Pôle France Futsal – In Pole Position

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Estimated reading time:4 minutes, 56 seconds

After three seasons of existence, the Pôle France Futsal de Lyon draws up its first assessment. The sports and school results are final, and arouse the curiosity of our European neighbours.


“The last result of the baccalaureate has just arrived, with 100% success for the third consecutive year. ” On the occasion of the 2021 school year, the satisfaction and smile of Raphael Reynaud, the director of the institution and the new coach of the France team, speak volumes: Pôle France Futsal is a success athletically, and  as a school. Noël Le Graët, President of the FFF, inaugurated the first Pôle France at the Saint-Louis-Saint-Bruno school center now dedicated to the practice of Futsal since 2018. “It took some time for the planets to align, but it took the will of one man, the President who launched the development of Futsal in France. In attendance at the opening of the center in 2018 also was Yann Cucherat, Deputy Mayor of Lyon in charge of sports, Bruno Feutrier, Deputy Director of the Regional Directorate of Youth, Sports and Social Cohesion (DRJSCS), Hubert Fournier, National Technical Director, Philippe Lafrique, referent Futsal to the Executive Committee of the FFF and Stéphane Basson, former captain of the French Futsal Team. At the time the President said:

Noël Le Graët, president of the FFF:

“Futsal is a rather exceptional sport, technical and beautiful to watch. We were a little behind but we are working to catch up. The 16 residents of this Pole are pioneers. They are going to have a chance to progress in life. This is a first for them as for us, with the requirement to set an example that this implies. The FFF chose Lyon because it is a well-known sports city and because this establishment is recognized for its quality. Football unites, Futsal even more so. It will develop phenomenally in the years to come.

2022 – A double success

The idea? Reproduce the training model of men’s and women’s football but futsal  in order to build a project capable of growing the entire national futsal scene from the championship to the France team. “We started with two generations of fifteen players, in second and first classes. Little by little, things fell into place at the school and federal levels. The first generation arrived at the end of the course, so we can measure the first results. On the academic level, not only have all the residents of the center validated their baccalaureate, but more than half of them have done so with honours. As for the athlete, there too the first results are very satisfactory: almost all of the students who have passed through the pole are now international U19s or U21s, or even a youth international A and one is international A (Amin Benslama, two selections against Norway, end of September). And, on the other generations, the proportions are identical, strengthening the relationship between the Pôle France Futsal and the U19 selection. “The exceptional results over two seasons for the U19 selection confirm all of this. It is also a guarantee of success, proof that the average level has increased and that is essential for the sport’s development and betterment.

Pôle France Futsal - In Pole Position

In selection as at the Pole, Raphaël Reynaud transmits his instructions (Credit Sébastien RICOU / APL / FFF)

Unique in Europe

The integration of players from the Pole in the various D1 Futsal clubs is another evaluation. The ambition is obviously to provide the elite clubs with the most talented players, trained in the practice of futsal, so that the level of the championship rises but not only. “We want the Pôle France to be a real added value for the D1 clubs, but a real collaboration must exist between them and us. Young people come out at 18 and at that age, you need a strong transition with the clubs to ensure real support and to continue to train the player to take him to the very highest level.

The success of the Pôle France does not go unnoticed on the old continent. Unique in its kind in Europe, it attracts the curiosity and visits of many players from countries where futsal is already well developed. “Before heading to the Pole, I travelled a lot to see what was being done in terms of futsal, explains Raphaël Reynaud. We are scrutinized and envied throughout Europe on this project because in terms of training, there is no equivalent. Afterwards, where a difference still exists with real futsal countries, it is the number of players.  The next axis of improvement for the sport in France.

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