Academy 27 June 2022, 11:07

The Academy plays a big role against Cercle

The Academy plays a big role against Cercle
On the occasion of a preseason friendly organized on Saturday morning at La Turbie between AS Monaco and Cercle Bruges (1-0), no less than ten players trained at La Diagonale were present on the team sheets for the two clubs.

They are out in force at the start of the preseason! Already numerous in filling out the ranks of the Rouge et Blanc since the start of the preseason, the young talents from the Academy were a big part of the friendly between AS Monaco and Cercle Bruges (1-0). Ten players from La Diagonale were thus on the team sheet Saturday morning, at La Turbie.

A first with the pros for Efekele

Five youngsters would wear the colors of the Principality club. Félix Lemarechal, who has already had a preseason with the first team last summer, before making his appearance in the top flight against OL, was even a starter in midfield alongside Youssouf Fofana. He distinguished himself by being very active in midfield, even trying his luck from distance in the 30th minute. Meanwhile, Yllan Okou, who appeared last January in the Coupe de France against Quevilly, Tiago Ribeiro, came into play against Montpellier in Ligue 1, Eric Ayiah and a  finalist for the U-19s, Malamine Efekele, took part in the second half.

Enzo Couto: an impressive display

On the Cercle side, there were also five former AS Monaco Academy players who would wear green and black. Lithuanian international Edgaras Utkus was transferred from AS Monaco last year and lined up on the right of the Bruges defense at kick-off. Then, Louis Torres and Salatiel Decarpentrie, who had started preseason with Dominik Thalhammer’s side, appeared in the second half. Finally, the central defender from the Monegasque U19s, Enzo Couto was the author of a fine header saved by Radoslaw Majecki at a corner (84′), as well as Soungoutou Magassa, also played their part in reinforcing the Belgian squad, in the absence of several regulars.

Close links between the two clubs

The latter were in any case able to show their qualities, under the eyes of Pascal De Maesschalck, the Club’s Director of Young Player Development, Sébastien Muet, Director of the Academy, as well as in front of their trainer and U19 coach, Frédéric Barilaro. But it was more than just a showcase for the academy, as this match also confirmed the links that exists between La Diagonale and the first team, as well as between the Club and Cercle, synergies which are obviously intended to be continued in the future. Bravo to these youngsters!