“The players are very united! »
After eliminating Sochaux and Amiens (Ligue 2), ES Thaon (National 3) are set to face FC Nantes (L1). His coach Romain Choulor (37) faced the Canary Islands twice as a player in the French Cup.
Is Romain out of contract before facing FC Nantes in the last 16?
“Last season, we showed a great result by advancing to the 1/8 finals. But doing it the second time in a row is even better. We feel that there is development, a group that has reached maturity. This is happiness. »
In the previous rounds, we had to get rid of “Sochaux” and “Amiens”, without difficulty…
“We’re good at a little crazy scenarios (laughs)! We were already 2-1 up at half-time against Beauvais in the round of 32 last year before missing out on penalties after a 3-3 draw. In the next round, in 1989, we lost to Reims with the smallest margin (1-0).c minute… We had a good game against Sochaux at the end of 2022, but got a very controversial penalty and a rather inexplicable red card. It was our captain who was sent off in a row against Amiens and there was nothing to say at the time. But 11 vs 10 we felt stronger and I think that makes us stronger. We knew how to take advantage of injustices and to be together for the sake of being together. Players are very united! »
“It is an honor and pride to face Nantes”
Ingredients that must be returned by Sunday?
“We try to focus on ourselves! We knew in the previous meetings that our opponents can be leaders in their championships and Nantes will be the same. We may have a little more motivation on our side, but regardless of the configuration of our opponent, we will play our shot thoroughly. Especially since we see it possible every year! »
FC Nantes, the winner of the last edition, is part of the football heritage in France!
“It is an honor and a great pride to face a historic club in the Ligue 1 championship, which has become the champion of France many times. He is also the title holder in the Europa League, who will play against “Juventus” in a month. I think it’s nice to have an encounter like this, especially when you know that such courses are quite rare for clubs like ours. »
Obviously there must be impatience?
“We’re not going to hide, we’re on cloud nine and we want to stay there as long as possible. It will stop for a day, but it’s great to challenge the Yellow and Green! We are unbeaten in the league since the start of the season and still qualify for the Coupe de France. It deserves it, because the players strive for it. We will have to maintain this remarkable state of mind after this meeting. »
Romain Chouleur has already eliminated FC Nantes!
Having faced FC Nantes twice in your career since your debut at AS Nancy Lorraine, you know something about it!
“For me, these remain two great moments! With Raon-l’Etape in 2011, it was my first career as an amateur and even if it ended up being a defeat (2-1), I enjoyed scoring in front of my family, friends who came. to La Beaujoire on the occasion. Epinal is the most memorable route. Because we released “Lion” in 1932cNantes on the 16thc and we played Lens on the 8thc in Bollaert. I had the chance to have two great moments against FCN and as they say, never two without three (laughs) especially since every time I faced them it was January 22nd! »
Two former teammates in Epinal are your players today. Nice wink, isn’t it?
“Yes, Theo Gazagnes and Johan Dufour. I came to befriend Thaon in 2016 and we managed three climbs to make the club what it is today. The president suggested that I play the dual role of coach-player and so the adventure began. It wasn’t easy at the beginning, because I had friends, players I rode shoulder to shoulder, but the most important thing is the club and the team. »
“Thaon is used to this kind of course.”
The Coupe de France must mean a lot to you…
“On a personal level, I have built a career at the CFA/National level. I’m an amateur coach and it’s a special moment whether you’re a player or on the bench. We play this competition to highlight the club and the players. We look forward to the French Cup every year and Thaon has been used to this kind of course for five or six years. This is the apotheosis between last season and this year for history. »
Do we have more fun being a coach or a player?
“When you’re a player, you take competition very seriously, you’re in your own match and that’s normal because you want to shine or make others shine. The coach is in a different role, he can still act and react according to the scenario. But in general, we really enjoy participating in this competition. »
“To play our luck to the end! »
After nearly 2,000 spectators against Amiens, the fun in the stands will be even better!
“There’s been a lot of enthusiasm for a few weeks. It’s going to be a really great opportunity to have a lot of fun … while we play our chances to the end. We had Reims at home last season and 2,300 people came to the game. But we disappointed a lot of people. we did and the enthusiasm this year is still incredible. We are the last representatives of Lorraine for two rounds, we will be able to accommodate 7,000 people in Epinal. That is an added benefit.”
The club must hope that FCN leaves the recipe for the party to be complete. It wasn’t like that in Vire…
“We’ve really appreciated that professional clubs have done this in the past and it’s an image that it brings back to amateur football. The benefits are already great for a club like ours, but also being able to share the spirit of the Coupe de France. »