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A new version of our data update was released with 10508 changes from 80 contributors.

After a long hiatus Mark is back with a new story. Where will it take him?

Discussion
https://i.postimg.cc/CLzFLmww/lechampionnatnational.png

March 2022 Review

Another four game span as the season heads towards an exciting conclusion, right?

Friday 4 March 2022
https://i.postimg.cc/c1M5Kg61/Le-Mans-4322-Result.png

The first of back to back home games for us. We took the lead as early as the 8th minute, central midfielder Rémy Boissier latching onto a pass from Oumaré Tounkara to finish with a low first time finish. Grenoble fought back and scored twice in the space of three minutes to go into the interval 2-1 ahead, Lamine Diaby in the 39th minute and Dominique Vincent in the 42th. It was a much better performance from us in the second half, and eventually the dam broke so to speak. With 16 minutes left on the clock, young midfielder Axel Condé (on for Jules Mendy seven minutes earlier) drove home his first goal for the club to make it two apiece. The winner came five minutes from time, Vincent Créhin sent skipper Mamadou Soro.clear and although the first effort crashed against the bar, the second was hammered home. A second successive win for us.

Friday 11 March 2022
https://i.postimg.cc/wjPWKD42/Le-Mans-11322-Result.png

The successive home game in seven days saw us host Boulogne who had rejected me when they had been looking for a new manager, and I was a free agent after leaving Ilves. They needed points to boost their hopes to avoid relegation whilst we were heading in the right direction. Once more we scored early doors, defensive midfielder heading in from close range after just three minutes play. Our hopes were improved no end when Boulogne were reduced to ten men midway through the first half, Gaoussou Traoré dismissed for two yellow cards within nine minutes of each other. It took us late on to seal our third win on the spin. With the rain lashing down, Oumaré Tounkara turned provider once more and Soro smashed the ball into the net after 76 minutes. The game was secure five minutes from time, Créhin with a well flighted free-kick and Tounkara volleyed home unmarked.

Friday 18 March 2022
https://i.postimg.cc/RhXRgtnc/Le-Mans-18322-Result.png

A long trip south to Marseilles followed and we made an excellent start with two superbly executed penalties from Tounkara in the opening quarter of an hour. However, our talisman of a left winger left the pitch just before half time in agony. The prognosis came after the game, a hip injury which would end his season and rule him out for 4 months at least. The club thinking a specialist's opinion being needed to cure the aliment. Sensing we were without such an important player, the home side tested us and pulled one back within four minutes of the restart thanks to young striker David Begue. However, we held sway despite constant pressure. Four wins out of four.

Friday 25 March 2022
https://i.postimg.cc/BZgMSrwX/Le-Mans-25322-Result.png

Could we make it five out of five with a win in the televised game at home to Laval? It was far from a pretty game with the opponents fouling at every possible opportunity to try and stop us from getting into a rhythm. The only goal came after 23 minutes, Créhin with the corner and right back Abdoulaye Koté heading in from six yards out. The perfect month and our unexpected promotion challenge gains more momentum.

So at the end of March, these are the standings:

https://i.postimg.cc/hjHgfJG1/Le-Mans-Table-End-Mar2022.png

A point away from the play-off spot, ten off automatic. Who knows what we can achieve?
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

https://i.postimg.cc/8zZN8Q5R/AJSig.png
Good luck in France mate, just a couple of good results and you'll be banging on the door of those playoff spots.

Check out the latest update mate, it's gotten a whole lot better.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

https://i.postimg.cc/8zZN8Q5R/AJSig.png
https://i.postimg.cc/CLzFLmww/lechampionnatnational.png

April 2022 Review

Three more games in the penultimate month of the season

Friday 1 April 2022
https://i.postimg.cc/CKJ2TBfK/Le-Mans-1422-Result.png

April Fool's night and we travelled to Lyon to face the lesser known of the city's football club. The hosts were riding high in the table and knew that a win would secure them a place alongside leaders Red Star in Ligue 2 next season. Could we put a spoke in their wheels and delay their party? They scored the only goal of the game as early as the eighth minute when Algerian Mehdi Merghem found the back of the net. Despite everything we could not force an equaliser, even when they were reduced to ten men in the closing stages when defensive midfielder Cheickné Yaffa was dismissed for two yellow cards. The best now we can hope for is a play-off spot.

Friday 8 April 2022
https://i.postimg.cc/cHz0W586/Le-Mans-8422-Result.png

Seven days later we hosted mid-table Châteauroux at the MMArena; needing a win to get back on track. It was a game of very few chances and was goalless at the half time interval. Four minutes after the restart, we took the lead. Winger Armand Lauriente with the cross from the right wing, and despite having three visiting defenders in attendance, skipper Mamadou Soro headed home from six yards out. Châteauroux equalised with twenty minutes to go, central defender Senko Conde with a bullet header from a corner. It looked certain that we would drop two points until a dramatic 89th minute winner. Lauriente thundered an effort against the crossbar, but there was Soro to pick up the rebound and send the home support delirious.

Friday 22 April 2022
https://i.postimg.cc/WzJj16M8/Le-Mans-22422-Result.png

A fortnight later we played our final game of the month, away to play-off rival Chambly. It was a tough but entertaining game with both sides creating chance after chance. Just as I thought we had done enough, they hit us with the ultimate sucker punch with a late late winner. It came when Guillaume Heinry passed the ball and Adamaly Bah drove a low shot beyond the grasp of Quentin Beunardeau. Try as we might, we could not find a way past Chambly's teenage keeper Tom Delannoy. A tough loss to take, the boys had given it absolute everything.

So at the end of April, this is how we stand:

https://i.postimg.cc/sg3XwqPR/Le-Mans-Table-End-Apr2022.png

So with just a couple of games left we are going to need results to go our way if we are to make the play offs. Still a top six finish will do me for starters, hope the board agree.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

https://i.postimg.cc/8zZN8Q5R/AJSig.png
https://i.postimg.cc/CLzFLmww/lechampionnatnational.png

May 2022 Review

The final games of season 2021-22 in Le Championnat National.

Friday 6 May 2022
https://i.postimg.cc/G3s4X6N4/Le-Mans-6522-Result.png

A final home game of the season against already relegated Cholet and what a goal fest we ended with. Rémy Boissier gave us a 13th minute with a sumptuous free kick from the left wing which caught out the visiting keeper completely as it whistled past him into the roof of the net. However, the lead last just a shade over three when their top scorer Jérémie Bourdin equalised with a close range range. Yet we bounced back and regained the lead in the 22nd minute when Vincent Créhin latched onto his rebound to score his first goal in 15 attempts. The sheer joy and elation on his face when the ball hit the net was felt by us all. Two minutes later, we were 3-1 ahead when Boissier lashed in his second of the game. Easy street right? Well, not quite.

Eight minutes from half time Teddy Bourland made it a one goal game again when he netted Cholet's second and we were further stunned in the 48th minute when a deflected effort from Kévin Mouanga found the back of our net. We had to get our heads back on it and did so with two late goals to secure a hard fought win. Both came from experienced midfielder Nicolas Suchet, on for the injured Serge Aka. In the 74th minute, Boissier's corner was swept home by Suchet who was unmarked at the far post six yards out. The deal was sealed four minutes from time, Suchet with an exocet of a strike from the edge of the box.

Friday 20 May 2022
https://i.postimg.cc/pXfpHzPx/Le-Mans-20522-Result.png

Our season finished at another relegated side. like Cholet a fortnight before - Chartres were determined to finish their season on a high before slipping back into Championnat 2 next year. Armand Lauriente gave us the lead after 19 minutes, snapping home an effort at the second bite of the cherry. Yet we gave them a tad too much respect I felt and some defensive doziness allowed Nathan Bizet to equalise in the 51st minute.

The game had a remarkable ending as Gwenolé Jean put the home side ahead with just two minutes left but just as they appeared to be celebrating a bit prematurely: we equalised in the second minute of time added on to grab a point. Defensive doziness of the home variety saw them switch off, and substitute Ludovic Wacouboué said thank you very much to make it 2-2.

https://i.postimg.cc/nLtjm2TX/Le-Mans-Table-EOS2022.png

A sixth placed finish to end my first foray in France. Next season will be interesting.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

https://i.postimg.cc/8zZN8Q5R/AJSig.png
https://i.postimg.cc/L8TDrKYd/500miles.png

Current Managerial Career Snapshot


Domestic Managerial Jobs:
https://i.postimg.cc/9FMgXzpq/scottishflag.png Edinburgh City: 8 July 2018 - 28 August 2020
https://i.postimg.cc/C55yNXP3/Finland-Flag.png Ilves Tampere: 28 August 2020 - 1 December 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/GpWCtgjf/French-Flag.png Le Mans: 25 January 2022 - present

International Managerial Jobs:
https://i.postimg.cc/NMgvy51f/welshflag.png Wales Under 21: 9 August 2020 - present

Awards Won:
2018-2020 (Edinburgh City): Manager of Month - 7, Trophies Lifted - 2, Manager of the Year - 0*
2020-2021 (Ilves): Manager of Month - 4, Trophies Lifted - 2, Manager of the Year - 1
2022-present (Le Mans): Trophies Lifted - 0, Manager of the Year - 0

* - No Manager of the Year awards in the Scottish League One and Two
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

https://i.postimg.cc/8zZN8Q5R/AJSig.png
https://i.postimg.cc/MHqd3MHT/lemansfcweb.png


https://i.postimg.cc/05zYxCRs/lemansfcweb2.png 1 July 2022 at 12:00

The Club have confirmed the pre-season schedule for the new season.

Le MUC will start their preparations with a home game on 9 July against Chievo Verona of Serie B. "The Flying Donkeys" , who competed in the group stage of the 2007 UEFA Champions League, are now in their third successive Serie B season after spending eleven consecutive campaigns in Serie A. This is the first of three prestigious home friendlies as we gear up for the new campaign.

A week after the Chievo game, we host one of Europe's greatest club side. Visiting the MMArena are none other than Dutch giants Feyenoord Rotterdam. They were the winners of the 1970 European Cup, when they defeated 1967 winners Celtic 2-1 after extra time in Milan. This famous club has produced many talented footballers in its history including Ruud Gullit, Robin Van Persie and Ronald Koeman to name just three. They promise to be a huge test of the new look squad's capabilities as we gear towards the start of the 2022-23 campaign.

A week after the Feyenoord game, pre-season concludes with four games in the space of just eleven days. We begin this with home game against new promotees to Ligue 2, Avranches. Three days after the Avranches game, we travel to Championnat 2 side Union Sportive Granvillaise before returning back to the MMArena five days later. Our opponents are Bundesliga newcomers Hertha Berlin. This is another massive test for the team, and special thanks must go to our assistant manager Sandy Palliot who has managed to make these high profile friendlies become a reality.

We conclude the pre-season campaign at amateur side Entente Sportive Viry-Châtillion on 31 July 2022; ahead of starting the new season at home to newly promoted Bourg En Bresse on the first Friday of August.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

https://i.postimg.cc/8zZN8Q5R/AJSig.png
https://i.postimg.cc/MHqd3MHT/lemansfcweb.png

2022-23 Pre-Season Round Up


https://i.postimg.cc/Z5kXF3XV/Le-Mans-2022-23-Pre-Season.png

The pre-season started with the first of four home friendlies, against Serie B Chievo Verona. In front of a crowd of 977, we took the lead after just four minutes when skipper Mamadou Soro drove a low shot into the corner from just inside the penalty area after Armand Lauriente had teed him up. It was a lead that we held onto until the hour mark when Antonio Metilka equalised for the Flying Donkeys. Five minutes later, they were ahead when Francesco De Angelis put them 2-1 in front to turn things right around in their favour. However, we ensured a share of the spoils with an equaliser just a couple of minutes after the De Angelis goal. Kévin Rimane with a low cross, and Chievo's Richard Amoo steered the ball into his own net. Honours even.

The visit of Feyenoord a week later saw a superb crowd of almost 6000 in the MMArena. Those there were to see an incredible first half as our bunch of semi-professionals tore into their more illustrious visitors. We were ahead after 11 minutes, Lauriente bombing down the right wing and then sending in a deep far post for Vincent Créhin to arrive unmarked and finish with aplomb. Five minutes later, we went 2-0 ahead. Another deep cross from Lauriente and this time Soro took a touch before placing his shot into the far corner. We continued to terrorise their back line and made it 3-0 after 18 minutes; Créhin with a corner which nobody in a Feyenoord shirt dealt with and Rémy Boissier had the easy task of tapping home unmarked from six yards out. A fourth arrived in the 21st minute, Créhin heading in a cross from right-back Abdoulaye Koté. It got even more unbelievable in the 24th minute, Soro with an unstoppable effort into the roof of the net for 5-0. Absolute scenes!

A minute after that fifth goal of ours, they pulled one back thanks to experienced Russian striker Alexander Korokin. Yet we felt we had more goals in us as their defence looked very shaky indeed. So it proved as we went an amazing 6-1 ahead ten minutes from half time, Créhin with the cross and Lauriente blasted it in at the far post. If we had had the best of that opening half, they had the best of the second but maybe that was because we changed our starting eleven and it upset the team's momentum. Defender Jeroen Heerkens made it 6-2 two minutes after the restart and it stayed that way as we entered the final minute. They scored twice in that time through Ayoub Hajji and an own goal from our young defender Bastien Olivier to make the final score 6-4 which I felt flattered them considering how well we had played; especially in the opening 45.

The third friendly was another home game, this time against newly promoted Avranches who will be in Ligue 2 this new season coming. One goal decided it, and it came with just 11 minutes left to play and for us as well. Substitutes Benoit Leroy and Wassim Mechmache combined for the latter to score the winner with an excellently placed effort into the corner of the net. The on-loan Angers midfielder really enjoyed that strike as did all of us.

A much changed team took to the field in the fourth friendly against Championnat 2 side Union Sportive Granvillaise. We took a 16th minute lead when midfielder Enzo Berreau scored with a deflected shot that wrong footed the home keeper. It became 2-0 after 34 minutes, target man Grégory Aubert with a fine finish from just inside the D after Mechmache had found him in a pocket of space. Five minutes later striker Christopher Ibayi scored his first of the contest to reduce the arrears by half. We restored our two goal lead in the 54th minute, Olivier with a superbly curled free-kick which reminded me a lot of what Craig Thomson used to do for me at Edinburgh City. With 21 minutes to go, Ibayi scored his and his team's second to again make it a one goal game. Yet we saw it home for a 3-2 win.

Just over 4000 fans were in the MMArena for our penultimate friendly as we hosted Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin. Once more we showed that we can be a match for anyone despite our standard compared to theirs. We took the lead after 18 minutes, Boissier with the corner and it was powerfully headed into the far corner by his central midfield partner Serge Aka. Just before the half hour, we doubled the lead when Zoran Bassong provided the cross and a scuffed effort from Aka deflected into the path of skipper Soro who just had the simple task of tucking it away. To be honest, we had scored both goals against the run of play as Hertha were clearly in the ascendancy. Julius Kade made it 2-1 with a strike two minutes after half time and as we tired, they hit us with two late goals. First of all, Chris Benning scored after 86 and then in time added on Spanish midfielder Lucas Torrò won it for them with an unstoppable effort from the edge of the area.

The preparations were completed with a trip to amateur side Entente Sportive Viry-Châtillion. After working hard to get back to full fitness after a hip injury that sidelined him for three months, winger Oumaré Tounkara enjoyed this game immensely. He gave us the lead in the 7th minute with perfectly taken penalty given for a reckless challenge on Bassong by Athmane Sahraoui. The winger doubled his, and our, tally in the 29th minute. A corner from Boissier was headed goalwards by Berreau and as the keeper couldn't hold on, Tounkara swept the rebound home. Ten minutes from the break, we made it 3-0 when Bassong headed in a Boissier free-kick before Tounkara completed a first half hat-trick two minutes later when Aubert had an effort blocked but saw it land at the feet of the winger who scored with a low shot that wrong footed the keeper at the near post. The nap hand was complete 14 minutes from time when Leroy headed in a Sharly Mabussi cross from the left.

Now time for the real thing, the new season....
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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https://i.postimg.cc/MHqd3MHT/lemansfcweb.png

2022-23: August Fixtures


https://i.postimg.cc/RFJ2gBrK/Le-Mans-Aug2022-Fixtures.png

Four games in the opening month of a new season where we hope to improve on last season's 6th place finish.

The new season starts with a home game against newly promoted Bourg En-Bresse. After losing four out of four against them, we have won the last two games. The last encounter saw a 2-0 home win for us thanks to goals from PSG loanee Kays Ruiz, and then the win was secured with a 88th minute clincher from Pierre Lemonnier who we will face this season in the colours of Rodez.

We next face Tours, who back in Le Championniat, after three seasons in Ligue 2. They are many people's thoughts for an immediate return too. However, we shared the spoils with them in the last meeting. Mamadou Soro gave us a 68th minute lead but Béni Nkololo garnered a point for the home side with an equaliser six minutes from time.

Game three sees us host Dunkerque, who were the first opponents for us when Mark was appointed. As you recall, it was a winning debut for our Head Coach as we recorded a stunning 3-0 away win. All the goals came in the first half as Armand Coulibaly, Serge Aka and a penalty from Oumané Tounkara did the trick for us.

The opening month ends with an away trip to Quevilly-Rouen. Our last game against them was not a good one as a double from Valére Pollet saw our opponent take the win with a 2-0 success. It was also the last game for previous Head Coach Richard Déziré who departed the MMArena the following day to take up the reins at Entente SSG after over six years here.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

https://i.postimg.cc/8zZN8Q5R/AJSig.png
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