The boss of Rodez Aveyron football, currently 18th in Ligue 2 and until then without a coach since the dismissal of Laurent Peyrelade on November 8, held a press conference on Tuesday November 22, the day after the official announcement of the arrival of Didier Santini as coach.
“The first thing is that it was not a question of finances. Today, apart from the 4 or 5 big Ligue 2 clubs, the 15 other coaches receive the same amount, very little I wanted someone close to very fresh, with a relatively offensive philosophy and who could adapt to our club which is quite identity. These are the first words of Pierre-Olivier Murat to discuss the reasons for the arrival, from December 1, of Didier Santini (54 years old) on the Rodez bench, as we announced on Sunday at midday, and formalized yesterday Monday by the club.
A last element put forward by the president of the club which seemed decisive in the choice. “Through his career as a player, Didier has practically only played in identity clubs. And, for example, now (the Paul-Lignon stadium), it has to become a fortress again (the Ruthénois have again this season, editor’s note). And for that, you need a boat captain.”
When the announcement of the arrival of the former coach of Saint-Brieuc or Béziers, some club observers pointed to the inexperience on the bench with the pros of the former left-back born in Marseille. “The least you can do is say hello and welcome to him. And as a good Aveyronnais, we’ll count the dung at the end of the fair”, retorted Murat, before adding: And Didier, with his 400 matches in pro (player), he can teach us some lessons!”
Also relevant is the fact that this inexperience in L2 is fully assumed. “I have already said it, I wanted someone very fresh, he says. We received 45 resumes from coaches. Then we reduced to 30, then 10, then I met 3. For Finishing is my choice. It’s not a default choice. Coaches, there were plenty of them. You know, in football, there are more people unemployed than on the pitch.”
Santini arrives in any case with a lot of desire, he who takes his appointment as a real opportunity. While his contract binding him to Raf until 2025 is conditional on maintaining the team at the end of this season. “He is sure of himself, since he signed that”, comments a “POM” confident in the future. And this despite the recent setbacks of Santini, dismissed in September from Stade Briochin, current last of National.
“You don’t know the story, defended Pierre-Olivier Murat, still this Tuesday at a press conference. Sometimes there is communication and how it happens.” Which means that this end of the adventure was in no way an obstacle to his coming to Aveyron? “No, but you don’t know how it happened in Saint-Brieuc. Sometimes you have people who want to leave…” Before adding again: “Last year, he finished 7th (from National) with resources where he didn’t even have a GPS for his players’ races, a team that wasn’t great. And the year we moved up to Ligue 2, he finished 6th with Dunkirk.”