Hello Coach Manti, thanks for taking some time after one of your first practice sessions with our Ladies' team.
François : That's no problem, we are actually still only getting to know one another better in these first practice sessions.
Francois we have followed your coaching career in Luxembourg since most of your recent coaching was with Luxembourgish Nationale I teams. It would be of some interest to know what made you become a coach and where your interest in basketball stems from.
Francois : As you probably know I am from nearly Nilvange west of Thionville, just across the border. I played in the local team until the age of 17, a team which played in Nationale IV at the time. I then switched to the other side and became a referee first, then a coach for the men's team in Nilvange, this was in about 1995.
When did you decide to work in the Grand Duchy?
Francois : I was contacted almost simultaneously by two clubs, Contern for one, T71 and J.-P. Schumacher for another. Contern was the more attractive alternative since they offered me to coach the men's team playing in Nationale II at the time. T71 needed a coach for the cadets, so I accepted the Contern offer.
You started off coaching men's teams and then at one stagetook over ladies’.
Francois : Yes, after the Soleuvre and Esch men's teams in Nationale II, I joined Musel Pikes during the Stadtbredimus years and took their ladies from Nationale II to Nationale I. I returned to Esch to coach their ladies these last three years.
So, after your long-term assignment in Esch, why accept the T71 offer?
Francois : Well, it's pretty obvious that I know all the teams in Nationale I, and T71 is one of the major players with a lot of potential but also quite a challenge in this period of major changes for the team.
Where do you see the potential?
Francois : Like I said, I have been watching the team, and the striking features are their motivation and dedication stretching the whole length of the game. There is a true fighting spirit, speed and a sound aggressiveness. The other bonus is the very good short and long distance scoring of some of the girls.
Where will you place the emphasis in your coaching?
Francois : Well, the team will have to use all its assets to the maximum. We lack tall players, so we'll have to rely on good technique in offense and improved defense. The championship is won with a good defense, and I intend to make sure my team is fully aware of its responsibility in that domain. I won't be sitting still during games, I will certainly be quite demanding without wanting to run up conflicts with my players.
This sounds all very promising. We wish you all the best with your new team and want to thank you for the time taken today.