French female coach `serene` ahead of debut

Corinne Diacre says she is feeling calm ahead of her historic debut as the coach of French side Clermont on Monday night.

Diacre will become the first woman to lead a men`s professional team in a major European country when she takes her second division team to Brest.

"There is serenity," she said on Monday morning in a video press conference on the club`s website.

"There will be some excitement but I`m trying not to get polluted by that," added Diacre on the day she turned 40.

"I`m trying to maintain my focus as much as possible and to stay as much in the shadows as possible because what interests me is that my players take the limelight, not me."

The former assistant coach to the French women`s national team said she wants to deflect the media attention away from her as quickly as possible.

"I think all this interest is over the top with regards to my presence, what I`d like is for us to concentrate on Clermont," she added.

Diacre was hired after Clermont`s original choice, another woman, Portuguese Helena Costa, resigned abruptly the day before taking charge of the team.

Costa had been appointed in May amongst much fanfare but never actually took charge of a training session as she walked away after complaining that the club was signing players without consulting her.

Unbowed by that setback, president Claude Michy nonetheless decided to hire another woman in Diacre.

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