LE FRANCOIS, Martinique – Club Franciscain’s preseason for the upcoming 2018/19 season will be unlike any other in club history.
Usually the Martinique club begins its preparation for the season in August, but that’s not the case this year.
Instead, Club Franciscain’s preseason will kick off a month early due to the club’s participation in the 2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF League, in which it will face Walter Ferretti of Nicaragua in the Round of 16 on August 1 and August 8.
For Club Franciscain Head Coach Jean-Eric Dominique, it’s an exciting time on the island.
“We will start training on July 9,” said Dominique in an exclusive interview with CONCACAF.com.
“Everyone is positive and has an upbeat state of mind. It is an honor for an amateur club to be competing at the professional level. We have to adapt to training one month early but I think we’ll be up for the task,” added Dominique.
Not since 1994 when US Robert reached the final stage of that year’s CONCACAF Champions Cup has a Martinique club advanced this far in a CONCACAF competition, which is why Dominique if focused on having the best preseason possible.
“We’re the first Martinique team in 25 or so years to play this deep in a CONCACAF tournament. We’re somewhat of a discovery so it is important that we represent Martinique well,” said Dominique.
Interestingly enough, the bright lights of a major tournament will be nothing new for many of the Club Franciscain players.
Two years ago, the Martinique club played in the 2016/17 Coupe de France and then last summer six Club Franciscain players represented Martinique in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup in which they defeated Nicaragua 2-0.
“That Coupe de France experience will help, plus we have so many players on the Martinique National Team that played versus Nicaragua. That experience is a plus and will make a difference. I think it will push the players in this tournament,” said Dominique.
On the field against Walter Ferretti, Dominique expects two tightly contested matches against the Pinolero outfit.
“We need to play with tactical discipline and we must also play to our strengths. Our coaches and technical staff are motivated to prepare our players for the physical and psychological aspects of this tournament,” said Dominique.
In the end though, this is an opportunity for Club Franciscain to represent not just the Martinique but all the amateur clubs spread out among the island nations in CONCACAF.
“Yes, we feel like we are representing many in the Caribbean. To play matches against experienced, professional teams will benefit us. This is a great showcase for Martinique and Caribbean football,” concluded Dominique.