It’s been official since Wednesday, June 12, 2019. Julien CHEVALIER is the new head coach of ASEC Mimosas. The club’s media met with this technician, who has already served in the “Yellow and Black” house from 2011 to 2017, to gather his impressions. interview.
Hello Coach, can you introduce yourself to the Shareholders?
Knowing the passion of shareholders for their club, I think many already know me. I have often been able to appreciate their support during our competitions with the young people of the MimoSifcom Academy, which I have been in charge of for several seasons. And their support has always been a source of energy for me and my young people. I then continued my coaching career by going to the coaching of the pros, with a reference coach like Claude LE ROY, and big players such as Sheyi ADEBAYOR, Mathieu DOSSEVI, Djene DAKONAM and so many others… I take this opportunity to greet them all, because I could not do it before leaving Togo and thank them too, because these moments with them are a great experience for me. And now I come back to Sol Beni as head coach to continue our common history.
After more than 5 seasons as head of the MimoSifcom Academy, you have just been appointed Head Coach of ASEC Mimosas. Can this be seen as a form of continuity?
Yes and no… Indeed, our common past has played out and shared successes have obviously helped bring us closer together. I’ve always followed the club with a special eye since I left. And I take this opportunity to congratulate coaches Traoré Siaka and AMANI Yao for the very good results of recent seasons. But now I’m back in a different role and with a team to relaunch after a tougher season. So, yes, I know the house. But the players, who are the true strengths of a club, have evolved and many of my most talented young people have already hatched and taken flight… So we have to work, and we’ve been thinking about it for a while with all the strengths of the club, to reform a competitive team to meet the challenges that lie ahead.
Will your first stint at ASEC Mimosas be useful to you in your new mission?
It already is. This will save me a lot of time in getting the mission entrusted to me. I already have a good vision of the strengths and structures of the club. I know the men who make up the club, and I have kept a close eye on everything that has been done since I left for Togo. Now we saw it last season, even in the continuity of a season where the titles were stacked, success is not guaranteed. We were able to move directly to concrete things, because it is towards the future that all eyes are on.
How could your experience with Claude LEROY in the Togo National Selection help you succeed in your mission at ASEC Mimosas?
Having been able to rub shoulders with such a football monument is already a huge opportunity. And this period at his side will be an important source of inspiration. He is a very demanding person on and off the field, but always keeps an exceptional simplicity and humility. And these are essential values to succeed in this profession. A good school. And to have been able to evolve in contact with very high level players and seek to meet their expectations will also be a benchmark in the work to be provided to ASEC Mimosas.
What motivated your return to ASEC Mimosas?
When the leaders contacted me, it was impossible for me to ignore their proposal. It was not an easy decision to make. And despite the disappointment of not qualifying for THE CAN 2019 with Togo, there was still work to be done and we had to leave a quality group, both human and sporting. I would have liked to have participated in the CAN and I certainly would not be here today. But perhaps it was just the time for me to take a new step and this call helped to awaken this ambition. I thank the “Coach” THE ROY for everything, and his understanding of my desire to take up the Yellow and Black challenge. So here I am again for this new adventure that will be anything but easy, but exciting.
During your mission to Togo, did you continue to follow the Ivorian Ligue 1 and the news of ASEC Mimosas?
Of course. Already by the affection kept for ASEC Mimosas. But thanks to the coverage of Canal Africa, I could also follow the performances of some Togolese elements, such as Komlan AGBEGNIADAN, but also many boys from the MimoSifcom Academy during my visit who evolve in the different championship teams.
ASEC Mimosas’ roster for next season will consist of some players you have trained at the MimoSifcom Academy. Is it an advantage to already know some players of this squad?
There will surely be. And, it can’t be a handicap, anyway. But we should not expect a baby boom in the professional workforce either. Our goal will be to perform every week and for the duration of the season. For this, mixing youth and experience in our squad will be interesting, because the variety of skills is an asset for a coach, and each of these profiles has qualities to bring to a group on a daily basis.
Can we hope to see players you oversaw in Togo come to ASEC Mimosas next season?
For the moment, we remain discreet and we are working on the construction of the squad with the different components of the club. And everyone brings their network and their observations. My time in Togo allowed me to follow this championship and rub shoulders with quality players in national selection with whom I had a very good relationship. But now they would be welcome… but I don’t think it will be enough to get Sheyi ADEBAYOR in my luggage. More seriously, there are already quality players in our squad, and to strengthen it we will look for players, wherever they are, who we think will be the best able to meet our needs, within our means. Then it will be the day-to-day fieldwork that will allow us to form a group of competitors to get our goals.
The Shareholders expect a lot from you to win back the title of champion of Ivory Coast lost last season. Would you like to send them a message to conclude this interview?
I would like to thank them already for the messages of welcome and encouragement received or relayed. You immediately see the passion for their club and their hopes. This is an additional motivation to work hard so that we live great moments and succeed together.