Stéphane Auvray, the coach of the senior football team in Saint-Martin, takes stock after the first two games of the Nations League. Two defeats that remain positive in relation to the goals he has set for the selection after its total overhaul a few months ago.

On September 5, the Saint-Martin football team started the League Nations Championship with a match against Barbados. Much renewed by the coach and former pro player Stéphane Auvray, the team made a mixed entry by conceding "two goals from the start," says the coach. The final scored ended up being 4-0 but with "53% possession for us, it is interesting for a completely new team that plays away. We managed to make 272 passes, Barbados made 250. What caught us was that we lost 48 balls and Barbados only 11. It's at that level that we will have to improve to give fewer opportunities to the opponent". For the second game against the US Virgin Islands on September 8, "after 5 minutes we are handicapped by two goals," says Stéphane Auvray. "But what I remember is that we raised our heads and dominated the whole game. We had a dozen of opportunities. Unfortunately, we scored only in the 83rd minute and we lost 2 to 1 ". A match "that we should have won," said coach who emphasizes that "it's been a while since Saint-Martin did not dominate a match."

In summary, two positive games "compared to the deadlines I gave players," recognizes Stéphane Auvray. "I wanted them to get to know each other as well as the environment, and understand my instructions in September. In October people should see the progression, and a major difference by November. We will then set points objectives."

The idea of ​​bringing players from a higher level to renew the team is already starting to pay off for local players: "It pulls them up, they work harder in training. Many players have already realized that more needs to be done. That was the goal. Next games are on October 12 and 15 against the Cayman Islands at home and away.

- Agathe Mathieu

Original article in French