The coach of the France team padel male, Alexis Salles, reconsiders his choices a few days before the departure for Marbella where the 12th European Championships are being played.
Padel Magazine : What did you think of the level of the internship? What do you remember from these 3 days?
Alexis Salles: Beyond the level of the players during this selection camp, it is above all their state of mind and their motivation that I will retain. I insisted on the importance of these 5 matches and on the fact that everyone had their chance to win their place in the France team. These 3 days were therefore 100% competition oriented with a place in the French team at stake. The 12 players responded, got 100% involved and gave everything to earn their selection!
In terms of level of play, the meetings were quite heterogeneous, in particular because of the great heat that it was during 3 days but especially because I tested a lot of combinations. The players had to adapt to different partners and we know how essential this is to this sport! Despite everything, we have witnessed some very good oppositions with a very promising level of play!
Finally, this internship allowed some players to gain strength and regain a lot of confidence over the matches. It is the strength of the group which lives well together and which knows how to transcend itself… The players wanted to meet again after a very complicated year and this was felt throughout the course, on the field but also in the moments of relaxation.
Padel Magazine : Finally, François Authier, Justin Lopes, Yann Auradou and Rémy Gourre were not selected, what made the difference?
Alexis Salles: Several players were in “balance” to enter the selection and I privileged the state of form of the moment to try to compose the best possible team to go to Marbella.
The selection criteria are of course technical, physical and mental, but also in the complementarity that a player can bring to the group. I was therefore attentive to the state of mind of the players, and their ability to be able to play with other partners.
My choice was not easy and some players would have deserved to be part of the adventure but the team that will leave for Marbella is very competitive and I will do everything to ensure that the players are at 100% of their capacity.
Padel Magazine : Will the cards be reshuffled for the world championship? Do players like Jérôme Ferrandez or Maxime Moreau still have a chance to join the selection?
Alexis Salles: Of course, the cards will be reshuffled for the world championships which will take place in Qatar in November. The objective at each international competition is to have the most competitive team possible and we know that there can be a lot of changes in a few months.
The P2000 and P1000 competitions will resume in July and the players will finally be able to compete against each other! With the horizon of the French championships at the end of September which remains a major event of the season ...
Padel Magazine : Young players seem to be pushing, we think of Lilian Fouré or Jérémy Garcia who had made big matches at the P2000 of the Pyramids in particular. Do you think these young people will have their chance at a future gathering?
Alexis Salles: It's a little early to say it but I really hope that our young players like Lilian, Jérémy but also Dylan Guichard, Dorian de Meyer, Thomas Vanbauce, and I certainly forget some, will continue to progress and will quickly shake up the hierarchy. current. It is essential that young players get involved because they are the future members of the French team of padel !
Padel Magazine : Today we hear a lot the players of the selection talking to us about the first 6 places. Do you already have in your head 6 starters and two substitutes for Marbella? If yes, which ones ?
Alexis Salles: I am not interested in what the players say and it is the truth of the field that will speak. Of course, I have in mind the leading players who will start the European Championships. But I'm also counting a lot on the 3-4 days that we will all have together in Marbella before the start of the competition to put together the best performing teams. We are fortunate to have a group in which the players have all more or less played together in the past. We have a lot of possible combinations, which is a real strength for our team. I can't wait to find them and try out different scenarios.
Padel Magazine : For you, which associations worked the best during the internship?
Alexis Salles: The objective of the internship was to find the 8 players who can make up the best team in France but not necessarily to find the 3 teams who will start during the first matches in Marbella. I have other combinations to try during our 3-4 days of preparation this week. I therefore remain very discreet on the subject ...
Padel Magazine : In view of Spain level, can we consider that the objective is the silver medal during these European championships?
Yes the objective is clearly the 2st a place which would be a small achievement given the level of the Italian team that we have not beaten since 2015 and given teams that are progressing enormously such as Sweden or England. We have the players, the experience and the motivation to achieve this goal, it will take a bit of success and a bit of madness in the hottest times, that's what's exciting!
To end this interview, I would like to thank Padel Magazine for the constant highlighting of our sport and the FFT for its growing investment over the years.
The French team is the showcase of padel and you can count on our 8 players to proudly defend the colors of France. Go the Blues!