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Preview : D1R1 (Men) – Five for one place

Published on 10th November 2022

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It is the most awaited event of the beginning of the season. Round 1 of the D1 will take place on 12 and 13 November 2022. Rennes won both rounds in the 2021-2022 season. Will they make it three ? Let’s analyse the forces involved.

Fontenay M

Fontenay have been consistently on the podium for decades and are one of the most successful teams in the French championship. Third last year, Fontenay starts this new season with an almost identical squad. Only one change is to be noted. Arnaud Lagabbe will now have a coaching role and will therefore not participate in the French championship. To replace him, Fontenay has called on Damien Chevalier, former Franconville and French international.

As usual, the podium will be the target for the CSMB.

Diderot XII

Used to moving from group A to group B, Diderot managed to secure their place among the elite after a play-off against Clamart. The challenge will be, once again, to stay in the top eight to avoid relegation to group B. To achieve this, the Parisians will be able to count on their Hungarian internationals Mate Csaba Pusztai, Arpad Andics and the Argentine Catriel Feminia. Guillaume Jeri, Antoine Bureau, Bassem Mhenni, Guillaume Hemmer and Antoine Bureau complete the squad. Former U24 international Gabriel Bec, Ernesto Horne and Damien Recouvreur are missing.


Now established in the French top three, Dinan are no longer outsiders, they are favourites. The recent winners of the Tournoi du Velay lost 1-0 to Rennes in the Round 3 final. It will be interesting to see how Dinan bounce back from that disappointment. The decisive matches against teams who know their strengths will be a must-watch. No more surprises, now Dinan are among the greats.

Alan Huchet is the only one missing from the team that finished second in Laval.


In the top 6 last season, it might be more complicated for Franconville this year. With Damien Chevalier gone to Fontenay, Franconville loses a major asset. However, they will still be able to count on their French international, Cédric Ramialiarison and their experienced players Paul Barro and Kilian Le Naour.

In addition to the transfer of Damien Chevalier, SCAF will be without Cedric Chaudon, Joseph Moss, Guillaume Périgault and Graham Fletcher.

In Group A since the 2011-2012 season, this major club of the French championship has perhaps never been in such danger.


Second in Round 1 last year, Moirans could only manage fifth place in Round 3. A disappointing result for a team that has the potential to at least go for the podium but their lack of common training usually shows up in the decisive matches. The squad is identical to that of Laval. The Marant brothers, Grandamas and Piaser will be there to perhaps finally confirm the expectations we have of them.


Another team for which stability is important is Pessac. Despite being relegated to group B last season, the Girondins managed to return to the elite of French hockey thanks to their play-off victory over Chesnay (3-1). A more than honourable seventh place for this team capable of anything. Only one player is missing, Adrien Barbeau. Romain Guinot and Romain Rahoul will be alongside Jérémy Plaquin, Patrice Deyzieux and the Ratier brothers to try to keep the team in the top division.

Le Chesnay

Whether in round 1 or round 3, Le Chesnay managed to escape the relegation even if it was very close. Eighth in D1 and tenth in round 3, the Ile-de-France team managed to stay in round 1 despite losing the play-off against Pessac (3-1). Wins against Clermont and Nantes gave them the last qualifying place for this autumn round. Will they once again succeed in getting through ?


Last June, we left with Clamart’s great performance in Round 3 of the D1, who managed to get into Group A and qualify for Round 1.

This weekend, Clamart will play without pressure, with the aim of always improving and having the best possible position in Round 3. Without Maxime Pochon, the team will be able to count on Maxime Charvet and Alexandre Ginet who will make their debut in D1. It is difficult to imagine Clamart in the top positions for this round, but it will be important to watch the performances of the Ile-de-France team against teams like Diderot XII or Franconville for example. A top 6 is not to be excluded. A kind of competition, within the competition …


Always on top, Rennes begins the defence of its French championship title, won despite the doubts that surrounded this team after the first day of Round 3 of the 2021/2022 French Championships. You should never underestimate the heart of a champion, especially in a world championship year, when all the team’s members will need to perform.

Nicolas Merlier and Mathieu Leroux will be absent, replaced by Steven Jagline and Frédéric Estier, who returns to the team after a short period in La Rochelle. A Round 1, which will not be the number 1 objective for Rennes, even if a place beyond the top 5 will be a counter-performance.


Pontoise, or the rebirth of the Phenix ? No longer on the podium since the 2017/2018 season, the reference of French underwater hockey hopes to return to the higher ranks of the D1. Without some of the team’s leaders such as Lucas Fayeton, James Finnimore, Mehdi Bendjelloul, Pontoise is looking to the future with the arrival of British international Declan McNulty and the contribution of Johan Ruffin. In the path of Thomas Roussel, master in the art of getting the best out of his teammates, both technically and mentally, Pontoise is in reconquest mode.

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  1. Pingback: Preview : D1M1 (Masculine) – Cinq pour une place – UWH News – Le média du Hockey Subaquatique

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