firstly the teams likely to challenge promotion, secondly the teams that could surprise but were not necessarily title contenders and thirdly teams likely to be in the relegation battle.
In terms of the promotion battle last season from our favourites only Dunkerque failed to challenge at any time during the season.
We mentioned that Illkirch-Graffenstaden could be the surprise team and they did not disappoint.
This season we have decided to change the format of our report, preview each team and add the team roster information with details on new players.
The report is listed in the order the teams finished during 2008-2009 with the teams relegated from the LFB first and the teams promoted at the end.
The first four teams in the report appear on this page while the remaining three parts of this report will appear in our NF1 basketball preview part 2, 3 and 4.
However you will be able to select whichever team you are interested in by clicking on the club links below.
Union Hainaut Basket Saint Amand have to start again
Union Hainaut Basket have been forced to start again due to the fact that the short-lived merger between USVO and Saint Amand collapsed after just one season.
The new club official name is Union Hainaut Basket Saint Amand (UHBSA) and will be based at Saint Amand.
It has to start life in NF1 due to financial problems despite finishing in fifth place in the LFB in 2008-2009.
Fabrice Courcier’s adventure in women’s basketball is over. He is back in men’s basketball leading Bourg-en-Bresse.
Corinne Bénintendi (left) has taken over the reigns of Union Hainaut.
She has experience of bringing clubs back from liquidation. When Challes-les-Eaux had to drop from the top flight to the 4th division, it was Bénintendi who brought the club back up all the divisions into the LFB.
Challes-les-Eaux participated in the FIBA Eurocup in her last two seasons before she left at the end of last season.
The NF1 basketball preview for Union Hainaut Basket
Only two players remain at the club: Clémence Beikes (left) and Laëtitia Kamba.
Magali Lopez is expected to make a return after 18 months out with injury.
Although she is not expected to play a major role as a player her LFB experience will help the young players in the squad.
Lopez started, during her rehabilitation, to work on her career after basketball.
French international Emilie Duvivier (right) is the big signing of the summer. The French international decided to follow Bénintendi.
Janeka Lopp is an American who has played in France for a while in the lower divisions and will make her NF1 basketball début this season.
She was a member of the club from Perpignan that beat the SIG in 2006 to win the French Amateur Cup ("Trophée Coupe de France").
UHB have had a good pre-season and will be expected to do well despite the lack of experience at this level.
The NF1 playing roster is as follows:
Emilie Duvivier, Clémence Beikes, Dasa Krasnockova (Slovak Republic), Janeka Lopp (USA), Laëtitia Kamba, Céline Girard, Noémie Lemaire, and Karolina Piotrkiewicz.
The head coach is Corinne Bénintendi.
Players from NF2 that are likely to play in NF1 are: Philomène N’ke (18) and Magali Lopez.
Saint Jacques Sports becomes Reims Basket Féminin
The idea at the end of last season was to have a new image in Reims for women’s basketball with the creation of a new identity.
Alas Saint Jacques was in debt of 220,000 Euro and the club was relegated.
The change in status has meant dropping the Espoir team that won promotion to NF2 and the mass exit of players with only Manon Sinico (left) remaining from the professional roster.
Philippe Sauret, the head coach, will not be coaching the team either. His role has been taken over by Fabrice Lefrançois who joined the club last season.
Zuzana Gujaraïdze ( Klimesova) (right) is back after her maternity break. She lives in the region and it was not a difficult decision for her to return to the club.
The pre-season has been difficult for the club with only six full-time players.
In a tight schedule of friendly games, their only victory was against Quebec, that are in preparation for the Francophone Games (Les Jeux de la Francophonie).
Mame Sy-Diop is not at the club this season. But her sister will be one of the new faces. The rest of the roster will be made up of players from last season’s Espoir team.
Emilie Remazeilles (18) who joined the club last season will continue her studies in Reims. Jenny Fouasseau (17) and Magali Mendy (17) who played under Lefrançois with the Espoir team complete the roster.
Reims are not expected to challenge for promotion but should have enough experience in NF1 basketball to stay out of the relegation zone.
However they are the team least known in NF1 this season.
The players for the Reims NF1 basketball team are:
Emilie Remazeilles, Fatou Dieng, Manon Sinico, Jenny Fouasseau, Marlyse Nogueira, Sokhna-Lyka Diop (Senegal), Magali Mendy, Floriane Herrscher, Zuzana Gujaraïdze.
Their head coach is Fabrice Lefrançois.
With the liquidation of Strasbourg ABC, one of the friendliest rivals in women’s basketball in the Alsacian region of France is over. The Reds and Blues will not battle it out anymore.
Illkirch Graffenstaden, the only club left in Strasbourg
Yet the history of the Blues will continue to live for a while because
Charline Servage who played for Strasbourg ABC last season, has joined the Reds.
In addition Lina Brazdeïkyte (right) who played for Racing Strasbourg when they were in the LFB has also signed for the club and will rejoin Caroline Nestor-Deininger and Céline Schmitt-Sendner.
When we met up with Brazdeïkyte during EuroBasket 2009 in Latvia, she explained that she would also be working as a coach with the cadettes team at the SIG. She is studying for her trainer exams in France.
With the SIG offering her the best possibilities of winding down her active playing career she can work on her next objectives.
The club that is proud of its local roots have managed to keep its tradition by officially promoting Célia Mauler (16) to the first team. She made her début last season during the club’s injury crisis and became a regular at the end of the season.
Philippe Breitenbucher has an eye for introducing young players to the first team.
Aline Fischbach her first team début while she was only 15 years of age. Last summer Fischbach was part of the U20 French gold medal winning team at the European Championship for Women.
There will be a change in the structure of the SIG: Jean-Claude Geyer has retired from his coaching duties although he will still be at the club and will work during the home games on the live NF1 basketball statistics.
Bettina Kadila’s (left) four-year stay in the north of France is over and she joins the SIG.
Before Kadila went to the USVO basketball academy she played for Bar-le-Duc in the Lorraine, which is next door to the Alsace. So she is no stranger to the SIG.
The final signing is
Chloé Westelynck, a member of the Wattignies connection.
Westelynck was a member of the French team that won Gold in 2006 during the U16 European Championships and has spent the last three years at the CFBB.
Westelynck is one of the new breed of players who attended university during their final year in the CFBB.
After the great season the SIG had last season, the expectations are high. The big question for the SIG is in what form Caroline Nestor-Deininger will be.
She missed last season due to injury. Her absence was compensated by
Allison Vernerey who is now at Duke University in the USA.
With the retirement from first-team duties of Audrey Koop, Nestor-Deininger’s presence may be the missing piece in the SIG’s jig-saw puzzle.
For the second season in NF1 basketball, the SIG are one of the teams in the chase for promotion. For sure they will be hard to be beaten at home.
So their form on the road will determine if they finish in the top 4.
The NF1 basketball team roster for the SIG is as follows:
Lucie Battaglia, Noémie Privet, Célia Mauler, Lina Brazdeïkyte, Héloïse Boissinot, Aline Fischbach, Darline N'Soki, Pauline Schultz, Caroline Nestor-Deininger, Céline Schmitt-Sendner, Bettina Kadila, Chloé Westelynck, and Charline Servage.
Their head coach is Philippe Breitenbucher.
Charleville-Mézières are ready for the surprise
Charleville-Mézières are one of the most experienced clubs in NF1. However in recent seasons they had to cut their budget as they missed out on gaining promotion in the last four seasons, on numerous occasions by just one game.
Charleville-Mézières are the queens of pre-season. Once again they have finished with a perfect six wins from six games.
Seven players from last season have gone. Yet with the five new recruits they appear to have a balanced roster.
One of the new players is
Lala Wane who won the NF2 MVP award for last season.
She is joined by
Elisabeth Montero (above) who was forced to leave Basket Landes in December 2008.
Djéné Diawara, Sarra Ouerghi and Zuzana Ondrejova (Czech Republic) are the three other new players.
Two players from the youth academy will move up officially to the NF1 roster: Margaux Thomazé who used to play at Saint Jacques Sports Reims and Elodie Pélissou.
Amel Bouderra who won gold with France U20 this summer and Alexia Kusion who represented France during the World Student games are expected to step up this season as Charleville-Mézières are expected to finish in the top 4.
By 2012 Charleville-Mézières hope to have a new hall. But in the meantime, they do not have a venue to play their first home game of the season due to the world puppet festival, "le Festival mondial des théâtres de marionettes", to be held in the hall between the 18-27 September 2009.
The NF1 basketball players of Charlevilles are:
Amel Bouderra, Elisabeth Montero, Carine Contessi, Alexia Kusion, Lala Wane, Elodie Pélissou, Margaux Thomazé, Sarra Ouerghi, Djéné Diawara and Zuzana Ondrejova.
The head coach is Romuald Yernaux.
Return from NF1 Amateur Basketball Nationale Féminine 1 to index page
Return from NF1 Basketball news to women playing basketball blog page The other NF1 Basketball Previews for 2009-2010
La Roche-sur-Yon, Nice BC 06, Dunkerque and Rennes
Voiron, Laveyron, Pleyber-Christ and CFBB
FC Lyon, CSP Rezé, Charnay-Macon and Tours
NF1 basketball picture credits:
Union Hainaut Basket Saint Amand
Reims Basket Féminin
Flammes Basket Carolo
Date: 12 September 2009