Lemerre leaves door ajar for youth

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FRENCH national coach Roger Lemerre has revealed that he will have no hesitation in taking some of Le Championnat's rising stars to the World Cup finals and lauded the French top-flight for giving youth a chance to shine.

A crop of exciting young players plying their trade in the domestic league have illustrated the strength-in-depth that currently exists within French football and Lemerre is confident the likes of Auxerre trio Phillipe Mexes, Jean Alain Boumsong (pictured) and Djibril Cisse can dazzle on the international stage.

"Le Championnat is excellent, simply because the clubs play young and talented people," said Lemerre.

"I would certainly not be scared to take players like (Jean-Alain) Boumsong, (Phillipe) Mexes or (Bruno) Cheyrou for the national team.

"Mexes, Cisse and (Sidney) Govou were all in our mind. Everyone has a place in the national team, just like Thierry Henry and David Trezeguet in 1998."