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Nîmes-PSG: Jérôme Arpinon, a coach from the shadows to the light

With an angry fist, he congratulates his staff before slipping away to return to the locker room. Jérôme Arpinon has just achieved his first big blow as a (young) coach of Nîmes Olympique by winning in Montpellier (1-0) during the derby two weeks ago. The last success of his club in the Hérault dates back … 43 years. This 42-year-old native of Nîmes had not yet seen the light of day. “I experienced a great emotion during this derby but the biggest one remains the rise in L1 with Nîmes (in 2018) as an assistant, he said. A climb is the culmination of an entire season’s work. “

Before knowing the light, the cousin of Frédéric Arpinon ( Editor’s note: twenty years in pros in Nîmes, Nice and Strasbourg in particular ) has, in fact, found itself in the shadow of the coaches as physical trainer and then assistant during the last 15 years. Earlier, at 25, he even experienced a tragedy with the suicide of his mother. “When you lose a loved one in your life, you think about it all the time,” he says modestly. I had a rough time but now I am living it properly. I am close to my family. I try to make the most of the people I love because I know that these people can leave overnight. “

“I favored a good coaching career rather than a small playing career”

This vocation to train came quickly to the youngster. “As my dad and uncle were coaches, I went to see all the training and I liked it. At one point, I favored a good coaching career rather than a small playing career. Victim of two serious injuries to both knees, the former player trained in Nîmes and passed by Arles and Ales then prepares his diplomas to embrace a coaching career. She started as an assistant in Nîmes before a stint with Gazélec Ajaccio (with Thierry Laurey) before returning to her favorite club in 2014.

During the last 5 seasons, he was Bernard Blaquart’s assistant before taking the helm of the team during the last offseason. “He worked hard to get there. Now, he has all the qualities to be able to train in L1, assures his predecessor on the Nîmes bench. I had a lot of fun working with Jérôme. I discovered it and then I saw it especially seen evolve and progress, to have more perspective. He had a goal in mind and he achieved it. He is someone very close to the players but who can also be tough on them. “

“I took my time and didn’t rush things. The priority was to train myself well by taking information from all the coaches I worked with, explains Arpinon. I went to discover football all over the world, for example I went to see the Argentinian Marcelo Gallardo (Editor’s note: the former PSG player has been coaching River Plate since 2014). But it was Philippe Troussier (former coach of Japan) who gave me the passion for this profession and encouraged me to break through. “

“He is a leader capable of motivating a whole group”

The technician was also a prisoner where he led sports sessions with inmates. “This pedagogical approach made me grow,” he insists. “Jérôme is able to work 20 hours a day, he can’t stop thinking,” says Laurent Boissier, sports assistant for the city of Nîmes and former sports director of the club. He has good technical basics. Bernard Blaquart left him a lot of room. He is a leader capable of motivating a whole group. “

Despite a difficult schedule, Nîmes made a decent start to the season by pointing to 13th place (2V, 2N and 2D). “He is someone who has suffered a lot and who deserves what is happening to him,” says Olivier Szewczuk, the president of AS Poissy (N2) and one of his friends. Football is rooted in him. What happens to Jérôme is a logical consequence and a great reward. “This Friday evening (9 pm), his team is opposed to PSG on behalf of the 7th day of L1. “It is a pride to receive the finalist of the Champions League. We will try to play the best possible game, ”he promises.

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