Finishing the 2021-2022 Season on a high note
The ICEF Europe and its student-athletes are wrapping up the 2021-2022 season with some of the most eventful moments of the year. Just this past month, each of the players had the opportunity to play against one of the top teams in Europe, a senior ICEF player was selected for his country, the ICEF hosted its first graduation ceremony since the pandemic, and to top it all off, the most experienced players played an official professional league match with its pro team, Thonon Evian Grand Genève.
As the season comes to an end, the ICEF finished strongly with matches against the professional clubs of the best teams in the regions. In the month of May alone, the ICEF traveled to play the U16 Olympique Lyonnais side, one of the most historically strong sides in the world. Following this high-level clash, the ICEF technical team scheduled matches against the U18 Grenoble team, a selection of professional Swiss teams including Servette FC, and a match against Annecy, one of the leading teams in the professional divisions in France. The ICEF, coached by UEFA certified staff, won all the last 3 matches, proving the hard work put in throughout the season has led to strong improvements.
International selection for Diego Nanton
It was an honor for our own player Diego Nanton to gain his very first cap with the Trinidad & Tobago U20 national team.
At the ICEF, Diego worked hard with our UEFA certified staff to improve and progress his game all throughout the season. Thanks to his incredible determination and work ethic, Diego is proving the European methodology can offer access to the highest level.
In the words of Head Coach Julien Bernard, “Diego is a versatile defender who can play centrally or on the wing. He arrived timidly at the ICEF but with a hardworking spirit. It’s his work ethic that enabled him to go from resident to U20 International. High-quality matches against opponents like Paris Saint-Germain, Servette, Lausanne and St Etienne propelled him to the next level. We’re excited to continue working with him to get him to reach the final step, but we’e already so proud of what he’s achieved.”
The ICEF Graduation and Activities
In May, the ICEF had several amazing activities culminating in a Graduation Celebration on Sunday, May 22nd. Lifestyle Manager Claire Watts was at the initiative of all the culturally immersive activities throughout the month. From a Cinco de Mayo celebration to a Greek night where the players learned how to make tzatziki and hummus, the ICEF campus hosted fun and educational events while also strengthening the bonds between the players.
On sunny weekends, the ICEF organized trips to the Lac Léman, where the players spent relaxing afternoons on the beach or in the clear glacial water.
Final Match with the Pro Team
As partner club Thonon Evian Grand-Geneve (TEGG) had secured its promotion to the higher division, they still had a match to play. With that in mind, experienced TEGG head coach Bryan Bergougnoux called up a selection of the ICEF players in preparation for the final match.
From physical conditioning to tactical awareness and technical skills, the ICEF players were rewarded with the unique opportunity to showcase their level in pro training sessions. For the match itself, 5 players of the ICEF were selected in the group, with Luis Martin in the starting XI. The team was victorious 2-1 and the ICEF was able to celebrate a memorable end to the season with the pros on a high note.