IC14 Vignettes – Alban Schieber (France Les Coqs)
Tuesday, August 19 2014 @ 09:49 pm ACST
Contributed by: Wesley Hull
Alban Schieber is known to many for his work with the Bordeaux Bombers and the CNFA, most recently at the last Euro Cup in France. He takes some time out to tell us a bit about his Australian Rules football journey.
“I found about Aussie Rules when i came to Australia for a Rotary Student Exchange in 2005-2006. At the time, i wanted to continue to play Rugby. However, in Mount Gambier there were no rugby clubs, and nobody even knew about it. Without speaking a word of English, i went with a few boys to North Gambier training and started to play without understanding any rules. One year later I was addicted to the sport and couldn’t stop thinking about it. Definitively, one of the best sports I had the chance to try and play.”
“Most of the team met in Toulouse on August 1st to take the plane together, however I had to go to China for work so i stopped on the way in Shanghai. Then we all met in St Kilda on the 3rd of August to train together for a week. The trip was quite easy and the jetlag was quickly absorbed.”
“France is hoping to surprise the AFL community. We want to show the world that we have improved over the last three years and that we can do better than Division 2. However the draw with Ireland and Great Britain will complicate our plans a little and will be a good challenge.”
“The game is getting bigger every year and more and more team join us for the championship. However, we are still a very small sport with about 400 players across men and women. We are going to have the first women’s championship this coming year which should see three teams competing for the first ever title.”
“Even if the sport is small we have the government recognition through the Leo Lagrange Federation which will endorse our sport until we can have our own federation.”
“Finally, the national team is getting better and better in international competition which shows a little bit of the potential we can have.
Oh, and as a final, final thought, “Ireland for the men’s championship and Canada for the women’s.”