July 8, 2020
What has changed, what's still the same...
Since 2013, les Aiglons have been going to Divonne-les-Bains to kick off their summer preparations. If the coaching staff and certain players are already used to it, the 2020 version of this first highlight of pre-season does not entirely resemble the previous visits, for multiple reasons, both structural and because of events…
3 THINGS THAT HAVE CHANGED
5 RECRUITS PRESENT
Bambu, Schneiderlin, Gouiri, Daniliuc and Kamara: the 5 summer recruits made by the Gym came to Divonne with the rouge et noir contingent. In 7 years of coming here, it's the first time that so many new faces have headed to the Ain with the rest of the squad. Note that in the summer of 2015, Le Marchand, Seri and Ben Arfa were there with Claude Puel's men from the start of the training camp, followed by Germain, who arrived in the middle of the week.
Among the 26 players that are working by Lake Geneva, many - on top of the summer recruits - are there for the first time with the rouge et noir shirt. Having arrived late in August 2019, Kasper Dolberg, Hicham Boudaoui, Stanley Nsoki and Alexis Claude-Maurice are all there this time. Just like Youcef Atal, who officially became a Nice player after the summer camp in 2018 and who took part in the Africa Cup of Nations in 2019. An Aiglon since January, Alexis Trouillet is also at his first Divonne training camp with the Côte d'Azur club.
AN ENLARGED STAFF
While OGC Nice is continuing to structure, an enlarged staff team is accompanying Dante and his teammates on the Franco-Swiss border. Compared to last year, there's an extra doctor, a video analyst and kit man, as well as a dietician. OGC Nice groundsman Scott Brooks came to Divonne twice before the squad arrived, to speak to the town's groundsmen to ensure that the Rouge et Noir would train on perfect surfaces. His efforts paid off as the pitches are in optimal condition.
3 THINGS THAT HAVEN'T CHANGED
CARDI' THERE AGAIN
The first time he took part in a training camp with the first team was in 2011. Yoan Cardinale was 16 back then and headed to Peralada in Spain. 9 years later, Cardi' - who has been at all the Divonne training camps - is once again in the Ain. He's got his habits… and his own room, as he's always been in the same room since the first training camp at Divonne!
"UNCLE" IS A FIXTURE
He's a fixture on the Divonne scene and year after year ensures the Gym feel at home. He's also a lover of Nice and you can come across him at the training ground when he comes to the Comté. This year, once again, "uncle" Jean is here, there and everywhere. The same goes for those connected with the Divonne club, ever present in order for les Aiglons to work in the best possible conditions.
THE DIVONNE DOMAINE AND ITS LEGENDARY ATTENTION TO DETAIL
The years go by and the welcome never changes. Just like the local club, the members of the Domaine de Divonne do everything in order for the Nice delegation to only think about their work, in total serenity. This year, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the hotel staff are even more vigilant, and scrupulously respect the barrier gestures.