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A French Girl in the NEWJHL: Meet the Girl Wonder


France is not considered the greatest nation of ice-hockey, that’s not a secret, but since a decade, the team is levelling up. Players like Antoine Roussel, Pierre-Edouard Bellemard and Christobal Huet crossed the ocean to the NHL.

But what about the women? Maybe you will be surprised, but there is a player, more precisely a goalie, who is standing out from the crowd… Her name? Talide Pousse.

The motto "Hockey is not only a passion, it’s a lifestyle" couldn’t be more embodied by the Pousse family: "Hockey in my family is like a religion. At the beginning, my father had 5 brothers and there was a rink near their home, they were eager to do a sport so they started playing hockey, so me and my sister wanted to play hockey like them. It was like an evidence," Talide said.

She’s a gifted player. With a certain talent. Talide started playing hockey at the age of 11. Four years later she was called by the French National hockey team to compete in the category U18, surprising for a girl who, at the beginning, wanted to be a goal scorer:

"One goalie was missing for a tournament, my teammates asked me if I wanted to play goalie. I wasn’t too happy because I wanted to score goals. I tried one time and it suits me, it’s like an individual sport in a collective sport. I love the idea of being the last rampart, the savior of my team, that’s exciting."

She’s a girl of action, don’t be fooled. Behind an angelic face is hiding an instinct of winner. She knows what she has to do. Breakaway situation? No problem for her: "In this situation, I’m getting mad! (laugh) I’m interested about situations like this, I have to give my best and overstep my limits. I love the action of this kind of situation."

Talide was named 3rd goalie for the France National Team U18 at the World Championship. She was dissapointed but she will continue to work hard :

"It’s not a purpose, I will continue to work for myself. Of course, it can bring myself a lot of experience to play for the national team but it’s not because I hadn’t made the team 2 years ago that I will stop to work."

To gain experience, Talide will go to Massachussets to play with the East Coast Wizards in the NEWJHL (New England Women’s Junior Hockey League). No doubt about it that Talide will bring a new culture into this league. It’s an exciting challenge for her.

With a great capacity of anticipation, she shows her talent by playing with boys on the team of La Roche Sur Yon, a city in the West of France. Having the luck to play in MA could be a springboard for her career, which is very promising.

From Talide, emerges a cool attitude but also a will of winning. A will of giving all for her passion. The legendary goalie of 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team, Jim Craig wrote in the foreword of the book, The Boys of Winter, "You play with a lot of love and sacrifices… You move forward and take each day as a new journey."

These words couldn’t better represent the passion of her sport which spur on Talide since now 7 years.  

By Thomas Woloch


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