Nenad Zekovic: “We dedicate our increase to R1 to Patrice Parenteau”

Very pleased with the progress of his players in R1, Cholet reserve coach Nenad Zekovic does not hide his joy at having fulfilled the mission that the leaders have entrusted to him, while paying tribute to Patrice Parenteau, historic head of SO Cholet’s death last February. Interview with a man who is burning and already looking to the future.

Hi Nenad, How are you after the validation of the increase in R1 after the victory against Tiercé (4-1)?

Nenad Zekovic : I am both very pleased that we have all managed to raise the reserve to the highest regional level, and necessarily relieved. We have been present throughout the season and that is a fair reward for the work of my young players.

Was there some pressure before the last match?

Honestly, no. At least I did not go down without explaining myself first. They remained focused on the goal. Since the start of the season, I have been preparing the players psychologically to play this type of matches, we knew we were the team to beat for all the clubs.

SOC was expected everywhere?

Oh yes, that’s clear from the coaches and players. And at the same time, I fully understand the motivation of the teams we met. Playing a reserve National, thinking that there are players who can develop over, it is very motivating. Honestly, I put myself in the place of the opposing coaches and I would be the same if that was my case. Many matches were difficult where the opponents gave everything. Therefore, it is a great satisfaction to have reached the goal that was announced at the start of the season, namely to go back to R1.

This increase, what does it mean for you?

Already now it is gratifying to review SOC in R1. We find next season a championship that we know well. In all humility, as a reserve for a national team, this is at least the division we need to develop in.

It is also a reward for the club’s training work …

Absolutely. I have a very young team, the vast majority of whom come from training. They are children from the club Choletais. This increase confirms their daily work.

What made the difference this season?

In addition to the athlete, where I saw a good progression of young people, there is also the state of mind. It is very important to have cohesion and solidarity. Human behavior has had a very positive impact on the collective. Some sacrificed, and it paid off.

What will be your rights next season?

I want to be Stéphane Rossi’s assistant as during his first period at the SOC, while I remain the coach of the B team. My priority in terms of the reserve is to keep all the young people who have reached the goal of the increase, while at the same time integrating more recruits to strengthen us. But it is out of the question to disturb anything. The important thing is to be stronger than this year and simply keep our best players.

This role is important to you …

Absolutely, I need this. Like any coach, I like to convey my philosophy and my playing principles, but the most important thing is to have a joint project with the head coach. And I know that with Stéphane Rossi, everything will go well because we have already worked together and I know how it works. It suits me.

At the club level, did the support team play a role?

Yes, that is a very important point that I would like to emphasize. I had the unconditional support of President Benjamin Erisoglu and the leaders to succeed in this mission. I thank them for their influence, especially on a human level. My players and I were put in the best conditions to work. And a big thank you to the players, managers, volunteers and staff: Loïc Bonotte, Patrick Jean, Mathis Vendé, Bérenger Gréau … And of course I will not forget our Pat ‘, Patrice Parenteau, who left us and who leaves a big void. It was a real ordeal for his family, for everyone. We miss him. We dedicate this increase to R1 to him, it’s to him. »

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