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02/08/2010 00:00
AS CANNES wants to play major role in 2011 CEV Champions League

Cannes, France, August 2, 2010. After a great 2009/2010 season - that finished with the second place in the French national league - AS CANNES has just ended signing contracts with players to be included in the roster worked out for the 2011 CEV Champions League. A spot in this world-class competition was the main goal of the past season, even though the local staff knew it would have been an ambitious goal. In spite of injuries, fatigue and even the volcanic cloud, the dream came true and next season AS CANNES will play the most prestigious European Cup, the CEV Champions League, in Pool A, together with Russia’s Zenit KAZAN, Generali UNTERHACHING of Germany and Bulgarian champion CSKA SOFIA. To reach the Playoffs, Laurent Tillie, head coach, and his assistant, Christophe Meneau, watched a lot of videos and spent all their time on the phone.
To replace Pierre Pujol, heading back to Sisley TREVISO, Toafa Takaniko arrives from Toulouse. Second at the last European Championship with the French national team, he already knows the white and red house, having played on the Riviera from 2005 to 2007. At the middle Gérald Hardy-Dessources, member of the French national team, extended his contract for one more season and will be joined by Francis Nganga from Narbonne. In position 4 arrives also from Narbonne Argentinean Pablo Bengolea, second in the rankings of the most efficient players in the French League and scouted by a lot of Italian teams. Another new player will bring his skills in reception, Nicholas Cundy, coming from Benfica LISBOA. He already played in Maaseik (where he was elected Best Receiver of the 2007/2008 CEV Cup Final Four) and Bled.
The President of the French club, François Mauro Di Mauri, declares: “We kept a part of the spinal column that helped the team reach the Champions League: Gérald Hardy-Dessources, Marien Moreau, Pascal Ragondet and Kévin Le Roux. We also kept our rising stars: Yves Kruyner, David Feughouo and Youssef Krou. Then, together with the coaching staff I looked for some players as receiver/attacker, and we decided to hire a promising Argentinean, Pablo Bengolea, and Nicholas Cundy, who already competed in the European Cups with Noliko MAASEIK and ACH Volley BLED. To complete the roster Francis Nganga joined us as middle-blocker and we signed a setter already known on the “Croisette”, Toafa Takaniko”.
“The balance looks good, and the development of the right cohesion will be faster, because a lot of players know each other, whether through their national teams or via club competitions. I think we will be competitive, but at the same time we also know we will have to struggle to finish first or second in our Pool. I will say to my guys that a match is neither lost nor won before playing. That’s up to us!! A qualification for the Playoffs seems possible since the Drawing of Lots has not been too nasty for us. KAZAN is above us, with a great roster and a lot of experience, but I think we have the same level as our opponents from Bulgaria and Germany. We will just have to show more desire to win”.

The roster for the 2011 CEV Champions League: Takaniko (Setter), Kruyner (Setter), Hardy-Dessources (Middle Blocker), Le Roux (Middle Blocker), Nganga (Middle Blocker), Cundy (Receiver), Bengolea (Receiver, Krou (Receiver), Moreau (Opposite), Feughouo (Opposite/Middle Blocker), Ragondet (Libero)

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