France’s Alexia Chartereau was thrilled to learn that supporters are permitted to attend their Women’s EuroBasket Group D games in Strasbourg.

Realising how different games over the past year have been without spectators in the bleachers, due to the coronavirus pandemic have been, the 22-year-old Chartereau will use their enthusiasm as a springboard to potential gold medal glory.

 “I think we didn’t fully realise how good it was to have fans in the stands before this year and it has been hard to play without supporters,” Chartereau told FIBA.

“Now it’s important to win not only for ourselves, but also for the fans, because we know that they missed it as much as we did. It’s important to us that we can thank them this way.

“Although even if they were not physically here in the arena, we know we would still have a lot of support and winning would still be our way to say thank you.”

France are considered one of the front runners for this year’s Women’s EuroBasket title, however, they will begin their quest in a tricky pool that features Croatia, Czech Republic and Russia.

To be the best, you have to beat the best. And four years removed from her first taste of international competition, Chartereau is not only thirsty for more, but is also desperate for her nation to right the wrongs of two years ago, when the French lost in the Women’s EuroBasket final to Spain in Belgrade.

“We know each other very well and know what everyone is like on the court, so this will be important during the key moments,” she stated.

“For the moment though. we’re just focused on building as a collective and a group so we can perform our best during these key moments of the competition. This has already started with the preparation games.

“We’re still at the highest level while including a lot of younger generations. The experienced players are still very good and very useful for the team, but we are also looking ahead. 

“This mix of the generations has performed well and it’s a good sign for the present and the future.”