SU : 20 years after the title, what happened to the players of the SUA Champions of hopefuls in 2004

SU : 20 years after the title, what happened to the players of the SUA Champions of hopefuls in 2004
SU Agen: 20 years after the title, what happened to the players of the SUA Champions of France hopefuls in 2004

We contacted the players of this team to retrace their memories of the , of the team and to find out what became of them.

This Friday, all the players who participated in the 2004 French Espoirs Champion title are invited by the club before the match against , to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the title. Before that, they decided to meet for a meal on Thursday evening and then Friday noon so that they could take the time to chat with each other. “We can’t wait to see each other again and celebrate properly, there are some of them I haven’t seen in years!” expresses Vincent Inigo. In addition, Jean-Baptiste Aldigé, now ex-president of Olympique, will be present in Armandie because he was part of this team, even if he was unable to play in the finals.

A final like no other

“Honestly I felt good, we were capable of beating them, especially with this group” confides Vincent Inigo, the former Agenais winger and today photographer in his own agency. Before that, the Espoirs will achieve an incredible first final against the Bitterois, who remained undefeated against the Agenais this season. A blank score at the end of regulation time (22-22), and overtime which ends with this same score. “We stayed 20 to 30 minutes in our respective camps without knowing what to do. That’s when the match referee declared that the match would be replayed,” recalls Alexandre Brandolin, now an agent in a insurance. The second final takes place 15 days later, and the same scenario takes place. Again a draw, 15-15 at the end of regulation time, and another extension which turns these finals into a historic moment. “We didn’t think we’d play this long. It’s one of the longest matches I’ve played.” explains Patrick Ditz, one of the veterans of this team and today coach of Pont-du-Casse. A misunderstanding, calls ringing from all over the Federation, one thing leading to another, a decision must be made. The final therefore ends with the number of tries registered, which gives the title to the Agenais.

Strong cohesion

In all the interviews we were able to do, cohesion was an element that kept coming up. These guys never forgot each other. “We have a Whatsapp group with all the players of this generation. With a few we still see each other for vacations or to have drinks in ,” says Damien Cler, who still plays for AS Layrac and doesn’t count stop anytime soon. This team is a group of friends, they have followed each other since the lower categories and have therefore known each other for several years. “This 82, 83 and even 84 generation, they experienced everything together,” recalls with nostalgia Sylvain Mirande, the current coach of the French women’s team. This team could count on its experienced players like Guillaume Bouic or Patrick Diniz. An exemption was possible for players over 23 years old to support the Hope categories. “The old hands” as Inigo likes to remind them ironically. “They often cut us back because we often arrived relaxed before the matches. We played the guitar, but that was our trademark.” A final that will remain engraved in their memories.

-

-

PREV Giro. Tour of Italy – Tadej Pogacar: “Jhonatan Narvaez is faster than me…”
NEXT [Cannes 2024] Zaho de Sagazan covers “Modern Love” in tribute to Greta Gerwig