LFB Basketball News: COB Calais in the battle for honours
Last season COB Calais' LFB basketball news centred around their difficulties at the wrong end of the table. Their campaign for 2007-2008 came to an end on January 5 after their victory (85-73) against Asptt Arras .
They did not win another match in the league that season and finished in 13th place and were relegated to NF1. However the merger of USVO and Saint Amand eventually saved them from having to play in NF1.
The situation with USVO and Saint Amand did not become news till the season had ended. But Cyril Sicsic had already decided to stay at Calais and started planning for promotion back into the LFB.
Lina Brazdeïkyte, Aurélie Cibert, Mariame Dia and Lauren Neaves (right) had all agreed to return to COB Calais despite the relegation and play in NF1.
When it was officially communicated that COB would be allowed to play in NF1, the club had already seen a reduction in sponsorship which was to reduce the budget for the season.
COB Calais are one of the few clubs in the LFB that have teams playing in all the divisions from senior to baby basket.
They also have a good Basketball Academy. Despite the fact that they had been relegated to NF1, they had planned to continue all these activities.
When the news officially arrived that they could play in the LFB for 2008-2009, Sicsic's main concern was to find a pivot. The club signed Sanni Olayinka who was playing for the Detroit Shock in the WNBA.
They also signed some talented youth players: Sara Leemans, a Belgium full international who turned 20 in August,made a name for herself during the U21 world championships in 2007.
They also signed Joyce Cousseins-Smith who is still 19 years old.
Anne-Sophie Pagnier, (left) a former U20 international who is still 21, was the third youth signing of the season.
Christelle Morel who played for Rennes in NF1 also joined the club.
The last addition to the senior team is Solène Cosquer who is 18. She is a product of the COB Calais centre de formation.
When we spoke with Cyril Sicsic at the beginning of the season, he told us we he would have to wait and see how things went this season. But he was hoping for a better result than in the previous season.
So far this season Calais have beaten all their records. They won four consecutive LFB games, a sequence they have never achieved under Sicsic. They have already won more games this season than they did for last season.
Their future in the Ligue Féminine de BasketBall looks secure despite the lack of funds.