In Caen, university and football always go hand in hand

Caen University and football, a great love story ©Oscar Bellec

We informed you about this in March 2022 Caen University soccer team, a great course writer in the French Championship with the coronation at stake. This success enabled him to rise to higher levels. A team of students from the University of Caen therefore restarted the machine, hoping to repeat the success achieved last year. Despite the personnel disruption, the squad still looks great on paper, but especially on the ground. After an opening 3-0 win against the Sorbonne, followed by a magnificent 3-3 draw in the north of France, Caennais got a draw (1-1 C.Noyelle) in fine form this Thursday, January 26, 2023. Montpellier from the University of Rouen, who will represent France at this year’s European Championship in Albania, turned down the opportunity.

Clement Noyelle, Titouan Dufour, Malo Guyvarc'h and Kevin Quénéa were part of the 2022 saga.
Clement Noyelle, Titouan Dufour, Malo Guyvarc’h and Kevin Quénéa were part of the 2022 epic ©Oscar Bellec.

A highly mobile workforce…

Benjamin Briand, who brilliantly led the team to success, was still renewed this season under the guidance of Christian Hastie. Some players from last year’s adventure are still there, such as Calvados residents Kévin Quenea (ASPTT Caen), Malo Guyvarc’h (AS Verson), Clément Duval (Bayeux FC) or Clément Noyelle (US Villers-Bocage), as well as Matteo Le Granville’s Gall, who has made several appearances in National 2 this season. Nevertheless, the group saw that many key elements were amputated, leaving to explore other horizons. Alexis Jeanne and Emilien Hédou flew to Canada, Robin Housset and Ruben Lecellier went to try their luck in Malta, and Evan Olivier started BPJEPS, so they should be happy to be the physical coach of this team.

Benjamin Briand, junior coach of the Caen university team.
Benjamin Briand, junior coach of the Caen university team. © Oscar Bellec

… but also very attractive recruits

New arrivals include Victor Labite and Jayson Maurice (N3 SU Dive), Mathieu Yandoko (AF Virois N3), Mathis Charlot (FC Saint-Lô N3), as well as Zacharie Lebreton, Noé Lebreton’s older brother, a professional player. Malherbe Stadium in Caen. The third-year Eco-Management student, who dazzled in midfield against Rouen University, had refused to join the team until then. But this year, he succumbed to the sirens’ songs.

This convinced me when I saw the progress of the children last year. This is a team full of good players who rub shoulders with N3, R1 or even N1 for some. But above all, this is a team of friends, everyone gets along well.

Zachary Lebreton

The US Avranches MSM player is trying to find the last four of the French championship, as his friends have done before.

Zacharie Lebreton, the main asset of this team.
Zacharie Lebreton, the main asset of this team. © Oscar Bellec

The goal of the French championship

As they say, the Lions, who have not lost in 10 games since the beginning of last year, have become giants over time. Bas-Normandes is now in National 1 after winning the French Universities National 2 Championship in 2022.

The first in the group of five teams, which directly qualify for the quarter-finals, and the second and third will have to go through the “Playoffs”, Christian Hasty’s players continue to monopolize the first places in the ranking. But not everything is easy for the university team.

Children never play together, automatisms, switching circuits, etc. very difficult to create. You also have to deal with injuries, there were almost a dozen against Rowan, so it’s complicated. But despite everything, we keep a very competitive team.

Benjamin Briand

The goal for the 21-year-old is clear: to qualify for the 1/4 finals of the French championship in Tremblay.

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European dream

The next step for Caen students is a trip to the University of Littoral. The winner of this match will face the second place in this mini-championship, and then the third place in the other group in the Play Off. After realizing the feeling of promotion to National 1, the players therefore have their destiny in their hands (or feet) and can pursue their dream of participating in the European Championships in 2024…

(By our correspondent Oscar BELLEC)

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