France quarterback Elisa de Santis is hopeful of a strong outing in Ireland ©IFAF/Twitter

France quarterback Elisa de Santis has claimed that flag football has got "top athletes" compared to 24 years ago, when she first played the sport.

She will be leading the French team as the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) European Flag Football Championships begins on Friday (August 18).

A record 33 teams has been announced for the 10th edition of the continental championships.

"Before, you didn’t always find great athletes in flag football and but now you see all top athletes who can do incredible things and that is great for the potential of the sport," De Santis told IFAF.

"I have played other sports, but I think for me flag football is as great as basketball or volleyball or any other sport because you have to be fast and have great agility, but you have to think because there is a lot of strategy.

"I think that is more important than in many other sports.

"Flag football for me is enough and I do not need to play anything else."

France will start their campaign in Limerick against Britain, who won silver at the previous edition in Israel four years ago.

Pitted in Group B, they are due to play Italy and the Czech Republic on the same day.

Denmark, Sweden, and Ukraine are the other teams in Group B.  

"I think we can build something good with our team and I believe we have great potential, but you don’t know until you play against other nations," said De Santis.

"We are trying to build something, so this is the beginning of something new for us and we can’t wait to be there in Ireland."

The National Football League and IFAF Global Flag Football Ambassador has been training with Canadian Football League star Eddie Brown in preparation for the event.

Despite some names missing in the squad, De Santis is hopeful of a strong outing in Ireland.

"We have lost some players, who are either pregnant or injured and we have a new coaching staff and some new players," she said.

"I’m excited for us to work together and see how competitive we can be."