By the time kick off arrives for AS Vénus’s seventh round Coupe de France tie against Trélissac FC on November 14 (7am NZT), the Tahitian side will have travelled over 16,000kms from when they departed their homeland at the start of this month.
The trek to France during a global pandemic has been a massive undertaking for the AS Vénus players and staff, after the club qualified through to the seventh round of the French Cup by beating AS Pirae 2-1 in the final of the Coupe de Polynesie earlier this year.
At approximately 16,000km in distance, the trip from Vénus’s base in Mahina, Tahiti to Trélissac in France (which doesn’t include the added travel Vénus have done after landing in Toulouse before heading on to Rodez), has raised plenty of eyebrows in the football community.
In a twist of irony, it falls just short of the 17,000km haul completed by Trélissac FC in 2015 when they travelled to Nouméa, New Caledonia to take on AS Magenta in the Coupe de France.
Vénus, who are 10-time Tahitian national club champs, go into Sunday’s clash having most recently gone down to AS Pirae 5-2 in the Trophee des Champions (Tahiti’s champion of champions) in October.
Trélissac FC meanwhile sit in sixth position in Group D of France’s National 2 (fourth tier) competition with five wins, four losses and a pair of draws.
— Coupe de France (@coupedefrance) November 3, 2021
Vénus head coach Samuel Garcia said while it’s obvious their opponents play at a high level in France and will be a significant test, he was trying not to put too much focus on their strengths and weaknesses.
“My team is doing very well and we are very happy to be in France,” Garcia said.
“We’ve worked on every aspect of our game in preparation for the match, but are also being careful not to accumulate too many facts about the opposition.
“Trélissac play in National 2, which is a very good level in France. They are a solid team which puts a lot of pressure on in the heart of the match. They are also very efficient on free kicks.”
A victory over Trélissac will see Vénus return to Tahiti to host a Round 8 Coupe de France fixture at the end of November.