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Les Canaris: FC Nantes

Started on 26 June 2018 by ScottT
Latest Reply on 20 July 2018 by ScottT
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ScottT's avatar Group ScottT
3 yearsEdited

The Beginning

How does the saying go? When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Well, that was the motto I lived by. I was used to the feeling of struggle because I never had it easy. In fact, we both didn't. I think that's why we got together because we understood the many difficult ordeals we both went through within childhood. That's right, this story isn't just about my life, but our lives.

We met when we were in college. We were both on the same course, in English Language as it happens. Sharing a common interest in the career opportunities that it could unlock doors to, we were determined to achieve our goals. Football had been a passion for us both; so we wanted to get into it somehow. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to make it into the Arsenal Ladies academy, but it wasn't meant to be due to a number of health issues.

Journalism was the path for us both and it caused us to share our thoughts often. Discussions in class soon turned to spending afternoons getting coffee together and then those turned into spending long nights together. Neither of us were sure how it happened so quickly, our relationship, but it did. It seemed to blossom so fast, but it was meant to be, it seemed. Fate just happened that way.

The many failures we overcame in childhood due to our neglectful families allowed us to be strong together. We had each other in whatever we were doing and to have that sense of support with you is beautiful. Overtime, we both achieved jobs in the field of journalism in some fashion. I began writing for a local newspaper firstly and then went on to earn my own column in the Football League Paper, in which my other half achieved also.

It was a dream come true for us both. However, we had other aspirations as the years went by. Football became more to us as we delved into the many topics it had. So, after lots of discussion about it, we came to a conclusion that we would pick ourselves up and get back on the horse, but this time, we were chasing something else; the chance to find our way into the complicated field of football management.

It was complicated already, but as a woman it was even harder. I had grown fond of the many female managers within the women's game, but there were never a real solidified icon for women in the men's game. Helena Costa had been the only women to manage a men's team when she took the reigns at Clermont Foot and she openly spoke about her struggles with sexism in the game.

Yet, the chance to become a pioneer proved to be a driving force for me to find my way into the game. Alongside the added balance of my other half, I had the determination to battle my way through the many coaching courses and qualify for numerous badges. Together, we managed to achieve a Continental B License, which may have crippled us financially, but helped us take a huge step towards getting into management.

We were decided that we would take our first gig together. It just or so happened we were given this opportunity with our local side Prescot Cables, who were in love with our story. It helped us make our mark and we achieved great success with our community club, as we won several titles and battled our way to the Northern Premier League Division One. The papers were all over it and soon, it became national news.

The offers were coming in from much bigger clubs within Non-League who were looking for new, innovative ideas. We couldn't believe what we were facing as the likes of Hartlepool United and Chester FC came knocking for our services. It was at that point we knew that we had made it into the field of management; having clubs want you because they realise your successes is honestly a truly great feeling.

However, we did decline these offers. Whilst we were desperate to get our management careers truly started, we had aspirations to do this outside of England where the opportunities for English managers were vast. The likes of Graham Potter at Ostersunds in Sweden had showcased this successfully and we knew that we could follow in his footsteps if we allowed ourselves to. It was a chance for a big journey for us, wherever it decided to take us.

Then the opportunity rose. It was an opportunity we couldn't turn down because it was too much of one to do so. It meant upping sticks and moving across the sea, but it was an exciting chance to begin life with a football club that have the potential to do some truly big things in the future. We were ready to be a part of that. Soon the names Jordan Moore and Georgia Brown would be known across Europe, we were certain of it...

Author's Notes

What can I say? Yet another story. I know, I know. After the disappointment of Brentford, where I felt like the story was below my standards; I personally loved the work I put into the Lincoln story. However, whilst I were enjoying the story aspect of the save, I wasn't enjoying the save itself as I approached the tail-end of the first season. I was frustrated with myself, but I decided that I would pick my arse up and move outside of England for once.

So, that is what I have done! You will obviously find the club out in the next update, so do continue reading, but I have opted against another English save. I think, as I approach the end of this year's version of FM, I have grown tired of the leagues and need a fresh challenge abroad. I am looking forward to doing this as I am miles ahead in the save and have thoroughly enjoyed it, it was only a matter of time before I got the first update out. I do hope you enjoy. Thanks once again!
Lovely start. I hope this goes well for you and a nice idea to boot!

The Next Chapter

It was amazing how it all came about. We applied for many jobs, but this was not one of them. We were headhunted. The email came in from the club and at first, I thought it was a huge hoax before I checked the clubs official website which matched the email address the email we received was from. It was a great feeling, but we knew that we had to impress in the interview.

Emails were traded back and forth between ourselves, in reference to finding a suitable time and date for the parties to meet. We arranged to meet in England, where we would meet a representative of the club at Manchester Airport as the plane touches down. From there, we would proceed to an ideal meeting location to discuss matters.

For the two of us, it was a daunting experience. It was a chance to make a huge leap of faith and propel our standing within football. We would certainly have a lot of doubt cast over us, as we were vastly inexperienced in regard to the level we would be working at, however the club knew what they were bargaining with.

That was one of the talking points in the meeting between us. The club official spoke highly of us, as we began the meeting, and recognised that despite our lack of experience 'at the top,' as he put it, the club were impressed with the knowledge we had and the work we achieved at Prescot, despite it being at a much, much lower level.

He enquired as to any philosophies we wanted to implement at the club, as to which we discussed how we want to focus on improving year upon year. Doing this would mean that emphasis would have to be put on the youth programme, to maintain a steady flow of talent that the club had produce over the many years of its existence.

This was one policy we were always unanimous on. One thing we both had a strong affection for was the growth of domestic players and spoke of this in our columns as journalists frequently. It was something that isn't seen too much in England, however across Europe there is a much stronger want for domestic success.

He agreed and our talks continued in a very successful manner. Other topics such as the financial state of the club were discussed, alongside more social topics such as growing the reputation of the football club across Europe. Whatever we said, he seemed to like and to us, that was a great sign. The final thing he asked was, 'So, who will take the role of first-team coach?'

Our hearts sank for a brief moment. It was something we hadn't discussed in large before. At Prescot, we were joint-managers and therefore equal in command, but this wouldn't be possible with our new club due to financial reasons. Therefore, it meant I would be second in command to Jordan, something which I was fully open to.

I took this stance because I knew that Jordan would be able to lead the team better than I could. Maybe I was doubting my own abilities too much, but I was more than happy to be involved in the project we were to be working with. I would still be a pioneer in the men's game for women and that was something I was proud of, perhaps, one day, I would be able to take the step up and the roles would be reversed; but we'll see.

For now, I am happy to say that talks went well and everything was agreed. A confirmation message will be sent out very soon and we cannot wait to get things going with this truly fantastic football club. Soon, Europe will know our names and we're ready to make sure that everyone will remember them for many, many years to come. This is only the beginning for us...


tenthreeleader: Cheers mate. I'm hoping this follows in the footsteps of my Colchester story last year.

FC Nantes: Club Announce New Manager

FC Nantes have confirmed Sérgio Conceição's replacement this afternoon. This follows after the Portuguese's departure from the club earlier this month.

Nantes have sent ripples through French football following the confirmation of relatively unknown English manager Jordan Moore as first-team coach. The 22-year-old has also named partner Georgia Brown as his assistant, in a shock appointment from Les Canaris.

The pair, who live just outside Liverpool in Prescot, received a barrage of interest from English clubs following their achievements with their local club. They led Prescot Cables to back-to-back promotions on a shoestring budget, against all expectations; which has landed the club in the Northern Premier League Division One this campaign.

Previously, the two worked as joint first-team managers, however this was not feasible for the former Ligue 1 winners, therefore causing Brown to take the role of assistant instead.

Brown's involvement with the club means she will become just the second woman to be involved in coaching within football. This follows after Helena Costa, who now works as a scout for Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt, was announced as Clermont Foot manager in 2014.

Costa left her role after just a number of days, as she admitted in a press conference that 'a number of signings were made without permission', as well as 'pre-season friendlies being arranged' without her knowledge. Before she branded the club as 'lacking respect' and claimed the club used her to 'gain publicity.'

The Prescot couple turned down numerous offers from Football League clubs, as well as Non-League prior to their move to Nantes, they confirmed - as they wanted a 'new challenge' and a chance to 'prove themselves on a big stage.'

FC Nantes confirmed the appointment in a press release which read; 'We are pleased to announce that Jordan Moore will become first-team coach here at Nantes, with Georgia Brown as his assistant on a one-year-deal. They present innovative ideas that excite us and we are confident that they are the ideal candidates to help lead the club forward, not just this season, but far beyond.'

'We will be presenting Jordan and Georgia at a press conference tomorrow at La Beaujoire-Louis Fonteneau.'

The appointment will mark the clubs fourth manager within the past thirteen months, after Michel Der Zakarian, René Girard and, most recently, Sérgio Conceição. The latter enjoyed a successful spell with the club, earning a 50% win ratio record from his 26 games in charge.
This is the most 'starting a new game on football manager' appointment I have ever seen.

Great start mate, you massive Nantes.

'First Impressions Are Important' says Moore

Jordan Moore is desperate to succeed and turn back the clock at La Beaujoire-Louis Fonteneau, as he takes over the reigns at FC Nantes.

He joins alongside partner Georgia Brown following the surprise resignation of former boss Sérgio Conceição, despite the Portuguese boasting an impressive record with Les Canaris after taking over in December last year.

The job will be no easy task for Moore, who is just 22 years of age and is relatively inexperienced in the managerial field, having only managing local side Prescot Cables. However, he and Brown are relishing the challenge ahead and remain optimistic for the season ahead.

'It's a fantastic opportunity for the two of us and one we are really looking forward to. The club have really took a gamble and so we have to ensure that we get a good first impression; both in terms of the personnel we bring in, as well as the results on the pitch.'

'There is certainly a lot of history here. I have done my research and I am keen to help restore the club to its former glories. It will be a challenge due to the outfits within this league, such as Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco, who have a lot of cash to splash, but we will find a way.'

He added: 'The fans always turn out and show their support, so I want the squad to repay their efforts. I expect a strong work ethic from my players. In order to bring success you need a team that show hard work and commitment. The fans show their commitment every week, so it's time to ensure that the players do the same.'

'The efforts shown under Sergio (Conceição) last season were encouraging. The squad has a lot of talent and the foundations are there to achieve big things. My predecessor did a fantastic job and it's my role to ensure that the progression he made with the group is improved further this season.'

His assistant, Georgia Brown, understands the pressure on their shoulders to succeed having been handed a one-year-deal.

'We have to win over the trust of both the board to show they made the right decision. In doing that, we also have to earn the support of the fans; so we will be doing what we can to ensure that.'

'Football is an unforgiving business with a large turnover of managers, this football club has seen that in its recent history. We intend to bring stability and continuity. Therefore it means being consistent, as well as fair and honest. We need to be ruthless in our approach and take no prisoners.'

She concluded: 'We believe in our abilities to succeed. There has been a shadow of doubt placed over us, which is totally understandable, so we have to go out of our way to silence any potential doubters. If we do that successfully, then the world really is our oyster.'

Nantes begin their pre-season preparations ahead of the new season on 1st July as the squad travel to Czech Republic to face Zbrojovka Brno. This follows after the squad meet up for training for the first time on 22nd June, where Moore has assured that it will be a fresh start for all involved at the club.

'It's a chance for everyone to start afresh, so everyone will be handed an equal opportunity. I will hold no grudges with any players, so if they don't wish to be here next season; then I will happily allow them to leave. We only want players that are committed to the project here at Nantes.'


Jack: I can't tell if that's a good thing or not. :P

Also, you're the Nantes (xx) But thanks anyway.

Emiliano Sala Linked With Move Abroad

FC Nantes striker Emiliano Sala has been heavily linked with a move away from La Beaujoire-Louis Fonteneau this Summer.

Sources are heavily reporting that the Argentine striker will be leaving the French side this window, as both Crystal Palace and Bologna continue to show interest in the forward - however, no formal bid has been placed from either side as of yet, we understand.

The 26-year-old joined Nantes in 2015 after leaving fellow Ligue 1 side Bordeaux for a fee of £725,000. He struggled to make it into the clubs plans and therefore headed out on loan to numerous clubs throughout his time with Les Girondins, prior to his departure to Nantes.

A successful spell at Caen, scoring five in 12 appearances, followed clinical campaigns in Ligue 2 with both Orléans and Chamois Niort - as Sala scored a combined total of 37 goals across two seasons.

Since joining Nantes, the Argentine has certainly justified the minimal fee paid by his club. Last season, Sala enjoyed a fantastic season as he bagged twelve goals in 34 appearances for Les Canaris, as they finished in 7th - the highest position Nantes have finished in since their return to the division in 2013.

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson stated his interest in the forward. 'He is a very talented player and has the ability to score lots of goals, if given the opportunity. We are definitely taking a look, but we can't be rushed into making a decision yet. Discussions are ongoing with Nantes at the moment, so we'll see in due course.'

Nantes are also close to completing the signing of Johan Larsson from Brondby IF. The right-back has featured over 80 times for the Danish side since joining from Elfsborg in 2014, for £400,000. It is believed the French side will pay a fee of around £1,200,000 for his services and the deal should be complete by the end of the week.
No, not Salah!

FC Nantes Complete Double Swoop

FC Nantes have completed two deals this afternoon, as the club begin their pre-season preparations ahead of the upcoming Ligue 1 campaign.

New manager Jordan Moore and assistant Georgia Brown have wasted little time in bringing in new faces to La Beaujoire-Louis Fonteneau. Nantes confirmed the purchases of Braga midfielder Xadas; as well as tying up to a deal to bring in Brondby IF full-back Johan Larsson this afternoon.

Portuguese midfielder Xadas joins from Braga on a three-year-deal after completing a £700,000 switch from his native side. Capped at U20 level, the 19-year-old has been touted to be a major prospect after impressive performances for both club and country, since making the breakthrough in Braga's youth side.

Making four appearances towards the end of last season, Xadas impressed after bagging eleven goals in 30 games for Braga's 'B' side. However, the creative midfielder was looking to leave the club in order to further his aspirations of succeeding in Europe.

'I am very pleased to bring in Xadas.' Said Moore. 'He possess great technical ability and is an exciting prospect, who will be allowed to thrive here at Nantes. He has the ability to not only create goals, but score them. That is something we need at the club if we want to succeed. For someone his age, he has a very mature attitude and I look forward to working with him.'

Xadas was one of two deals made today by Nantes. Johan Larsson confirmed his move to the club today, as he put pen to paper on a three-year-deal. Larsson, who has four caps for Sweden, joins from Brondby IF for £1,200,000, after making 83 appearances for the Swedish giants since moving in 2014.

Johan Larsson celebrates after scoring at previous club Brondby IF.

The right-back will likely be the replacement to Leo Dubois, who will be leaving Nantes at the end of the season, after his deal expires at the club to join league rivals Olympique Lyonnais. Dubois came through the academy and has been with the club since 2010, making 62 appearances.

The 27-year-old made 35 appearances for Brondby last season, as he helped the club to a second-place finish behind FC Kobenhavn. Scoring twice, the defender is known for his attacking nature - where he will look to get forward and supply crosses into the area.

'Johan will provide depth to the full-back area. With Leo (Dubois) leaving at the end of the season also, it is key that we begin preparing for the future. I am confident that Johan will be a suitable acquisition and I look forward to what he has to offer. He brings experience and will be an important member to the team in the forthcoming campaign.'

FC Nantes begin their pre-season campaign tomorrow as they face Czech outfit Zbrojovka Brno at Městský fotbalový stadion Srbská.


Justice: It's heart-breaking, isn't it.

Pre-Season Results

Zbrojovka Brno 0-2 FC Nantes
Sala (24)
Ngom (82)

FC Nantes 4-0 KVC Westerlo
Djidji (4)
Sala (27, 37)
Iloki (72)

FC Nantes 2-1 Empoli
Rongier (27)
Carlos (44)

Lollo (20)

AS Beziers 0-3 FC Nantes
Rongier (41)
Sala pen (43)
Carlos (55)

Lyon-Duchere 0-1 FC Nantes
Iloki (40)

Rodez-Aveyron 0-3 FC Nantes
Xadas (9, 73)
El Ghanassy (28)

Pre-Season Joy for Nantes

FC Nantes' preparation ahead of the new Ligue 1 season couldn't have gone any better, as Les Canaris won all six of their pre-season friendlies.

Manager Jordan Moore has insisted that his side must use the successful preparation period as a way to build momentum heading into the new campaign. However, need to keep a balanced head as Nantes travel to face Lille OSC to begin the season.

'When I arrived at the club, I said that first impressions were vital and we needed to get off on the right foot. I think we have achieved that. It's not about the results in pre-season, it is about gaining fitness and building a collective unit as new faces come into the team, but we have managed to do this on top of some impressive results,' stated Moore.

'We found a good balance of opposition in order to test our abilities, as well as raise the confidence of the camp. The task at hand will be difficult; but we are aware of this and look forward to facing it. We have to use this successful pre-season campaign as a way to build momentum heading into the Lille game. If we do that, we will be a tricky opposition for any side this season.'

Georgia was quizzed on how she has found life at Nantes so far. 'It has been an amazing experience so far.' She said. 'To be given such an opportunity is fantastic, but we need to continue to justify our positions here and prove that we can handle it in a top division.'

'I think the business conducted so far is a statement of intent. Xadas and Johan (Larsson) are both professional players who are driven to succeed. They have a winning attitude that matches the model we have in place here at the club. Admittedly, I still think we could improve; but we have to ensure that the incomings are a perfect match.'

Brown noted that the budget at Nantes is far outweighed by many other sides in Ligue 1, but has said it is something they have to accept.

'We accepted that when we took the job on. There are some real heavyweights in this division that can splash the cash, besides PSG and Monaco. We have to be savy and careful with the money we spend.'

'The chairman has allocated some extra funds to show us his faith. We know the areas we want to improve in prior to the window deadline, but we won't be rushed into making any rash decisions. But we do expect fresh faces to be joining the club.'

Striker Emiliano Sala has been heavily linked with a move away from the club this Summer, however Moore is confident that the Argentine will remain at La Beaujoire-Louis Fonteneau. 'No formal offers have been placed and Emiliano is very happy with life here. I am confident he will still be a Nantes player come the end of the window,' he announced.
ScottT's avatar Group ScottT
3 yearsEdited

Nantes Record Opening Day Victory

Emiliano Sala celebrates a brace as Nantes beat Lille 3-1.

Lille OSC (Benzia, 34) 1-3 FC Nantes (Sala 42, 79), El Ghanassy (45)

FC Nantes came from behind to record a 3-1 victory at the expense of Lille OSC at Stade Pierre Mauroy. Emiliano Sala, who has been linked with a move away from Nantes, celebrated a brace; as he netted either side of half-time. Whereas Yassine El Ghanassy scored a debut goal just before the break.

After a successful pre-season for Nantes, the squad were in high spirits coming into the curtain raiser. Manager Jordan Moore stated the importance of the game, labelling it a 'must win,' as he looked to get his sides season off on the right foot.

However, the rhythm just wasn't there for the visitors in the opening stages of the game and Nantes could count themselves lucky that the hosts were struggling also. But eventually Lille took advantage after 34 minutes, where Yassine Benzia shown his composure to roll the ball past 'keeper Ciprian Tatarusanu.

The goal seemed to spark some life into Les Canaris. Immediately they threatened Mike Maignan's goal, as Jules Iloki forced a smart stop out of the 22-year-old. The pressure would continue to mount in the closing stages of the first-half.

Emiliano Sala found an equaliser for Nantes in the 42nd minute. Leo Dubois' cross found the feet of the Argentine forward, who took it round the keeper and calmly slotted home. His effort was soon added to, as winger Yassine El Ghanassy hit a well struck shot from just outside the area into the top corner of the goal.

With the lead in tact, Nantes seemed to play with more freedom and looked more confident on the ball. Previously it was clear there was a sense of nervousness displayed, yet this seemed to evaporate in the second period as Nantes searched for a third goal to kill off Lille.

On the other hand, the hosts struggled to create and were shut out well by the defensive partnership of Diego Carlos and substitute Chidozie Awaziem, who replaced Kofi Djidji midway through the second half.

With eleven minutes to go, Lucas Lima pushed on up the field and placed a low ball into the area for Sala to find a second of the afternoon; killing off Lille in the process. The Argentine proved to be too much for the hosts' defence, as he celebrated a win to open the campaign.

Summer signings Xadas and Johan Larsson were both handed debuts in the game. The former came in in the 74th minute to replace Jules Iloki, whereas Xadas impressed as he played in the No.10 role, behind Sala.

Speaking after the game, Jordan Moore said: It was a fantastic performance from the players, I spoke of the importance of this fixture prior to the game and to begin the season in such a fashion is fantastic. It sets the foundation for the season to come and we will be hoping to build on that result against Marseille.'

'They're one of the top sides in the country, so we'll have our work cut out,' he admitted, 'But we know what we need to do in order to get a positive result and we'll be working hard to achieve that. It's imperative we get off to the best start possible and I'll continue to echo that.'

Nantes XI: Tatarusanu, Dubois, Carlos, Djidji (Awaziem), Lima, Iloki (Larsson), Rongier (Krhin), Thomasson, El Ghanassy, Xadas, Sala.

Unused subs: Dupe, Bammou, Toure, Coulibaly

Attendance: 34,417 (1,098 away supporters)

Referee: Stephane Jochem

It is always Sala

Debut Call-Ups for Traore and Moutoussamy

FC Nantes pair Samuel Moutoussamy and Abdoulaye Traore have been handed their debut call-up's for their respective nations of Congo and Guinea.

The duo have never represented their country prior to recent selection for World Cup qualifying fixtures at the start of September. Guinea face Tunisia and the Democratic Republic Of Congo, whereas Congo face powerhouses Egypt and Ghana.

Johan Larsson has also been selected in the latest Sweden squad, which could mark his fifth and sixth international cap, as they take on Belarus and Luxembourg in their qualifying campaign. Sweden sit second in the group behind Didier Deschamps' France.

Traore spoke of his pride to be selected for his country. It's an honour to be selected for my country and something I have always dreamt of as a young boy.' He stated. 'I have worked tremendously hard in an attempt to be selected and to see that has paid off brings me great joy.'

'We still have a great chance of making it out the group, but it'll be a massive challenge. If we can get a result against Tunisia it will open it right up. Everybody in the squad plays for the country and for the badge - it is something that is great to be a part of.'

Nantes manager Jordan Moore congratulated the pair and has full faith in them to become regular names in the squad from this point onwards. 'I am made up for them and have faith in them to make a positive impact. They're both very hardworking so it comes to me as no surprise and I expect them to be a part of the setup for the foreseeable future.'


Justice: We've got Sala!
Always a positive sign of their form! Not the biggest of nations, but certainly a huge honour for them and their club manager, for the faith he has shown in the them ;)

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