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Philippe Violeau, the deputy president, and Joël Coué, the vice-president, have carried out a sports and administrative audit for a year. They hope to reach the national level in the medium term with boys and girls
They have known each other for 30 years, when Joël Coué was president of the Chamois Niortais and Philippe Violeau a young professional player. Their complicity has grown over the years, their values have brought them closer, to take the reins of ES La Rochelle. Thursday, June 9, in a Le-Parco stadium whose lawn will be replaced, they presented the project “ES La Rochelle, Horizon 2025” speaking with one voice. Humble and cautious, they build more than they scaffold, they desire more than they promise, they inspire…
They have known each other for 30 years, when Joël Coué was president of the Chamois Niortais and Philippe Violeau a young professional player. Their complicity has grown over the years, their values have brought them closer, to take the reins of ES La Rochelle. Thursday, June 9, in a Le-Parco stadium whose lawn will be replaced, they presented the project “ES La Rochelle, Horizon 2025” speaking with one voice. Humble and cautious, they build more than they scaffold, they desire more than they promise, they inspire more than they impose.
What is your assessment of your first season at the club?
Philippe Violeau The sporting aspect is more than positive. For the six months since we were elected, we have observed, carried out an audit of the functioning of the club and discovered the football environment in La Rochelle. It took time in this association of 450 licensees. The Entente has great human potential. But we also found things that were not very consistent with what we want to put in place. In a club, you need a common vision and philosophy, a dynamic and lasting foundations.
What are your hopes for ES La Rochelle by 2025?
PV The first team is a drop in a club. We insist on the project around young people, the football school, training, the educational and social aspect. There was a bit of a club in each category. We want to build something solid and live a great human adventure. We must federate, develop together and work as a team.
Joël Coué We validated the educators who wanted to stay and the new ones join the project. For the Entente to grow, we need to structure our equipment. We had a very rich exchange with the municipality. We feel her interested, she is going to make a synthetic pitch for the La Rochelle clubs.
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What goals will the youth teams have?
PV Each category will aim to reach the next level. There is competence, friendliness, respect and discipline. It’s not easy, it will take time. We are not supporters of “championship”. You have to work rigorously, with the ambition to progress and the results will follow.
How do you situate the Entente in the environment of La Rochelle sport?
JC We’re a little behind. We are happy that the city has very high level clubs. The Stade Rochelais is an example, a very beautiful model. This proves that La Rochelle is a land of sport and that the economic fabric can follow.
“The Entente has great human potential. But we also found things that weren’t very consistent.”
What relationship do you have with neighboring football clubs?
JC We are going to meet the leaders of the clubs in the agglomeration. We want to associate them with a serious and respectful project. We know that contacts have often been made in the past and that it has not been successful. We will only be truly credible when we are at the national level. We have nothing against anyone, we are in a spirit of openness. We all have the same interest. We must build, move forward, allow young people to express themselves and have fun.
What is the ambition for the first team, in Regional 1, and for the women, who reach R2?
PV Fabrice Fontaine did a good job. The team was often above its opponents physically, it conveyed a good image, it performed and demonstrated self-sacrifice and commitment. There should be no deviation from these values.
JC Beyond the performances, we were happy to see the pleasure that the players took. In the medium term, we aim to reach National 3. By maintaining this philosophy and this healthy ambition, we should get there. But it will be a step, not an end. For women, the goal is Division 2. Fabrice Poullain (coach of the women’s team, editor’s note) is doing a tremendous job. We have big ambitions for the women’s section.
“We all have the same interest. We have to build, move forward, allow young people to express themselves and have fun.”
Do you feel a dynamic behind the club?
JC Currently, the private partnership is around 50,000 euros, but we meet open and positive people. ES La Rochelle has a very good past, alumni who have succeeded are watching us. We have good feedback. This comforts us. Our budget will increase from 300,000 to 330,000 € and we are creating a club of partners. You have to make people want to join us.
PV Carrying the name of La Rochelle is no small thing. We want to give back its true place to ESR in the landscape of La Rochelle. The lights are green. Even if we know that sport remains sport…
The women of ES La Rochelle won the Coupe des 2 Charentes on Sunday, June 12, against Angoulême (3-0). Fabrice Poullain’s team thus achieved an astonishing hat-trick, after joining Regional 2, then the Charente-Maritime cup, won against FC Rochefort (11-1).
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