After two consecutive victories, the Saint-Martin football team finished the group stage of the Nations League in 3rd place and has  begun to make a name for itself in the Caribbean. The foundational changes made in-depth to the team are now bearing fruit.

Tired but happy, the players of the football selection of Saint-Martin returned home after a journey by plane and boat. Even with the long trip behind them they still have in mind their victory won the day before against the US Virgin Islands. After an extremely difficult start with heavy defeats, the team showed that day that it will have to be thoughtfully considered as a contender in the years to come.

Aristide Conner, the president of the League, does not hide his satisfaction: "the redesign of the selection is bearing fruit. It's a more attractive team today. We talk about it, even here in Saint Martin, more positively now. Initially, everyone did not understand that we appeal to semi-professional outdoor players. The revolution around the selection gives full satisfaction today and allows us to raise the level but also the degree of implication of the young players coming from the clubs of the island and which integrate the group alongside the more experienced players."

"This new selection method has allowed our young players to see how we behave in the selection and what we need to do. We see the evolution of our local players. It is flagrant, "adds the president of the League.

Stéphane Auvray, A Satisfied Coach

Results so far include: 1-0 against Barbados, then 2-1 against USVI (US Virgin Islands), who finish respectively in first and second place in the pool. 

Coach Stéphane Auvray: "against Barbados, we lost 4-0 in the first leg so we wanted to do well. We had problems in the first half and I asked my players to let go in the second half. What's important to me is the content. We managed to score this goal at the end. In front of the USVI, we approached the game more serenely given the performance we have had recently."

Le Pélican photo of Saint Martin Team

This new approach and this new mode of management of the selection set up by the coach Stéphane Auvray seems to bear fruit on the field with the resulting wins reflecting the success. The positive aspects are also felt outside: "before we were not taken seriously when we moved for matches. Today the look has changed. The goal, by calling on outside players was also to force our young local players to raise their level of expectation. Additionally better performances are an opportunity to evolve sportively and socially. Three young players will be supervised by the MLS."

- Article by Karim Rosaz

Original article in French

They Said...

Kevin Zonzon, captain
"The results are very positive. The work of the staff and coach is paying off. We have recorded victories and the future is looking bright for the young players of the island. We see that this project is taking shape."

Yannick Bellechasse, goal scorer
"The play begins on a corner for the opposing team which is rejected by our defender. I counter-attacked beating the defender and I scored with a shot in the opposite corner. I have reviewed the goal, it is true that it is beautiful."

Yannick Chevalier, scorer
"I scored the second goal off of a header. This is my second goal of this group stage. It's nice even though I wanted to score more."