Fosset All Smiles As Bourges Are Back Final Four

26.02.2007

After a four-year absence, Bourges Basket are back in the EuroLeague Women's Final Four, much to both the amazement and delight of their president Pierre Fosset.

The French side have won the competition three times - in 1997, 1998 and 2001 - but they have had a disappointing return over the last five years.

Indeed, in the last three years, they tripped up at the quarter-finals stage.

They therefore recruited heavily last summer, bringing in the likes of Greece star Evanthia Maltsi in a bid to restore the club to its former glories.

Evanthia Maltsi (Bourges Basket)
Evanthia Maltsi (Bourges Basket)
Only two players remain from last year's squad, one of whom is inspirational guard Celine Dumerc.

They have gelled quicker than expected, at least in the eyes of Fosset, and were the first team to secure their place in this year's Final Four after beating TEO Vilnius home and away in the quarter-finals last week.

They have since been joined there by CSKA Volgaburmash.

Fosset is proud of his players, and attributes the achievement to some hard slog behind the scenes.

"I am very happy for the team and the technical staff, who have put in some enormous work for four years," said president Pierre Fosset.

"Unfortunately in each of those years, the team has been upset.

"It wasn't clear last September whether it would be able to make a return this year, with 80% of the team having been remodelled."

They have, though. Bourges were the only team in France to make it to the competition's last eight.

They beat rivals Ligue Feminine rivals USO Mondeville in the Eighth-Final Play-offs, while USVO Valenciennes lost to CSKA at the same stage.

Fosset is happy to see his team fly the flag for the country.

"This team has managed to make it into the club's seventh Final Four tournament," he added.

"That is exceptional achievement for the sport in France."


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