France – 2011/2012 season is underway

This year, French futnet has taken a new direction. The championship is from now on only played in triple in 1st and 2nd division, while the Cups are split into three disciplines: single, double and combined. Let the game begin!


A revamped league

1st division / First blood to Ajaccio

After having successfully hosted the 2011 European Championships in Corte on the 7th and 8th of October, Corsica had a good start of the season. Helped by the presence of Slovakian Jan Brutovsky for the first games (he since has returned to Czech Republic where he plays for NK Climax Vestin), Ajaccio took the lead of the championship. Last year’s champions Venaco (another Corsican club) are in 2nd position, confirming that even without the best European player in their squad (Brutovsky was playing there last season), they remain a contender for the title. Among the other favourites, Nantes had an excellent start, beating their big rival Olonne-sur-Mer. Lastly, Villiers-sur-Marne, now playing without Jimmy Libert who has recently retired after his superb bronze medal in single at the European Championships was less fortunate.

It must be noted that this season, a team which loses 3 sets to 2 is granted a bonus point.

1st division rankings: 1. Ajaccio (3 games) 9 points; 2. Venaco (3 games) 7 points; 3. Suresnes (1 game), Nantes (1 game), Emerainville (3 games) 3 points; 6. Sète (3 games) 1 point; 7. Olonne (1 game), Villiers (1 game) 0 point.

Divisions D2-D3 / The season has also started!

This season, we have 9 clubs in the 2nd division, including the well-known GIFT from Paris (several times national champions). Without their best player Jérémy Caramelle sidelined for injury, the Parisian club has nevertheless had a fairly slow start in the championship with a loss against another promotion contender, Crétei. Genilac, Biguglia and Marseille will compete in the southern part of the division.

2nd division rankings (2 games): 1. Saint-Romain, Créteil 6 points ; 3. Le Havre, GIFT 4 points ; 5. Ligny, Evreux 0 point.

In France, there is also a 3rd division that is becoming more and more popular. After a keen interest last season, the third national level is once again a 9 team combined championship plus two Cups (single and double) which only players belonging to the league are allowed to play.


Cups / Something for everyone

After the decision of the Competition Committee and the President Eric Jecker to favour triple for the league championship, three Cups are organized this season. In single, the first round is over and 28 players from all over the country have qualified for the so-called inter-regional round in the North and the South, after which the 8 best players will emerge for the National finals. Who will succeed Jan Brutovsky (former Venaco player), winner in 2010/2011 against Jimmy Libert? We have the same system in double, discipline in which many pairs will try to succeed to Nantes, winner last year. Last but not least, the combined Cup is making its debut (1 single, 2 double, 1 triple). Sixteen French clubs have entered this competition, which first rounds took place in November. Several others will follow before the big final in the 4th of May.

David Elhaïk