Football. In Caen, the university team excels and has fun

The joy of one of the six goalscorers, Anthony Barré. ©Aline Chatel

A beautiful sports complex, sunshine, many spectators, quality players and a series of goals: all the ingredients for a great football afternoon were gathered on the synthetic turf field of campus 1 on Thursday 17 March 2022. The UFR Staps de Caen team, made up of undergraduate students, played its last group match against Nantes. She delighted her crowd by winning 7-0 thanks to goals from Anthony Barré, Alexis Jeanne, Evan Olivier (x2), Robin Housset and Paul Leherpeur.

Aline Chatel
Evan Olivier, captain of the team, evolves in Saint-Lô in National 3. ©Aline Chatel

“Promote university sport”

Already winners of Orleans (1-3), Rennes (1-2) and Rouen (5-1) in their previous matches, the Caennais qualified for the equivalent of the quarter-finals of the French championship. If they win this match, which is scheduled for May 24, 2022, they will enter the final stage and play the semi-finals of the national event. “The No. 1 sporting objective is to qualify for the French Championships (which will bring together only the four semi-finalists, editor’s note), specifies assistant coach Antoine Mahieu. But there is also another aspect that is close to our hearts. We want to promote university sports. †

Aline Chatel
The team mascot! ©Aline Chatel

N3 and R1 players

Far from American zeal, university sport remains relatively confidential in France. However, the Caen Stapsiens have an extremely competitive squad. Some of its players, such as captain Evan Olivier (Saint-Lô), perform every weekend in National 3. The majority of the workforce is made up of Regional 1 players. Paradoxically, they only come from a very small part of Calvados. La Manche is well represented. Only Kévin Quénéa (ASPTT Caen) and Malo Guivarc’h (Verson) play in the agglomeration of Caen.

The group

Anthony Barré (Alençon N3), Émilien Hedou (Granville R1), Evan Olivier (St-Lô N3), Robin Housset (Granville R1), Mattéo Le Gau (Granville R1), Clément Duval (St-Lô R1), Enzo Nefaut ( Flers R1), Kévin Quénéa (PTT Caen R1), Clément Noyelle (Villers-Bocage R3), Sacha Perrotte (St-Lô R1), Cyprien Marie (physical trainer ASPTT Caen), Odin Masset (St-Lô R1), Alexis Jeanne (Cherbourg N3), Ruben Lecellier (Granville R1), Malo Guivarc’h (Verson R2), Julien Guesnet (AG Caen R3), Titouan Dufour (Saint-Lô R1), Louis Bretteville (Mondeville R3), Dousess Bossard (St- Lô R1), Dorian Bertrand (Flers R1), Paul Leherpeur (Saint-Lô N3), Valentin Letourneur (Cherbourg N3)

A staff consisting of students

Well assisted by this large number of employees, the selection works in almost complete autonomy. The coach and assistant coach are students themselves. Their teacher, Mr. Hestin, only oversees the whole. “He is very happy to see that there are so engaged students”, emphasizes Antoine Mahieu. Benjamin Briand, head coach, relies on his experience as an educator since overseeing Stade Malherbe’s U9s.

We knew each other because we played a season together at Carpiquet. We came up with the idea of ​​building a competitive team with a strong group feeling. We wanted to create a kind of mini club.

Antoine Mahieu
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The meeting attracted many people: students, parents… and coaches. ©Aline Chatel

Competition and fun

In college, the human dimension is perhaps even greater than in federal sport. “We are a group of friends, summarizes Kévin Quénéa. We are competitors at heart, but first and foremost we are there to have fun. “The right side of ASPTT Caen, very convincing in Regional 1, was originally “not very hot” to integrate the roster. “I already have three training sessions and one game a week, I didn’t see myself adding a session. We agreed with the staff that I would only play the matches. Laurent Dufour, his coach, also accepted the idea.

I spoke to former members of the team, such as Nicolas Prévost and Pierre Sorin, who have also experienced university competitions. They told me about their adventures and that made me want to experience the same.

Kevin Queena
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Kévin Quénéa spares no expense in catching a slat. ©Aline Chatel

The club comes first for everyone. Still, the desire to let the colors of his university shine is very much alive. “The goal is to become champion of France. †

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