Cédric Varrault, assistant coach of the OGC Nice U19s, also played for Dijon FCO and ASSE during his professional career. At the dawn of this new season, he gave his opinion on the club coached by Laurent Batlles on the Poteaux Carrés site.
“Dijon-ASSE? It’s a great inaugural poster. It’s going to be a good game to get into the groove. From what I understand, ASSE has a two-year plan to get back on track, but the club will not refrain from returning to the elite this season if he has the opportunity. Sainté will clearly be one of the big teams in this Ligue 2 championship. The DFCO also has the ambition to return to the elite, I believe that the Dijon president recalled this week that this was the objective.
It will therefore be an interesting clash between two clubs who have changed coaches in the off-season. Laurent Batlles and Omar Daf are two good coaches. Each in his style has an interesting and structured game project. Laurent Batlles was already a very good Ligue 1 player, intelligent and with ideas. As a coach, we see that he manages to put his ideas in place. For having followed the teams he has coached, there is a real philosophy of play. He manages to get his players to adhere.
Loic Perrin? He devotes a lot of time and energy to his new role as sports coordinator. He invests himself thoroughly in his new missions. But we actually stayed close, I have him quite regularly on the phone and I managed to see him when we went to play against Sainté in U19. I always enjoy seeing him again. Loïc and Laurent Batlles – I know the latter less as a person – are competent people, I am convinced that they will make the club evolve. I know that they get along very well and that they pull in the same direction, have the same ambitions.
What is interesting, and this is where Loïc and Laurent Batlles have been very good, is bringing in good players fairly quickly. Several boys arrived very early in the preparation. Because a coach, when he already arrives it’s not easy, but when in addition he wants to put ideas in place…. The sooner you have players, the better. Sainté has managed to quickly attract good players, many of whom have experienced Ligue 1. We also see that most of the recruits have conclusive experience in Ligue 2. Some have played for several seasons at this level and have proven themselves there. It is important in a team to have experienced players who know this championship well to properly supervise the youngest. Frankly, there’s everything to make it work and I want it to work as soon as possible.
Sainté has recruited the experienced Anthony Briançon and Jimmy Giraudon in defense, in the middle with Dylan Chambost, Mathieu Cafaro and Victor Lobry. It now remains to strengthen the attack, it is never easy to find scorers. We have to find a striker who completes the job. It’s important, especially in Ligue 2. The ideal is to have a real spine and in this spine it’s always better to have a real scorer. This last L2 season, the top scorers in the championship were Healey and Charbonnier and we see that Toulouse and Auxerre have gone up. The season before, Mohamed Bayo finished top scorer and we can see that Clermont has gone up.
The sanctions imposed by the LFP (note: 3 withdrawal points and 4 meetings behind closed doors to Geoffroy Guichard, including one suspended)? Despite these handicaps, ASSE is for me one of the contenders for the climb. Clearly. Now, we can see that this L2 championship has become quite tough, many teams were in L1 not that long ago. I think the level has increased. As many teams aspire to find the elite or to discover it like Paris FC, the championship promises to be disputed and difficult, especially since only the first two will go up, there is no longer a jump-off.
I expect an open and very interesting championship to follow. There are teams which are progressing, which are evolving, which have quality, which work well. It is not easy to predict who will go up. Paris FC is a team that has been fighting for the rise for two or three years, maybe this year will be the right one. There are clubs like Sochaux, Caen or even Guingamp which will be among the contenders. Sainté will be one of the favourites, that’s obvious. It’s the heart that speaks, I would like the Greens to come back this season. It would also be good for Dijon to go back. I want to see my old clubs in the top flight again!”
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