ASM Clermont: big means injected into young people to ensure the future among the pros

In a Top 14 rugby club, what is more when it feeds on strong ambitions, there is what shines, on the ground on match days in particular, and there is what is undertaken in the back room, we think in this case of training work.
In the statement of his five commandments, ten days ago, the new director of sports development announced the color.

“ASM, a training club, two institutions but a single club, a training and education plan, the Hopes, a showcase team for training and apprentice players, rugby sevens, a catalyst for training”.

Didier Retiere (Sports Development Director)

To establish this flight plan, Didier Retière first established a diagnosis. This has certainly highlighted the lack of sporting performance for (at least) two seasons of the youth teams. Espoirs, Crabos, Alamercery… teams that no longer play different leading roles for a few years.

A training center soon too small?

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“It’s true, the results are not satisfactory, recognizes Bertrand Rioux the director of the training center. Didier Retière wants us to be more competitive. I would also like to point out that we never put pressure on the results of our youth teams, that was not the primary objective. Our mission is to feed the professional team and ensure the development of the player. The notion of team often became important when we switched to the final stages at the end of the season”.

In 2010, the ASM achieved a historic treble with three shields: Top 14, Espoirs and Crabos. The last trophy (Espoirs) dates from 2018. But beyond these performances, the new sports management wanted to put a significant boost. By moving the lines on the sports and training side, by allocating considerable resources to it.

ASM Clermont: four hopefuls turn professional

With four new full-time employees (Elvis Vermeulen, Paul Albaladejo, Vito Kolelishvili, Valentin Duchier), the ASM has clearly marked out the ground, and the changes may not be over. “In the 2025 project, there are indeed major changes. Elvis Vermeulen who will lead the Espoirs, the arrival of Benson Stanley also for skills, the recruitment of Paul Albaladejo for rugby 7s… It’s moving” concedes Bertrand Rioux, who will give up his place as director of the training center to Adel Fellah.

The other face of the evolution of the training will concern a strengthening of relations with the “neighboring” clubs of ProD2. Aurillac, Nevers and Massy will thus be associated (or already are) with several ASM projects, on player loans, on the development of rugby 7s too.

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With reinforced sports staff and inflated numbers, the formation of the ASM may even soon find itself cramped in its center shared with Clermont Foot at the Gravanches stadium. In the longer term, it will no doubt be necessary to consider another model of infrastructure.

In the meantime, there will already be a rapprochement between the Espoirs and the pros, from next season, with two oppositions to training per week.
If the club has achieved its goal (set in 2014) of aligning 50% of pro players from its training center, it had to launch a new cycle among young people. With new faces, another state of mind too. To occupy the national podiums again.

ASM: 17 finals and 9 titles since 2010

If the Clermont club feels the need to relaunch its training, it is also because of its difficulties for three or four years to approach the podiums, on request it has very often climbed since 2010, year, let us recall, of the first Brennus Shield in Top 14 in history.

Over this period, ASM (all categories) played no less than 17 finals for 9 titles won.
The pros: Top 14 (2010, 2017), European Challenge (2019).
Hopes: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2018 (our photo).
The Crabos: 2010.
Finals lost: Top 14 (2015, 2019), European Cup (2013, 2015, 2017). Hopes: 2016. Crabos (2011, 2013).

Christophe Buron

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