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31/07/2019 22:00
Road to #EuroVolleyW – Les Bleues motivated to grow as a team
CEV EuroVolley 2019 Women

Belfort, France, July 31, 2019. Team France have resumed this week their preparations for the upcoming CEV EuroVolley 2019 Women. Their captain, Juliette Fidon, shares feelings and expectations ahead of the continental showpiece event – as the group re-convened after two and a half weeks they spent together already earlier this month.

The international summer started with the European Golden League, where the group had a lot of turnover. What assessment can you make of it?
Despite the defeats, and the only victory we had, we must try to take the positives from that experience. In all the games, there was a bit of positive, with each time a different roster. It was also an opportunity for some girls to have playing time at the international level. It gives valuable experience. Moreover, we should remember the beautiful victory against Croatia. Right now, as we have entered the second phase of our preparations, we have been working together for quite some time already. We do not need to readjust to any further changes.

The first camp in Dinard was rather tough, with a good dose of physical preparation…

It is not that it has been tough, but we did a good job, yes. The conditions were good, with many coaches at our side. It was not that it was hard or not hard, some sessions were more difficult than others - that is for sure. There were some challenging physical sessions. We worked well!

Moreover, you played two friendlies against Portugal…
These went rather well. There was a very clear victory (4-0), then a draw (2-2). There have been positive things, rotations. The conditions were difficult, since it was extremely hot in the hall, but no one used it as an excuse. We progressed as we could, with the form of the day, as a team, and that was interesting to see.

Juliette Fidon in action for France during a EuroVolley qualifying match earlier this year.

Now it is time for the second camp in Belfort, with several more friendly matches on the programme, from Thursday against Sweden…

We will not go home for a month. This is the last straight before the European Championship. It will have to settle things, we have to use the friendly matches that we will have, be serious in the preparation. It is interesting and exciting especially.

Last summer was very good, with the qualification for EuroVolley secured after four matches already. Do you feel that you are at that same level or that you have progressed further?

There have been some changes since last summer but when we compare ourselves to the other teams that qualified for the European Championship I think everyone did their work. It is a completely different stage of the tournament and the level will be much higher. It will be interesting and it will help us gain a lot of experience. We are aiming to do the best we can. We work for this purpose, to progress as a team, to set up systems, develop chemistry. We want to become a difficult team to play with.

EuroVolley, does it look far or is it already tomorrow?

I felt it was far, but when we look at the schedule, it will come very quickly. It is in a little less than a month. Meanwhile, there will be many things going on between friendly games and practice sessions. I like to take day after day, even if we all have the objective in mind. We know where we are going. We want to progress as a team.

Next season you will be playing in Poland…

It has been a long time since I wanted to do that. I already had an experience abroad, in the United States, leaving directly after graduation from high school. It was a very good experience, although it did not make me want to stay for more than a year. Now, I know that to play at the highest level, you have to go abroad. It was in my plans. This last year really make me decide to leave, and to see something else. I am very happy with this decision.

In addition to that, you will be playing with your teammate from the national team, Julie Oliveira-Souza…

I sign with Julie, I also sign with a Greek with whom I already played [Olga Strantzali]. I had very good feedback on the Italian coach, Alessandro Chiappini. I think I will learn a lot.

For further information, visit the official event website

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