French to meet English in Perpignan
Friday, March 10 2006 @ 03:05 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Aaron Richard
Perpignan will this weekend host a promotional 12-a-side Aussie Rules match between a side drawn from clubs across France and a squad from England, composed mainly of Reading Roos players. The match is expected to capitalise on a strong media push, with television, radio and print media promotion over the last few weeks and more than 300 tickets sold as of a few days ago.
The Saints de St Esteve began footy in southern France quite recently, touring to Valls, Spain - but the match against the English will be the first to be held in the city. The game will kick off at 8.00pm on Saturday 11 March at the Stadium Joseph Raynal de Villelongue de le Salanque. The stadium has a seating capacity of about 800 spectators, with organisers hoping for a total of around 1000 if the weather is kind.
The match is an important step in making footy known to the local media scene in southern France, with Perpignan local radio station NRJ broadcasting a promotional ad over the 10 days leading up to the game and two fifteen-mintue reports on local television station Perpignan Infos scheduled for Friday the 10th of March.
Watching the match will be two local sporting celebrities in David Marty (former French Rugby Union centre) and Doriane Vidal (2003 Snowboarding World Champion and Silver Medallist at the Salt Lake City winter olympics).
The English side is composed mainly of players from the Reading Roos club, including 6 Australians and around a dozen English players, including one International Cup representative, Reading president and club captain Adam Bennett. The French side will largely be made up of players from the St Esteve Saints, as well as some representatives from the Paris area clubs. The match will be umpired by Aussie Rules International member Philip Porublev, who will also be coaching the French side.