Academy 03 January 2022, 16:15

Debuts for Okou and Magassa in Quevilly: Spotlight on the Academy

Debuts for Okou and Magassa in Quevilly: Spotlight on the Academy
Called up by Stéphane Nado to reinforce an AS Monaco squad which was diminished for their trip to Normandy in the round of 32 in the Coupe de France, nine players trained at the Club's Academy were on the team sheet against Quevilly-Rouen this Sunday.

They are called the “young guns” in Monaco! And they were plenty of them making the trip to Petit-Quevilly, in order to play in the Round of 32 of the Coupe de France against Quevilly-Rouen this Sunday (3-1 win). Nine players from the Academy were thus on reserve manager Stéphane Nado’s teamsheet, who was in charge of the first team for the occasion. But even if Eliot Matazo now has a permanent seat in the locker room of the first team team, eight youngsters from the Monegasque reserves had indeed come as reinforcements.

A big debut for Yllan Okou

Two of them were even in the eleven when the game kicked off against the 11th-placed side in Ligue 2: Yllan Okou (19) and Félix Lemarechal (18). The former was making his first professional appearance, starting in centre of defence alongside Strahinja Pavlović (20). Very comfortable in the air and good with his first touch, he struggled little against players who compete at a level two divisions above him every weekend.

I know these two lads well because they play in National 2. It was a chance for them and in the Coupe de France things are never a given. (...) These are two youngsters in the making, who must be allowed to grow.
Stéphane NadoAbout Yllan Okou and Félix Lemarechal

Congratulated at the end of the meeting by his partner in central defense, barely older than him, as well as by his usual coach with the reserves, Yllan therefore completed a first without a hitch. Playing deeper than his usual favorite position, in a double pivot with Eliot Matazo, Félix Lemarechal played his second match as a pro. He had previously come on at the end of the match against Lyon in Ligue 1 on October 17. Integrated into the squad during the team’s second training camp, this summer in Austria, along with Maghnes Akliouche (19), he had already been able to impress in the team’s summer friendly matches.

Félix and Maghnes, again

Replaced in the 51st minute by Gelson Martins, for a player with an even more attacking style, the native of Tours – like Sofiane Diop – showed great technical skill in midfield. As did his fewllow academy player, Maghnes, who replaced Kevin Volland in the last quarter of an hour. After a few misplaced passes, he almost had a scoring opportunity before ovehitting  his shot (80′).

In what was a calmer end to the game, with a two-goal lead for AS Monaco, it was Soungoutou Magassa (18) who would make his big professional debut. The slender defensive midfielder, playing his second year with the U-19s, he has also become a regular for Stéphane Nado’s reserves. He here had the honor of replacing one of the key men in the match, Rouge et Blanc captain Wissam Ben Yedder (90′), who came off to a standing ovation from a visiting stand that was very full.

A bench that was barely 21 years old!

The Academy also was present on a very young Monegasque bench (20.8 years old on average), Fouad El Maach (central defender, 21 years old) – who was celebrating his birthday on the occasion, Aurélien Platret (right back, 18 years old) ), Louis Torres (left back, 20) and Florian Baranik (midfielder, 19) also had a very special moment.

We were missing a few players, so we tried to help the youngsters who joined us with the few experienced players who were there. It's a good thing for them that they got to make the trip.
Ruben AguilarAfter the team's qualification

A first trip with the squad, and a glimpse into the professional world, this is an occasion which will certainly remain engraved in their memories. Well done to them and to coach Stéphane Nado for contributing to this qualification for the round of 16 of the Coupe de France! Above all, they represent an Academy that is performing well!

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