The de Sol Beni Academy has gone on vacation last Wednesday. Just before, the director Pascal THEAULT gave us an interview in which he said he was proud of the Académie de Sol Beni which presented a beautiful image of the ASEC Mimosas and the African youth around the world.
What balance do you draw from the last two rounds of the de Sol Beni Academy in China and Sweden?
The last two rounds were great satisfactions. At the premiere in China, we were at our very first experience. In Sweden, we participated in the Gothia Cup for the second consecutive year. Simply participating in these tours is a rich experience and a great victory for us. On the sporting and cultural level, we have been confronted with English, Belgians, Frenchmen, Slovaks, Swedes, Americans, Mexicans, Chinese, Australians and Fijians. Teams of different nations with which we have necessarily learned a lot. Just for that, the balance is positive and very rewarding. These are fantastic experiences that we want to revive.
For a premiere, you were the finalists of the Shanghai International Youth Football in China. Were you expecting this course?
In a youth tournament, you never know what to expect because you do not master the level of opponents contrary to adult competitions. Any prognosis or sporting objective before a youth tournament is therefore difficult to make or to achieve because everything is discovered on the field of the competition.
On the other side, in Sweden, we seemed to relive last year’s tournament. Beaten in the semifinals by Right To Dream of Ghana, the de Sol Beni Academy finished in 3rd place on the podium.
What differences do you make between these two editions?
Indeed, at the last tournament of the Gothia Cup, in Sweden, we experienced exactly the same route as last season. But this year we were less fleshed out and less well prepared because we had a cascade of wounded before we left and were deprived of 4 players on the spot. We were very weak compared to last year. On the other hand, the Ghanaians of the Right to Dream team who eliminated us and then won the tournament were more experienced and much better than they were in the previous edition.
What did you really learn from these two tours?
We learned a great deal about the difficulty. We were beaten in China, then in Sweden by teams from Mexico (Pachuca) and Ghana (right To Dream) more mature, more experienced and thus much better. When you are defeated by such a team, you learn a lot more than when you beat a team that is inferior to ours. We were beaten every time by having given everything. Defactors invite us to work. On the tactical level, for example, we have an important margin to fill. There is a quote that says, “If you lose, don’t lose the lesson.”
Did you have any heart-beating on these tours?
I obviously had many favorites outside and on the field, but the principal stepped in the final in China. Although we were largely led to the score, I had noticed, in central defense, Emilda Kay Jean-Marc to whom we had already meant his release before the tour. But thanks to a great performance on his part in China, especially in the final, we came back on our decision. The player will finally remain at the de Sol Beni Academy. It’s a great story for him.
You are going on vacation from this Wednesday to return on September 3 next. What overall assessment do you make of the season of the de Sol Beni Academy that has just ended?
This 2017-2018 season of the de Sol Beni Academy was exceptional, because we managed to do everything that was planned. Which is rare in a season because of the contingencies. Things went well. And to top it off, there have been these 5 trips to Ghana, Morocco, France, China and Sweden. When one has the opportunity, the privilege and the chance to make such trips, it inevitably enriches the experience of each other. Each boarder and each technical executive made at least two rounds this year. To this have been added good school results with 7 admitted on 8 in PEBC and 6 out of 6 in BAC if we take into account the success of BAMBA Abbott, the 3rd goalkeeper of the professional team who came from the de Sol Beni Academy. It is a very fruitful season for the quality and quantity of the work done. Our thanks go to the club’s leaders and partners.
Could we have a taste of the next season’s activities?
Not yet. Because the activities of a season are linked to the means that the leaders and the sponsors make available to us. The activities therefore vary from one season to the next depending on the means. Otherwise making plans in advance would be to draw shots on the comet. But for next season we will try to do as this year. That is to work more and as best as possible. We know our level and our values, but also what we still have to do to climb the steps. As a director, I thank all the collaborators who helped make this beautiful season possible.
Interview conducted by H. K