Today Cf Montreal named their new manager, Wilfried Nancy.
The sudden departure of Thierry Henry, left the newly branded Cf Montreal in a difficult situation. The club was just about to commence their training camp, and only a few weeks before the MLS preseason began, the team found themselves with a large void to fill.
Henry left the club after just one season, making the tough, or easy- depending how you look at it, decision to go back to London with his family.
The former and final Montreal Impact coach and his players had to finish last year’s campaign in an MLS controlled ‘bubble’ in the USA, while their families remained in Canada. To be separated from your partners, wives, and children for extended periods of time in the middle of a pandemic can take its toll, and is something Henry was unwilling to do again this year.
The club has come to a decision today, and have announced that Wilfried Nancy will drop his assistant role and take over as the first ever head coach of Club de Foot Montreal.
Nancy is originally from France, where he spent the majority of his playing career as a defender. He has been involved in coaching in Montreal dating back to 2006 where he was managing a AAA youth side.
In 2011 he was hired by the Impact as a U18 coach in the Montreal team’s youth academy. He worked his way up and down the ranks being promoted first as a U21 manager, then spending a final year with the U16s in 2014 – 2015, before eventually linking up with the senior squad.
It was 2016 when Wilfried Nancy finally after hard work, was promoted as assistant coach of the senior Montreal Impact first team and even worked closely with Henry last season.
The assistant coach remained in his role from 2016 up until today.
This decision seems as if it were meant to be, as it was only a week ago where Nancy publicly stated he is ready, and has been training for years to earn the Head Manager position.
The now head coach of Cf Montreal is excited for his new journey, and who could blame him.
“I am very happy and proud to take on this new challenge, it’s even more special, since it’s with the club I’ve known since I came to Montreal.’’
Montreal’s new coach is taking over a club that is very well backed by their owner: Joey Saputo, who cares about the team and is constantly working to propel their name around the globe.
Saputo is also a part owner of Bologna Fc, a team that plays in the top Italian league, and we often see the Italian side loan out talented youngsters to Montreal.
Notably fan favorite Saphir Taïder, who is no longer with the club. Other current loanee’s include English defender Luis Binks, and Lassi Lappalainen.
This partnership between Saputo’s two clubs is beneficial; Montreal receives upcoming talent and has the opportunity to aid in their development, and in return, Bologna Fc either gets a ‘ready to play’ player back, or decides to sell and flip them for a profit.
While the upcoming season will have it’s fair set of challenges and difficulties, mostly having to once again leave home and play out the entire MLS season in a ‘bubble’ somewhere in the USA – living out of hotel’s, AGAIN. This all being due to the ongoing border restrictions between Canada and the United States, the MLS opting out of an ‘’All Canadian Division’’ similar to what the NHL has in store this year.
Luckily Nancy won’t have the pressure of being in the hot seat, considering the club has never been expected to be a league title winning team, the only demands are to be competitive and win over the fan base. This is an ongoing project and will take several years before Cf Montreal is a top club.
Now is the new coach’s time to set up a team that can play attractive football, and build on it for the future. Wilfried Nancy was part of the Impact team that won the 2019 Canadian Championship cup, and they should be looking to compete for this trophy once again this year.
Their performance in the Canadian Championship Cup is crucial; winning it would allow the team to once again take part in the Concacaf Champions League, where they were runner’s up in 2014-2015.
Montreal has had an outstanding off season, bringing in young talent from Argentina to as far as Egypt. I am really looking forward to seeing what this new squad can manage this year, and goals is what I am expecting – with all the new dynamic attackers.
The team also brought back another former player, Laurent Ciman, as assistant coach after Patrice Bernier decided to move on from the role. Ciman played internationally for Belgium in major tournaments and was a rock hard defender in the back line for the Impact. His experience and defensive knowledge will aid the team at the back enormously.
Cf Montreal is heading in the right direction to accomplish their dreams of attracting global talent, and being recognized around the world as an exciting team in an upcoming league. The MLS has become very attractive to European scouts, with many young North American players being scouted, and making the jump to some of Europe’s most pristine teams.
It’s unfortunate for fans to be unable to watch their team play live, or at the very least in a closed stadium at home in Montreal, unfortunately we will have to make do with what we’ve been given.
The 2021 MLS season will begin on April 17th, and Montreal just found out they will be taking in a lot of Vitamin D, playing their ‘home games’ at Inter Miami’s stadium in Florida, and also use their training facilities.
Allez Montreal, Droit Devant, we are in line for a challenging, but exciting season, are you ready?
Check out The Other Side of The Pond on social media, where we post updated news and transfer info. You can always find our weekly articles here at Hot Sauce Sports.
Also do check out last week’s episode of Weekly Sauce, Terry Tam and Alex the Intern sat down with Cf Montreal midfielder Amar Sejdić and had a great discussion. Sejdić will be one to watch this year, he has a lot of potential and poses an attacking threat, I am loving him in my Football Manager 2021 season so far.