SM Caen.  Stéphane Moulin: "The roadmap is held"

SM Caen. Stéphane Moulin: “The roadmap is held”

Stéphane Moulin began his second season at the head of Stade Malherbe Caen, at the time of recovery. ©Aline Chatel

Stéphane Moulin delivered his first press briefing of the start of the school year to the many journalists present at the Venoix complex, this Friday, June 24, 2022. It was above all a question of the transfer window…

Stéphane, what will be your ambition next season?

We want to have a season with more interest and emotion than there was last year, quite simply. We are not going to say that we want to go up to Ligue 1. We want to have a good season, better than last season. Afterwards, there are many more teams than last year that will be affected by membership.

Are you satisfied to have had so many recruits from the first day of recovery?

Yes. We must congratulate the work of the recruitment unit, Yohan Eudeline, the president and the shareholders. It’s a collective work and this work has been well done so that we can have these players as soon as possible. As soon as possible, that was yesterday. Yesterday there were a lot of players. Others will join us, but we have made good progress.

How many recruits are you expecting?

Normally, we expect three players. For positions, I’ll let you think about it (smile).

There are a few familiar faces among the recruits. Can this facilitate their integration?

It’s always easier when you know the players, but that’s not the most important thing. The most important thing is to have players who are able to respond to what we ask. Whether I know them beforehand or not isn’t really the most important thing. It’s a plus, it’s true, but it’s not the main thing.

“It won’t be easier, but the team will be better equipped”

Do you feel like this really is Year 0 for you?

Nothing happened last year, but it’s true that the first game of the championship was extremely difficult for everyone, first of all for the actors that we are, also for the people who follow the club. The second part of the championship gave a lot of hope for the future. Next, we’ll be there soon. Finally, indeed, we will be able to work with a group that we have practically chosen. Last year was a legacy. It wasn’t that easy. It won’t be easier this year, but I consider, and in any case I hope, that the team will be better armed.

You wanted to be part of a certain continuity. There are some pretty big changes in this team…

I had evoked it, I feared it a little, it is what is called the ransom of glory. Last season, when the team ran away on the last day, no one was asked because the season was not good. There, the season is correct and the second part of the season is rather good. Obviously, there are players who have revealed themselves. The goal was to keep as many as possible. Afterwards, there is what we want, there is what we can, and there is an extremely important fact: what the players want. When a player you rely on wants to leave the club, you have to hear it, not necessarily accept it. These are the less funny moments…

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We think of Jessy Deminguet…

Yes of course. He hasn’t left yet. Between what is said and what is done, there is a difference, but it is about to start. I understand his decision to want to play at the next level, but for that all the conditions must be met. There are always three parties in a negotiation, they must be satisfied. As we speak, that is not the case.

“Departures bother me”

Does the fact that other players may be solicited on the upper floor worry you?

I’m not going to say it worries me, but it bothers me. When you are at the beginning of a project, there are obligatory passage points. One of these points of passage is the maintenance of our vital forces in the team. Unfortunately, I sensed it, but I had high hopes. You have to accept, when you are in Ligue 2, that some Ligue 1 clubs are looking at our best players.

Do you fear other starting players leaving last season?

I hope it’s over, but we’re only at the edge of the transfer window. It’s going to be a long time yet. What I want is to work with players who are imbued with the identity of the club and who want to participate in something with us. If players really want to leave the club, it’s complicated to become successful. I find that out of respect for all the people who expect something from us, this is not the right process.

There are departures that we had anticipated, I am thinking of Johann Lepenant. We knew it was going to end like this, and good for him. For the others, it’s more difficult. For Nuno Da Costa, it’s a return from loan, he has not yet made a final decision. We are rather in a questioning. You know very well that we have another player who is also in demand, whom we ardently wish to keep because he is an important or even essential element of our system.

Is the youth of a certain number of players compatible with high ambitions?

The days and weeks to come will tell us. We now have a good compromise between young people and experienced players, especially in our recruitment. It’s fairly balanced and it should stay that way. The group must remain balanced because a balance is often synonymous with success.

” That’s not bad “

What is the guiding thread of your recruitment?

Balance, complementarity. We need to have boys who have reached the next level, but we also need to have boys who are hungry, who are happy to be with us, who are happy to come. It’s not that common today. We need to achieve a clever mix of experience, youth, serenity, enthusiasm, calm, passion. What makes me happy is that the roadmap is kept. Yes, maybe we could do better. But what we have is already not bad.

Has Caen become more attractive again?

Yes, I honestly think so. Our second half of the season has helped us a lot. But everything counts in a club. Knowing that the last two home games have hosted 33,000 people is not trivial. The players love it, they love this popular fervor, the facilities… When you only have that to say, it’s not enough. Today, they see that something is in the making… I’m not going to say to be reborn, because the club wasn’t dead, but it was very sick. Our image is better than a year ago. It has to continue, because it’s not enough, it’s not what we want. But again, it’s a must.

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