Back in Lyon, it feels like I never left ...
Written by Maryan Mahieu   
Monday, 26 July 2010 17:53

For a few days now I am back in Lyon after about a month of vacation, and it already feels like I never left ... Last season ended great with the 4th consecutive win of the French championship, so in the end we got our title after losing the final of the UEFA Woemn's Champions League against Potsdam in May and the semi final loss in Paris against PSG in the French Cup. It felt great to be rewarded somehow after such a long season. We worked hard from the beginning to the end and were so close to winning all the titles we set ourselves as goals.

Vacation was much deserved as well, but first I went to play two World Cup qualifiers with Switzerland in Russia and Kazakhstan, which we absolutely had to win in order to be able to finish first at the end of the group stage. The Russia match was like a final for us, with a wn we could still qualify, with a tie or a loss it wouldn't have been possible anymore. We expected a strong, fast combining, fast transitioning Russian side we encountered in the first game at home, however it was us that controlled the game largely and had the better chances. One of those went in and at halftime we were laeding 1-0. We needed another goal since we lost 2-0 in Switzerland, and in the end the difference of the two games against Russia would matter. They came to a few good chances all around, but it was us that scored another two goals in a game where we could finally leave all we got out on the field. I was proud of my teammates, but afterwards it was important to stay focused on the Kazakhstan game that was coming up. It 's never easy to play an almost completely unknown team so we got surprised twice by their extremely quick forward and at halftime it stood 2-2. We managed to control her better in the second half where they didn't get another shot on goal and the final score was 4-2. Happily and with lots of great memories and surprises we left Eastern Europe (or is it Asia?) some girls ready for vacation, others to prepare the U20 World Cup in Germany.

Now I am back in Lyon. We have been back in practice since Saturday. So far we made two new additions to the team (Eugénie Le Sommer, Sabrina Viguier) and got an almost new coaching staff, which is really exciting. Our focus right now is to prepare ourselves as good as possible in order to improve from last year and to accomplish the high goals we are setting again for this year. I am looking forward to contributing as well as I can and to work in such an ambitious and challenging environment.

Talk to you soon,
Lara.

 
Escape to La Manga ...
Written by Lara   
Tuesday, 26 January 2010 21:37

A little over a week ago we (OL feminin) escaped to La Manga, Spain, due to bad training conditions here in Lyon. Ever since we got back to France after christmas break it's been snowing and we had to practice inside on a field where we could play 5-5 at the most. Not the perfect conditions to prepare for the second half of the season. After a long trip where we took the bus to Geneva, where we found a closed airport and therefore lots of flights pushed back or cancelled, we were stranded there for a start. After hours of waiting, we finally got on a flight to Madrid, where we came across similar conditions and spent our time playing uno or doing shopping, while our flight was by turns on time or 2 hours delayed. Finally, they let us depart from Madrid as well, but when we got to Alicante, we still had to take the bus for an hour and a half to arrive at La Manga. By 230am we were all in bed after 18 hours of travel. nine and a half hours later we all stood, more or less ready, on the pitch to play the national team of China. Despite the long trip we played surprisingly well and won the game 3-1. In the afternoon we had time to relax in the pool, sauna, and Turkish bath. the following two days we practiced once or twice a day and went shopping at a nearby mall. When we didn't practice, we spent our time playing Super Mario wii or with walks around the big resort. On sunday we had another game against a local u16 boys team who supposedly plays against Barcelona and Real Madrid in their championship. We put most of the younger girls on the field and let the older ones give their bodies a rest because it's been a hard week after all. We still managed to play well and win the game 4-1. Sadly, on Monday we had to leave the warmth of Spain where it was over 20 degrees at times in order to return to France. The trip back was even worse. when we got to Alicante airport our flight to Madrid was cancelled. At that point we weren't even surprised anymore, but after many phone calls and rescheduling we found our way home anyhow. 

 
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