We interviewed Alexis Salles, the coach of the French men's team of padel. He comes back on his choices just under two months before the European Championships padel.

Almost 30 players whose level is very close

Padel Magazine : Alexis, how are you? Despite the confinement, did you continue to work, to interact with the players?

Alexis Salles: “Hi Franck. First of all, I thank you for your interview and I take this opportunity to congratulate you for all the articles that you publish daily on Padel Magazine and which allow our community to stay informed of events padel in France and internationally.

To answer your question, I have been trying for a year to get the best information possible about the competitions that take place with the participation of French players.

I also have very regular contacts with the "management" players of the France team who continue to compete through the professional circuits WPT and APT and I try to keep a link with the other players even if the period is very long in the absence of competition in France and it is very difficult to give them visibility on the resumption of tournaments. As recently as this weekend, I was in contact with 4 top 30 players. ”

Padel Magazine : How to make the final choice on the future Team France? For men, the competition is very tough. Are some players stronger collectively with their partner than individually?

Alexis Salles: “You're right, the competition is very tough among the players and apart from a few players that I consider“ indisputable ”in EDF for their state of mind and their level, then there is almost 30 players whose level is very close and who are likely to join the Team. In any case, this is the message I want to send to the players so that they remain as concerned as possible and keep as much motivation as possible.

Your question concerning the collective and individual performance of the players is very interesting because it is a real problem with the objective of composing the best possible French team. Take the example of the pair made up of Justin Lopes and François Authier, who have shown on several occasions that they are able, together, to compete with the best French teams. This was not necessarily the case when they played separately with other partners.

But I must also consider combinations to find the best possible pairs, especially since most of the teams have changed this year, and in particular the passage to the left of Johan Bergeron who remains very efficient on both sides… That's all. challenge of the internship which will take place from May 2 to 28 at the MAS club in Perpignan which will allow me toobserve the players and try out certain combinations. After several months without competition (or very little) for some players, it is a question of ensuring their technical level but also physical and mental. ”

“Max (Moreau) has lost the confidence of some players”

Padel Magazine : There is an absent one who makes people talk: Max Moreau. Can you tell us why is he not part of the extended team of Team France?

Alexis Salles: “I regret that Max is not part of this 12 player selection camp because he has the level to be part of it, he is invested and continues to make efforts to play competitively. But without wishing to return to certain controversies, Max has lost the confidence of certain French players and I have doubts about his integration into the limited group of 8 players who will represent France at the European Championships in Marbella at the end of the month. of June.

We leave for 10 days during which the group spirit is essential. As it stands, I have judged that Max could be a brake on this group cohesion which is essential to the performance of the team and which can allow us to be competitive and to seek great victories. ”

Padel Magazine : Is it final? What could change to make this evolve for the worlds?

Alexis Salles: “This choice is absolutely not final and during my long discussion with Max, I insisted on the fact that the door of the EDF is not closed and that there remains for me one of the players who can integrate this great team at the end of the year during the world championships in Qatar. For that, it is of course necessary that he has good results with Jérôme Inzerillo and that he finds a certain serenity in his relations with the players. ”

Arnaud Di Pasquale and Arnaud Clément: an undeniable contribution

Padel Magazine : What is the difference between the previous team of the FFT and the new one in the mode of operation?

Alexis Salles: “It is a bit early to compare the operating methods between the two teams, but above all we are trying to ensure the continuity of the work accomplished over the past few years, Stéphane Berrafato being the guarantor of this link.

The contribution of the two "Arnauds" is indisputable in terms of reputation and communication for the padel. Arnaud Di Pasquale's press release and his interview on Padel May demonstrate real ambitions and give hope for a significant development of the padel in France over the next few years. I believe that the community padel is delighted with this new governance and this gives a lot of hope for the evolution of our sport, in terms of image, development but also on the fundamental subjects of training and education.

In any case, it's a real pleasure for Robin and I to work with “the two Arnauds” and Stéphane. The realization of a selection course with our friends of the MAS club in the current health context proves their involvement and their voluntarism! ”

4 pillars in the French team

Padel Magazine : To conclude, what are the essentials according to you today? How many places are left in Team France for how many players? 

Alexis Salles: “Today we are lucky to have 4 experienced professional players who are the pillars of the France team, respectively by their age Bastien Blanqué, Johan Bergeron, Benjamin Tison and Jérémy Scatena.

Then we have Thomas Leygue who, at 19, has a real project in Spain, is progressing and is destined to become an excellent player of padel. Then Adrien Maigret who continues to be involved nationally but also internationally in FIP and APT tournaments and who remains a talented player who can make the difference in a decisive match. But I repeat, no place is guaranteed in EDF and everyone will have to prove on the ground that they deserve their selection.

There is also many excellent players who will not be at this selection camp, who are progressing and who can hope to join the Team at the end of the year during the world championships in Qatar, hoping that the competition will resume as quickly as possible in France.

Wearing the jersey of the France team remains a unique experience and a great pride that is worth a lot of sacrifices and I hope that this "dream" will continue to fuel healthy competition among players so that France remains a strong nation in the world. padel worldwide! ”

Xan is a fan of padel. But also rugby! And his posts are just as punchy. Physical trainer of several padel, he unearths atypical posts or deals with topical subjects. It also gives you some tips to develop your physique for the padel. Clearly, he imposes his offensive style as on the field of padel !