ASM Clermont: A lot of money is being put into young people to secure a future among the professionals

In a top 14 rugby club, especially when they have big ambitions, there is what shines on the ground, especially on match days, and there is what is done in the back room, we think of the training work.
In the list of his five commandments, the new head of sports development announced the color ten days ago.

“ASM, one training club, two institutions but one club, one training and education scheme, the Hopes, a flagship team for training and apprentice players, Rugby Sevens, a catalyst for training”.

Didier Retiere (Head of Sport Development)

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

A training center soon too small?

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

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

ASM Clermont: Four hopefuls turn pro

With four new full-time employees (Elvis Vermeulen, Paul Albaladejo, Vito Kolelishvili, Valentin Duchier), the ASM has clearly laid the groundwork and the changes may not be complete yet. “There are indeed major changes in Project 2025. Elvis Vermeulen, who will lead the espoirs, the arrival of Benson Stanley, also for the skills, the recruitment of Paul Albaladejo for Rugby 7s … It’s moving,” admits Bertrand Rioux, who will take his place as director of the training center at Adel Fellah will give .

The other side of the development of the training will be a strengthening of relationships with “neighboring” clubs of ProD2. Aurillac, Nevers and Massy are therefore associated (or already are) with several ASM projects, including player loans and the development of Rugby 7s.

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With a reinforced sports staff and inflated numbers, the ASM formation could even soon cramp at their shared center at the Gravanches Stadium with Clermont Foot. In the longer term, a different infrastructure model will certainly have to be considered.

In the meantime, starting next season, there will already be a rapprochement between the espoirs and the pros with two training opposites per week.
If the club reached its target set in 2014 of getting 50% of the professional players out of its training center, it would have to start a new cycle among young people. With new faces, also a different state of mind. To occupy the national podiums again.

ASM: 17 finals and 9 titles since 2010

If the Clermont club feels the need to restart its training, it is also because of its difficulties in getting closer to the podiums for three or four years, to which it has been the first since 2010, the year we remember it Brennus, Shield has risen many times in the top 14 in history.

During this period, ASM (all categories) has played no fewer than 17 finals, winning 9 titles.
The Pros: Top 14 (2010, 2017), European Challenge (2019).
Hopes: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2018 (our photo).
The Crabs: 2010.
Lost finals: Top 14 (2015, 2019), European Cup (2013, 2015, 2017). Hopes: 2016. Crabos (2011, 2013).

Christopher Buron

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