Villefranche, the balm of the Tigers / Ligue 2 / Play-offs / Villefranche-QRM / SOFOOT.com

Villefranche, the balm of the Tigers / Ligue 2 / Play-offs / Villefranche-QRM / SOFOOT.com

Passed a quarter of an hour from the rise in Ligue 2 last season, FC Villefranche-Beaujolais offered a second chance at the cost of an even better season than the previous one. The most accomplished in its recent history… so far.

There are stations where, contrary to legend, the train can pass twice. This will be the case in Villefranche, which missed the Ligue 2 car for a quarter of an hour, just a year ago. Remember: by means of a crazy second half of the season, the Caladois Tigres offered themselves the luxury of playing a play-off against the Niortais Chamois, lost to the disadvantage of the away goal rule, after having cracked in the last quarter of an hour of the return match (3-1 in Villefranche, 0-2 in Niort). But life offers the other club from the Rhône a revenge: once again third, Hervé Della Maggiore and his troupe will come up against Quevilly-Rouen Métropole this time.

Record season, but still out

They were right to think that the locomotive could come back. And for good reason: Villefranche had its best season in the 21stand century, and despite a total of ten points higher than the previous year, the FCVB still finished in third place. 65 points, moreover, is a total that would have allowed any third division team to experience the joys of direct accession, since the National’s transition to 18 clubs – except for the 2014-2015 season. “I would say that it is a continuation of the results compared to those of last seasonconfides the Caladois coach, Hervé Della Maggiore. At the start of the season, many did not see us in this place because of the disappointment we experienced at the end of last season. But we quickly got back on our feet during the holidays and we took the necessary steps to bring some freshness and make up for any departures we may have had. »

And among these touches, there was Simon Elisor and his 17 goals. The striker, who arrived on loan from AC Ajaccio to compensate for the departures of Arnold Garita (in Bourg-Péronnas) and Serge Désiré Azankpo (in Dunkirk), even managed to plant twelve times during his last twelve appearances. There was also the loan in the middle of winter of Malcom Bokele, from Bordeaux, and that of Florent Da Silva, from Lyon, author of seven assists in the second half of the season alone. But the Caladois technician refuses to put one name forward rather than another. “I consider that what makes a season successful is the strength of a group. It is the result of the individual and collective quality of a group, but above all of an irreproachable state of mind which means that in the difficult periods that we have been able to experience, such as in January (four defeats in a row, editor’s note)we were able to remobilize to be able to start again on a positive dynamicanalyzes Della Maggiore. Today, I would say that the strong men of the group are above all… the group! »

Impassable barriers

This Tuesday, Hervé Della Maggiore finds himself facing a fate that has escaped him three times. A door double-locked in front of him. That of the dams, of which he cannot find the key to break the lock. In his keychain, however, there was the key to Bourg-en-Bresse, then those of Gazélec and therefore of Villefranche. None opened the marvelous door. In 2018, the FBBP 01 did not resist in Grenoble (1-2, 0-0) and went down to National; a year later, his Gazélec cracked against Le Mans (2-1, 0-2) on an incredible comeback in added time and suffered relegation in turn. Last year, he therefore failed against Niort with the FCVB (3-1, 0-2). But Hervé Della Maggiore does not at all make a fix of this curse. “Every game was different.recalls HDM. I lived through two roadblocks so as not to descend. It’s hard to live, because in this situation, there is everything to lose. And on both with Villefranche, it is to reach the Grail with a club and a group are not necessarily intended for it at the base. This is not necessarily the priority objective at the start, even if, as the season progresses, we begin to believe in it. »

To believe it, at this stage, is an understatement. The game will be worth the candle anyway. “It would be a pride to mark the history of the club. A pride that I have already known with Bourg-en-Bresse, and that the club experienced in the 1980s (only one season in D2, in 1983-1984, Ed). And despite everything, it will remain a phenomenal achievement. Because it’s true that in terms of resources, infrastructure and many other things, we are not calibrated to go up in Ligue 2 ” , concedes Hervé Della Maggiore. If necessary, the question of the stadium will remain: FC Villefranche-Beaujolais will not be able to release its Armand-Chouffet stadium in Ligue 2, because it is not approved. On the table are the proposals for the Groupama Stadium (too big, too expensive!) and the Jean-Laville stadium in Gueugnon (too far!). The subject is worthy of a puzzle, but precisely, the Caladois Tigers would love to brainstorm.

By Clement Barbier

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