Wednesday 18 July 2018, 09:05

Les Bleuettes hoping to extend France's summer football party

  • ​After Les Bleus in Russia, Les Bleuettes will soon get their chance to shine

  • The FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup kicks off in France on 5 August

  • The hosts will look to extend France's summer football party

Just like the French men's senior team, they too could be crowned world champions this summer. And just like Les Bleus in 1998, they could achieve the feat on home soil. France's women's U-20 side have their own date with destiny next month, with the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup set to kick off in Brittany on 5 August.

"What Les Bleus pulled off was exceptional," said Helene Fercocq, the France U-20 midfielder sharing her pride with "It's incredible to even take part in a World Cup, but to actually win it is something else. You just had to see how happy they were. It takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice to get there, and what they experienced was a massive reward. It would be incredible to experience the same thing."

While Fercocq is preparing for her first taste of the U-20 Women's World Cup, goalkeeper Mylene Chavas already knows what to expect. Chavas was first choice for Les Bleuettes at the previous edition two years ago, and she excelled between the posts as France progressed all the way to the final – where they lost to Korea DPR.

"We're not putting any pressure on ourselves," said Chavas. "We knew what our goal was even before Les Bleus gave us even more motivation to achieve it. They did what they had to do, and now it's our turn to do the same thing. It's a different competition, and we have our own history to write after they wrote theirs."

Although Chavas and Co are deep in their preparations for next month's tournament, they were still able to celebrate France's triumph this weekend. "I watched the final with my family near to where I live – it was a little bar but a big party," explained the keeper. "I saw it in Reims with friends from my old club," added Fercocq. "I partied all night, but I kept my strength for this competition. I've been preparing for it for a while now and it's the only thing on my mind."

The French public are already primed, meanwhile. Stirred by the feats of Didier Deschamps' charges over the last month, they are looking forward to prolonging a famous summer for French football into August. "Les Bleus under Deschamps are perhaps a little like Les Bleuettes under Gilles Eyquem," said Chavas. "We're a very united squad like they were. We kind of resemble them in a way." Fercocq agreed: "We also have younger players, born in 1999 and 2000, who liven up the atmosphere and older players, born in 1998, who are calmer and the leaders. That's similar to Les Bleus."

Whether they too can expect a parade on the Champs-Elysees if they win the final on 24 August remains to be seen. "I doubt that will happen, but I'd love to do it," joked Fercocq. What is certain, however, is that France will never tire of seeing its football teams lift World Cup trophies.