At this time, a clear hierarchy is drawn at the post of opener. Manny Edmonds analyzes each of his players, also a way to justify his choices.
Raphaël Lagarde, experience to protect
Clearly, the native of Captieux is the number 1 in the position. “Very good scorer, very good footwork, great technical qualities. It’s an asset for us”, appreciates Manny Edmonds. Above all, his coach appreciates his experience. “His leadership, his way of expressing himself in front of the group is very important to us”.
But as we say across the Channel, diamonds are not forever. This season, Raphaël Lagarde must also juggle between accompanied young Thomas Vincent and Emile Dayral and a capricious knee. “It was part of our discussions when he re-signed. We have to manage it well. So, in Aix, he felt a little pain in his knee. With the trip and the synthetic pitch, we didn’t want to take any risks. The advantage is that he knows his body well.” After three consecutive matches, not said that he is traveling to Rouen on Friday.
Thomas Vincent, foot asset
Although often criticized, Manny Edmonds appreciates his young opener. Clearly No. 2 in the hierarchy at the post, “he’s a very good athlete who likes to attack the line. He’s one more weapon for the team. Thomas has a very good foot game, also in the length “He still has to work on all that technically of course. For example, he tends not to continue his ball-striking well. He bumps it with Jérôme (Miquel). He also stumbles from afar.”
The former Usap opener is waiting to see Vincent progress in a particular sector: “his animation on the outside. That is to say not to give for giving, but how to create spaces for the guys.”
Émile Dayral, a talent not yet mature
After good outings in friendly and with the Hopes, we can be surprised not to see the young Auvergnat in Pro D2. But Manny Edmonds has his reasons. “He’s a very good playmaker. Naturally, he can quickly get into position to be able to play with options around him. He’s a very good youngster, with a lot of capacity to improve. On the other hand, compared to the other ten, he is less good at kicking. This is what he must continue to work on to be among the good young openers here in France. It is concentration, a lot of repetitions to acquire more confidence. Our games are very tight because we are in a phase of building our game. To be a very, very good ten, you need a very good footwork.”
Danré Gerber, an all-rounder in winter
The South African’s hour should ring in a few weeks. Manny Edmonds, who coached him at Béziers, knows him well. And count on him later in the season. “We rely a lot on him to cover several positions. He is a versatile and experienced player. I knew him at Béziers, he can play opener, in the center and at the back.” This versatility will be used in particular during winter matches, when Agen will compose his bench with six forwards and two three-quarters. There Gerber will be a real asset.