Tours, which has become a bastion of volleyball in France and a local institution

Touraine volleyball has a date with history. Looking ahead to Monza, this Wednesday afternoon (8:00 p.m.), TVB could win its third European title, after the Champions League (2005) and the CEV Cup (2017), already. To do this, Zeljko Coric’s teammates must win 3-0 or 3-1 to aspire to play a golden set, after receiving a severe beating in Italy last Wednesday (0-3: 19-25, 19-25, 22-25). A well-known scenario between Loire and Cher: five years ago, led by a huge David Konecny, Tours had knocked down Trentino in his lair (3-1/15-13) after being beaten on the way to the other side of the field. Alps, yes. “In 2017 we saw that the first game was not so important”, The former Czech international sneaks mischievously, who this Tuesday got behind the wheel of his car for a trip of a dozen hours to a city that nicknamed him.

However, at the beginning of the week, in the kindness of an early spring lulled by the sun’s rays, nothing said the euphoria that will take over the heart of the city as the hours go by. On the esplanade of the municipal sports center, a venerable building located between the large complexes of Sanitas and Grammont Avenue, built in the middle of the last century, calm is essential. The residents’ club box office is closed.

And for good reason: the thousand tickets that went on sale online on March 12 have found buyers. “in six minutes” confirms Pascal Foussard, general director of TVB, torn between the joy that this enthusiasm arouses and the disappointment of not having been able to satisfy hundreds of additional requests (a hundred seats will be available at the box office from 6:30 p.m.). On Wednesday night, it will be more than 3,000 who will push towards the feat in a room that Robert-Grenon expected to be full, but the lineup could certainly have attracted twice as many viewers.

Geraldo Graciano, with the audience from Touraine.  (E. Garnier/The team)

Geraldo Graciano, with the audience from Touraine. (E. Garnier/The team)

The European coronation of 2005 launched the TVB

It must be said that in just under twenty years, since the first national trophy raised by TVB (Coupe de France 2003), the club has established itself in the hearts of the locals and has taken the place left vacant by the other disciplines in difficulties – most often financial ones. The landscape in the “sportiest city in France” in 1980 has radically changed since the time when FC Tours was preparing for happy days in the First Division, when ASGT dominated French hockey and when ASPO, two-time national champion, was essential in French. basketball: three clubs that have now disappeared . A state of affairs that everyone knows on the Tours VB side, where caution is established as a safe haven, “perhaps unconsciously, knowing the local context”,

acknowledges Foussard. Become the bastion of French volleyball since its European coronation in 2005, the Touraine club seems to be sheltered from such misadventures, even if the Covid-19 pandemic has passed through there and despite the failed episode of naming with McDonald’s at the beginning of the season. Her strength ? A strong presence in the territory and loyal and committed partners, first of all. “He is the most beautiful ambassador of the city, confirms Eric Thomas, Deputy Sports Delegate of Mayor Emmanuel Denis (EELV).

Pascal Foussard perfectly embodies the combination of three factors: the stability of governance, the loyalty of economic partners and real sporting success. »

“The icing on the cake is Grenon’s audience, who is TVB’s seventh man”

Eric Thomas, Deputy Sports Commissioner of the City Council of Tours The former player who became a coach and then a manager immediately associates the presidents he has accompanied all these years, praising the partners who make TVB Entreprises a recognized player in the local economic fabric and, in fact, a club with shoulders solids. “A saying from Tours used to say, for a time, that to do business here you had to be a Freemason or be part of TVBE”, slips into a mischievous smile. A good word that, however, reveals the importance of an institution. “respectable and respected” (Thomas) in his town. “Tours is really a city that vibrates for volleyball, the public is an important actor: it will be a great party”,

predicts Gérald Hardy-Dessources, passed by the club between 2003 and 2007 and then between 2012 and 2014. “The icing on the cake is Grenon’s audience, who is TVB’s seventh man”,

Thomas insists. A room that won’t need much to light up. L’équipe de Monza s’y attend, d’ailleurs: ces derniers jours, les joueurs italiens s’entraînaient avec, pour fond sonore, un registrement du public capté à Tours, comme pour se préparer à une tempête qui attend à coup on. An atmosphere that will necessarily contrast with the calm of the last few days in Touraine. In the heart of a Loire Valley once cherished by the kings of France, a third European title would end up crowning the city’s princes.

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