A second wave hit our club in April. Five players fell victim to covid and missed Lorient’s reception and a sixth (Jonathan Gradit) tested positive the day after this match. These sudden absences pushed our staff to adapt and reorganize because three of these players were regular holders (Fofana, Badé, Medina). Add to that the injury of Florian Sotoca, another holder, and here is a team to rethink.
Simon Banza scores the fourth goal against Lorient ©LVDS
“We have a real group”
In this short time, the staff was able to highlight two things:
- Players with less playing time were able to replace the usual holders perfectly.
- The staff were able to draw from their pool of promising players trained at the club
Franck Haise’s conclusion in the locker room is as brief and precise as it is natural and clever: “We have a real group”.
Five words that say a lot. They allow to thank and congratulate the players present, to highlight the performance, to have a thought for the absent while reminding them that others are pushing behind them, and to encourage the young people to continue their efforts in order to achieve their dream.
In this group we find for example Corentin Jean, scorer against Lorient, who always responds when Franck Haise calls on him, without saving his efforts. No doubt he would be one of the favorites of a full Bollaert.
Cheick Traoré, who had spoken with a lot of humor and simplicity in our program Culture sang et or while he was injured, already told us about a united group, a band of friends in which no one was hiding.
The Lensois group on the cusp of a successful season © J. Prévost / The Team
Boubou, racing manager, said he had the same feeling of being with a real group, something he had not necessarily felt in previous years.
If more recently Patrice Bergues admitted to finding similarities between this group and the one he had recovered in 92/93, it is because the spirit of camaraderie and the taste for effort for the other were part of the main values of this group of players who had “rowed together”.
The “30” club
These moments also make it possible to highlight the training center. In fact, it is often through unfavorable circumstances that our young people can appear, who, dressed in their 33, 34, 35 or 36 jerseys, are trying to make a name for themselves, both literally and figuratively, in Racing.
David Pereira Da Costa, scorer in Saint Etienne, will soon wear his name on his jersey©LVDN
Jean-Guy Wallemme reminded us of this episode where he made Serge Aurier debut, at almost 17 years old, in the absence of Marco Ramos, suspended. We know the rest.
Obviously, we cannot evoke this group without paying tribute to those who made it up and those who kept it in this state.
It was important for our club to return to these values of group and unity because they are the ones that have made it possible to write the most beautiful pages in our history. And the page currently being written gives us hope for an enchanted epilogue.
Written by Mathieu Fardel