in April and we plan on making a deep playoff run if we are still in Division III that could take the season into June.

During the 2011-12 season, Division III was made up of 39 clubs that were first divided into North and South Conferences.

The North was made up of 23 teams while the South, where the Falcons compete, was comprised of 16 squads.

Each Conference was divided into four pools (aka Poule). Bron-Villeurbanne competed in the four team Division III Sud Poule C. The Falcons played each of the other three teams in Poule C twice.

In 2011-12 Poule C was made up of the following teams:

 Bron-Villeurbanne Falcons

 Chambéry Aigles

 Lyon Gones

 Valence Sharks

The scheduled also called for one game with each of the four Division III Sud Poule D teams to complete a ten game regular season.

In 2011-12 Poule D was made up of the following teams:

 Avignon Warriors

 Draguignan Dragons Noir

 Marseilles Blue Stars

 Perpignan Archanges

The top two teams from each of the eight Poules nationwide advance to the four game playoff.


This Recruiting Poster must be working as we have over 200 licensed players on the roster.

In fact, the Seniors, over 21 years of age, have so many athletes that we are going to have two teams competing so that more players can get playing time and have a chance to develop.

As you can see from the poster, the Falcons have a Junior team for players aged 16-21 and a Cadet and a Minimes team for even younger athletes.

We even have a cheerleading squad.

Oui, Oui!

Senior Success 

The 2011-12 season was a good one for the Falcons as the team finished as Champions of Poule C with a record of 10-2.

Both losses were to the Avignon Warriors who won the Division III French National Championship in 2011-12.

Here are the Falcons' results for 2011-12. Take note of the dates for the first four games. Yes, only four games in the first four months of the season.

Nov. 20, 2011 at Lyon Gones, won 20-0 (1-0)
Dec. 3, at Chambéry Aigles won 22-2 (2-0)
Jan. 22, 2012 vs. Avignon Warriors lost 0-7 (2-1)
Feb. 26, at Perpignan Archanges won 17-14 (3-1)
Mar. 4, at Draguignan Dragons Noir won 41-14 (4-1)
Mar. 18, vs. Lyon Gones won 16-3 (5-1)
Mar. 25, vs. Marseille Blue Stars won 18-0 (6-1)
Apr. 1, vs. Chambréy Aigles won 20-8 (7-1)
Apr. 15, at Valence Sharks won 18-0 (8-1)
Apr. 22, vs. Valence Sharks w0n 18-0 (9-1)
Apr. 29, vs. Marseille Blue Stars won 20-14 (10-1)*
May 13, vs. Avignon Warriors lost 21-26 (10-2)**
* Division III Playoff Game
** Division III Quarterfinal Playoff Game


Let the Hard Work BEGIN!!!

It's going to be A GOOD YEAR!!!


David said...

Ooh, Dragons Noir. Good nickname.

Ryan Bolland said...

Let me know if you need a hired gun for the playoff push....


steveswindle said...

Wow....Congratulations!!! What follows France.....maybe Spain?

Olivier R said...

Thanks for the link Georges! I definitly have to meet you in Lyon this fall!