Frédéric Barilaro: “Be respectful, caring and attentive”
The U19s are guaranteed to play in the final stages of the French championship from the top of their Group D championship title. Frédéric Barilaro, the Monegasque youth conductor, gave us a few minutes before starting his training session in Saint-Jean to prepare for the derby in Nice this Sunday. Maintenance.
Congratulations Frédéric for this first place in Group D secured two days before the end of the championship, you are playing the “play-off”. How do you view these last months of competition?
We had a complicated first part of the season, with a very young group. We lost twice against direct competitors, in Saint-Etienne (0-2) and Montpellier (0-1) but there were still some interesting matches, with content. It was from the month of January that I felt a progression. We wanted intensity in the game, to play forward as often as possible, to be present in the transitions… and that, we are starting to do well. We won big games at home, notably beating Montpellier 4-0.
In 2020 already, your group was invincible, before the total cessation of competitions due to the health crisis. What are the differences between the two bands you led?
In 2020, we were indeed undefeated when everything stopped in March: first in the league and qualified for the quarter-finals of the Gambardella Cup (See: “Academy Project” below). The group was older, more mature with a lot of second years, it was different. This season, the group is much younger, therefore more immature. It’s not a group that’s easy to manage on a daily basis, it’s a group that is determined, that wants to, that has character. There are a lot of personalities and quality too. This group lives… and it shows during the matches. It will not escape anyone but a group is created with the results.
You were canceled by OL on penalties in the Gambardella Cup in February despite a quality performance at Louis-II. How did you use this elimination to advance the group?
We actually relied on this match, especially the second half because the content was interesting. The desire to go high, to press high, to recover the ball high, to put a lot of intensity. We took advantage of these principles to win important points in the league.
How do you approach the final phase and the quarter-final at home scheduled for May 22 (the second in group A)?
We already have two big games to play in this group D: under the derby in Nice and the reception of the TFC which is currently second. We have to keep the state of mind that has driven us for a few months, working daily in training and in our two games still to play in order to prepare for the quarter as well as possible. It will be on a match where everything can stop. We will have the chance to receive. We are satisfied to be champions with two games to go, it’s good and it’s great to play a final phase for young people, these are high-stakes matches. Do not forget that we work on a daily basis for former young footballers, but above all on the form of competitors. This group has that in it, its challenging everything, the slightest little game leads to duels and competitiveness… it’s a quality.
You have trained generations and generations of footballers for several decades now, what are the valuable tips that you try to pass on to the current generation on a daily basis?
You don’t have to skip the steps. Young people are often too impatient and want to sign a professional contract right away… Today, with the player, you have to convince those around you, the parents. There are more and more people gravitating around young people and that blurs the message that we transmit on a daily basis. The referent must remain the trainer. There must be respect and know how to refocus the debates. Young people need to ask themselves the right questions, to question their performance and to stop always comparing themselves to others. I would like them all to have the right attitude, because that is the most important thing. If you want to progress and advance in the world of football, you have to have the right attitude in training sessions, on a daily basis. Be kind, be respectful, listen… These are the players who succeed today.