Gambardella, U17, Elite Group... A look back at the Academy's season
It was a season full of emotions! Recognized for the quality of its training center, AS Monaco once again lived up to its reputation this year. So after the last victory on the part of the Elite Group, against Lyon (2-3), which was the final match of the season for all the teams of the Academy, here’s a look at the season that was. We’ve taken this occasion to focus on the highlights in each category, with the main attraction of course being the win in the Coupe Gambardella. 🔙
U-17s: A well-deserved place on the podium 🥈
Let’s start with the youngest of the academy’s teams. Neck and neck with rivals Nice throughout the year, the Monegasque U17s had big wins against Castelnau (6-1) and against ASPPT Marseille (5-0), but also in the Derby (3-2). These displays of attacking football allowed AS Monaco to finish with the second-best attack in the league, with 72 goals scored in just 26 rounds of play!
Unfortunately, Manu Dos Santos’s charges came very close to qualifying for the age category play-offs by also finishing second with a record of 18 wins, three draws and five losses. Several players made a name for themselves over the course of the season like Nacim Dendani, who finished as top scorer with 22 goals.
Five Gambardella winners
Dendani also participated in the Gambardella adventure with four teammates: Joan Tincres, MVP of the Academy for the month of April, Aladji Bamba, Ilane Touré and Pape Cabral, who scored in the final. It was thus a successful year for the U17s, which saw many of them being called up for the French team at age level (Tincres, Cabral, Mokabakila), or moved into higher categories (Aladji Bamba), proof of the progress they’ve made.
[#U17] 🚨 LA LISTE POUR L’EURO ! 🇫🇷
🏃 21 joueurs convoqués
⚽️ Euro U17 :
– vs Écosse 🏴 (17/05)
– vs Allemagne 🇩🇪 (20/05)
– vs Portugal 🇵🇹 (23/05)
… et plus si qualification 🤞🏼#FiersdetreBleuets pic.twitter.com/GTpOx0xzfl
— Équipe de France Jeunes 🇫🇷 (@edfjeunes) May 2, 2023
U19: Towards the professional world’ 🏋♂
For their part, the U-19s finished the season in fifth place. And once again, it was the strength of the Rouge et Blanc attack that stood out, with 56 goals scored, the best attack among the 13 other teams. The match against Blagnac was the best example of this, with a 7-0 win, or another against Béziers more recently (4-1).
Several of Frédéric Barilaro’s players stood out throughout the year, earning them call-ups to the national team (Sitou, Coudour, Bouabré and Sinaté). Better yet, Mamadou Coulibaly, Ritchy Valme and Lucas Michal have recently signed their first professional contracts with the Club. This is in addition to having joined the Elite Group, and participating with their U-19 teammates in winning the Gambardella.
🆕😍 𝕄𝕚𝕔𝕙𝕒𝕝 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟲
🇲🇨 #MadeinLaDiagonale pic.twitter.com/tryKyuaRyA
— AS Monaco 🇲🇨 (@AS_Monaco) May 23, 2023
Elite Group: A baptism by fire 🆕
With the desire to get as close as possible to the rhythm of the first team and to experience other footballing cultures, the team led by Damien Perrinelle ended its first season with a very positive record (18 wins, 3 draws and 13 defeats). The Elite Group thus had the opportunity to face teams from all over the continent, from Switzerland, to Portugal, to England to the Netherlands, Norway and Germany.
These included some convincing results, such as a win at Old Trafford against Manchester United (0-2), a victory against West Ham (2-1), and prestigious clashes against European teams also renowned for their training such as Bayern Munich or Ajax Amsterdam.
🎯 𝗜𝗹 𝘃𝗶𝘀𝗲, 𝗶𝗹 𝘁𝗶𝗿𝗲, 𝗶𝗹 𝗺𝗮𝗿𝗾𝘂𝗲 !
Le mouvement d’école de 𝗠𝗮𝗺𝗮𝗱𝗼𝘂 𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗶𝗯𝗮𝗹𝘆 pour l'ouverture du score face au Red Devils 💥
🎥 @ManUtd pic.twitter.com/OfcmB15Rtx
— AS Monaco 🇲🇨 (@AS_Monaco) November 12, 2022
From the Elite Group to a nomination for the best young player
A veritable trampline for intergration into the first team, the Elite Group notably saw Eliesse Ben Seghir and Edan Diop join Philippe Clement’s side during the season, making their first team debuts in Rouge et Blanc. Opening his account with a brilliant display against Auxerre and another against Strasbourg, the native of Cogolin has been nominated in the Trophées UNFP as the best young player in Ligue 1.
The Elite Group also has many internationals in its ranks, including Nazim Babaï, Mayssam Benama, Malamine Efekele, Yann Lienard, Jordan Semedo Varela and Béchir Yacoub).
Coupe Gambardella: An unforgettable triumph 🏆
At the end of a run consisting of only away matches (Vénissieux, Aubagne, Nancy, Rouen, Nantes and Pau) the charger of the duo of Frédéric Barilaro and Manu Dos Santos managed to overcome all the obstacles on their way to reach the Stade de France.e.
❤️ 𝗗𝗮𝗴𝗵𝗲 𝗠𝘂𝗻𝗲𝗴𝘂 🤍#MadeInLaDiagonale pic.twitter.com/kRrs34Kwd6
— AS Monaco 🇲🇨 (@AS_Monaco) April 29, 2023
A symbol of the Academy’s depth, there was even a player from each age category at the start of the season among the scorers in the final (Tincres-Cabral from the U17s, Bouabré from the U19s and Benama from the Elite Group).
And it is partly thanks to this clever mix of talented young players from the three categories of La Diagonale that AS Monaco won the fifth Coupe Gambardella in their history. It’s the best possible reward for the work done by all those involved in the Academy, players, staff and coaches. Bravo to all! 🇲🇨