Sunday, April 11, 2021

Pierrick Capelle, from Ligue 1 lawns to city council

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Pierrick Capelle (left) during a match against Brest on February 29, 2020. JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER / AFP

"In the locker room, we already call him mayor"laughs Romain Thomas, his friend, defender of the Angers football team. Pierrick Capelle (32) has fun. In the field, it’s a Swiss Army Knife, capable of moving on the wing, playmaker or left back when the holders are on the flank. After the games and training, why couldn't he play the utilities in a city council?

Candidate for the elections on March 15 and 22, Pierrick Capelle is a case in Ligue 1. Certainly, there are already representatives of the football invested in politics. But these are ex-footballers, who get involved once their careers are over. In Maine-et-Loire for example, Steve Savidan (ex-attacker from Angers, Valenciennes, Caen and Monaco, international A) was on the list of the mayor of Angers, Christophe Béchu, in 2014 (he was in last place , symbolic).

This year, the former midfielder of Angers SCO Charles Diers (Dijon, Boulogne, Clermont, Angers) is on the list of outgoing mayor, while his elder Laurent Viaud (Angers, Monaco, Rennes) will be in the running a few kilometers further on, in Avrillé.

The case of Pierrick Capelle is more original, even new for a professional player in activity. He didn’t expect it. A subdivision project would have sprung up in the field which adjoins its pavilion in Saint-Léger-de-Linières (3,800 inhabitants) for discussion to start with the mayor, Franck Poquin.

“Pierrick, we often see him, in shops, schools. He's very available, he doesn't have the distance that some stars can have at all. ", appreciates the elected representative of this commune located about ten kilometers from Angers. He intends to entrust the professional player with a mission around sports and leisure. “He has very good sporting expertise. Immediately, he had ideas, gave some advice ».

Terms of office and contract

The interested party confirms: "We ride a lot of bikes with my wife and children and we realize that there are little things missing, games for the little ones. There is something to do. It’s on a small scale. In a bigger city, it’s sure I wouldn’t accept. ”.

Especially since his future life as an elected official may be very short. "There are conditions, it is my job above all. There will be meetings where I cannot go. But I will give my ideas ". He discussed the issue with his coach, Stéphane Moulin. "He replied that he understood well. All that matters to him is the field. I assured him that I would remain invested at 1,000%. "

Another pitfall for the player who has played Angers SCO since 2015, his contract runs until 2021. "I cannot say that I will be there for the six years of the mandate", recognizes the one who had been the author of the most beautiful goal in Ligue 1 in 2016 and the only player finalist in a French Cup with an amateur jersey (with Quevilly in 2012) and then a professional (with Angers SCO in 2017) .

"This is the first time I have stayed in a club for so long, and I enjoy it. The first desire is to stay late in the business. I started at 25. Playing until 35 or more would be a minimum. It will depend on my physical condition. If it’s in Angers, so much the better. If it has to be elsewhere, it will be elsewhere. And that Franck knows ".

"I would love to have it extended, retorts the elected official of Saint-Léger-de-Linières. Pierrick is a person who shines, always in a good mood, voluntary. Many of my running mate thought he would refuse. They are delighted ".

"It’s a kind of open mind"

Romain Thomas confirms: “He is generous, he gives his time. He likes being with people, what is happening today is no more surprising than that. We kindly room it because it’s unusual to see soccer players getting into it. But I think it's good, it also allows you to have something else in your life as a footballer. To accompany a small village, it allows you to get involved and give a little of your time ".

When he projects himself into his "after life" football, Pierrick Capelle does not necessarily see a great political career opening up before him. Initially he wanted to be a sports teacher. He had time to graduate before the CS Avion offered him a second chance in football, in the French Amateur Championship (CFA).

"I will not play all my life, I know it very well. This election is a kind of open-mindedness. For me, this is essential. I have the impression that we are training all the young people who go through the training centers. They are locked in their bubble. I turned pro late, I kept a little bit of an amateurish mentality with a normal life ".

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