In the opinion of many specialists, the management of the reserves of professional clubs is no longer suitable for modern football. As a reminder, this team 2, supposed to be the reservoir of professional clubs, must allow the youngest players to become hardened and to be able to switch without difficulty to the pros in the event of good performances. Yes, but now, this reserve is evolving in the best of cases in National 2 (less than one L1 club out of 2), equivalent to the 4th division. Young players aged 16 to 21 are then faced with seasoned players at these levels, or even higher where the exchanges are sometimes tough. It is also not uncommon to see professional clubs hire more experienced players to manage to maintain their club in N2. But this strategy has its limits and often puts young players on the sidelines.
At PSG, we made a radical decision by removing the reserve a few seasons ago. On the Reims side, we created a pro group 2, a bridge between the pro group and the reserve from which Hugo Ekitike comes. Aware of this problem and not wanting to choose any of these solutions, AS Monaco decided to innovate by announcing on June 30 the non-registration of its reserve team in the National 3 championship: “The result of a reflection on its global project for the development of young potential, this new orientation marks the Club’s desire to define the best possible training course for its young players. The Elite group, which mainly concerns elements aged 19 to 21 and will rely in particular on the finalist generation of the French U19 Championship, will be supervised by Damien Perrinelle. His experience as an assistant coach in the first team for the past two seasons, as well as his profile, will ensure continuity with the professional group., can we read on the press release published by the Rock club. A reflection carried out for several months and which had materialized in particular by a match last March at the Performance Center of La Turbie, between Monaco U21 and Manchester United U21.
It should be remembered that training is one of the essential cogs of the institution and is part of the club’s DNA. ASM is indeed one of the first clubs in the French championship to have had a training center in the 1970s and to date has 5 world champions trained at the club, including the last, Kylian Mbappé. Continuing to train young people and give them the best chance of joining the pro group, this is therefore the main reason for this 180° change, as Paul Mitchell recalls: “Through this new approach, the Club wishes to continue to reinforce the impact on the first team, like the nine players from the Academy who have started with the pros over the past two seasons.”
The opportunity to rub shoulders with the best at European level in U21
Giving time to the new professionals of Monaco and allowing them to progress against players of the same age and the same level and who evolve in the best European clubs over an entire season, here is the assumed choice of Pascal de Maesschalck, Director of the development of young players from AS Monaco. “In the search for the best training course, this opportunity is the best way to develop the various bridges in our current ecosystem, and bring AS Monaco and Cercle Bruges even closer together. » Understand, if young people such as Ben Seghir, Decarpentrie, Lemarechal, Zadi, El Maach and Ayiah perform in this elite group, they will be able to integrate more easily into the pro group or more easily join Cercle Bruges, satellite club (last 10th of Jupiler Pro League) which has just welcomed Louis Torres and Lucas Larade, after the successful experiences last season of Popovic and Utkus, all of whom went through the Monegasque training center.
In addition to a possible participation in the Youth League from the month of September, in the event of qualification of its first team for the Champions League, the Elite group of AS Monaco will thus play from the autumn a competition bringing together some -one of the best European clubs in the prestigious Premier League International Cup (PLIC), which will include the U21 teams of Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United, Feyenoord, Porto, Valencia, Celtic, Wolfsburg, etc.). The calendar has just fallen and there is already a very heavy program. But it will also be possible for Monegasque hopefuls to compete in other tournaments or friendlies against French or foreign clubs (the reserve of Cannes, OM and Sampdoria are notably on the program for the month of August). What offer a new argument and a solid means of fulfillment and unique development in Ligue 1 today.