A World Cup on the other side of the world and the Olympic Games at home: extended Tuesday until August 2024 at the helm of a French women’s team in progress, coach Corinne Deacon has two major tournaments on the agenda to offer the Bleues a first international trophy.
After the elimination of the French in the semi-finals of the Women’s Euro in England, Wednesday against Germany (2-1), it only took six days for the president of the French Football Federation (FFF), Noël Le Graët, to record the extension of the contract of the technician who arrived in 2017. Two days before her 48th birthday, Corinne Deacon has seen her professional horizon clear up: barring the unlikely dismissal in the meantime, the former international will be in charge of the Bleues for the next two major competitions.
The first arrives quickly in the calendar: it is the 2023 World Cup, organized from July 20 to August 20 in Australia and New Zealand. Les Bleues have already qualified there and will tackle it as title contenders.
The second deadline, a year later, is a dream, at least as much: the Paris Olympics, offer a new major competition at home, five years after a successful World Cup in France with a view to the development of national women’s football. , a little less convincing on the ground, with the elimination in the quarter-finals against the future American world champions (2-1).
With Euro 2022, this will therefore make three competitions in three years for Deacon and Les Bleues, and even four in four years, because a new Euro is looming in 2025, which France, world N.3 in the Fifa ranking, would like to elsewhere organize. With or without Deacon? “I am happy and proud to continue the adventure for these two additional seasons which are bound to be very rich”, declared the coach in a press release, acknowledging a “disappointment” with the Euro, nevertheless “encouraging” for the following.
For President Le Graët, it is a logical choice, that of continuity, for a leader who had not hesitated to defend his coach in recent years, when the latter had made strong choices, even if it meant alienating him. some players, criticism of a management sometimes considered authoritarian.
In an interview with AFP just after the Euro, Le Graët had already pleaded for an extension: “I see that when you change coach every year or every two years, even in the clubs, it does not progress. . With Corinne, we are on the right track. It was harder, but we are making progress,” he said.
“We share the same strong ambition for these two major competitions”, explained this time the Breton leader, who had already set Deacon the objective of the semi-finals at the Euro, achieved by the Blues and their captain Wendie Renard, a first since the 2012 Olympics. Deacon and his players, they had set themselves another: the final at Wembley. And this was not achieved, the fault of the experience of the German team, impressive efficiency in the semi-finals in Milton Keynes.
Henry and Le Sommer big losers
The injury, during the first round, of star scorer Marie-Antoinette Katoto, will remain a blow for the Habs, who now dream of knowing what they are worth in a complete final phase with their N.9, one of the best attackers in the world at just 23 years old.
In her mission, Deacon will count on her, without a doubt, as on other executives (Grace Geyoro, Kadidiatou Diani, Pauline Peyraud-Magnin, Sakina Karchaoui). And young nuggets, like the flamboyant Selma Bacha (21) and the inspired Clara Matéo (24), are just waiting to step up.
For former jailers already dismissed, such as Lyonnaises Amandine Henry and Eugénie Le Sommer, the extension of Corinne Deacon’s mandate, on the other hand, sounds very clearly like the end of her international career, even if the former coach of the men’s section of Clermont (Ligue 2) never closed the door definitively.
Noël Le Graët, reputed to be close to the players, will be able to remain vigilant on the slightest discrepancy internally, after five rather turbulent years in office with the Bleues. Five years where Deacon has struggled to get rid of the distant, closed, sometimes brittle image that sticks to his skin, especially with the media. But with a trophy, everything would be forgotten.