The curtain has fallen on Toulouse Olympique’s brief stint in Super League, but the club’s chiefs are vowing to return “better and stronger” at the first opportunity.
Defeat in the French derby to Catalans Dragons consigned the Olympians to relegation but Chief Executive Cedric Garcia told League Express that they are determined to bounce back.
He said: “We have been relegated; it’s a fact, we just have to deal with it.
“But I am proud of my club and proud of my players; we take every stage as a learning curve and I hope that this year will make us stronger and we will be able to build from it.
“We need to come back stronger in this competition because I think this is where we belong.
“There are always things that you can do better, that you can improve upon, and we will work on that. We will learn from this, just like we did over the past ten years, and build stronger, stronger and stronger.
“We finished the game (against Catalans) with over 9,000 supporters cheering on a Thursday night, which shows that Rugby League in France is alive, so let’s build on that.
“Let’s come back from the Championship and do everything we can to get promoted again.”
Toulouse coach Sylvain Houles was equally resilient in his belief that the club will return quickly to the top-flight, but he admitted to some regrets about the way the season had unfolded for his side and he is concerned for the future of French clubs.
He said, “The club will survive but for me it’s a bigger picture, a bigger question.
“We need to know what we want with Rugby League in Europe, with the Super League. Is it just an English competition or is it a European Super League?
“What is the vision of Super League, do we want to expand, do we want to have French teams in Super League, that is the biggest question.
“I would like to know. For the club, it is important to know whether we are fighting a losing battle.
“We have had a lot of adversity inside our club and some of that was our fault, but there were also outside influences.
“We have to pay for our travel, and everybody else’s travel. How can it be a fair competition financially with this situation?
“At the end of the day the club has spent a lot of money to get to Super League and we need to know if we are throwing it down the drain or not.
“We would just like to be treated with fairness.
“It’s very sad, we worked so hard to get here and it’s just lasted for one season, so we are sad and very disappointed.
“We believed in it, we believed in ourselves, but I guess we weren’t good enough so we need to look at it from the inside and see how we need to improve and get better.
“We have fought a lot of battles with this club, we are fighters, but we need to know if we are fighting a fair battle.
“We have something special here, nearly ten thousand people here on a Thursday night and we need to feed on that.
“We are a very positive club and we have a good vision for the future but we need to know what we are aiming for.”
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