Jeammot’s Saint Germain inspired by famous past victories at the Pau Negre Stadium

After 17 years with the club, Saint Germain-blood runs deep in William Jeammot as he looks forward to captaining the Parisian club at the EHL KO16 next week in Barcelona.

There, they will play Russian champions Dinamo Kazan with a new look side with some big stars like Kevin Mercurio (Klein Zwitserland), Francois Goyet and Blaise Rogeau (both La Gantoise) moving on.

It means the 23-year-old always knew he would be taking on more responsibility this season but he said the captaincy was an extra boost.

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“I grew up in this club and I consider it like a second family,” he told the EHL website. “It gave me a lot of values, a lot of incredible experiences, and the taste for competition. 

EINDHOVEN – Euro Hockey League 2018/2019 KO16: Saint Germain HC – Club Egara Photo: ROGEAU Blaise celebrates his goal. COPYRIGHT FRANK UIJLENBROEK WORLDSPORTPICS

“So when the coach [Matthias Dierckens] told me I will be the captain, I received it as an honour. The fact he gives me his trust helps me to find more within myself and improves my self confidence, even if that particular responsibility was a source of stress initially.

“I will really enjoy this extra responsibility. But I know I should always take a step back in order to keep my head on my shoulders. I think it will be crucial if I want to fulfill my role in a good way.”

So far, it has worked out well with away wins over Antibes, Paris Jean Bouin and FC Lyon with Jeammot scoring six times in three games.

It sees them sharing top spot at this early stage with Racing Club de France and CA Montrouge – the other French side in the EHL KO16 – after three rounds.

“We did lose a part of our key players this summer,” Jeammot said of the challenges his side faces this season. “But, it had to happen. As international players, they had to reach for more competitive championships and now all the team wish them the best in their respective new clubs. 

“We recently registered two Spanish players [Sergi San Martin and Marc Font]. The other new faces come from our youth section and I’m (positively) surprised with how they have quickly taken their place in the team. Now everyone must prove themselves, even the most experienced players, but I’m confident with the investment of each and I think we’re armed to be competitive.”

Saint Ger are returning to the scene of one of their most famous victories, beating Club Egara 6-4 to win their ROUND1 group in 2017 with a dramatic late penalty stroke.

And Jeammot hopes his side can repeat those heroics against their Russian rivals whom they met all the way back in 2008 in the first season of the EHL. They went on to reach the KO8 that year while they only missed out on a repeat run at Easter this year in a shoot-out.

“This EHL will be really interesting for us and especially significant to see what level we will be able to reach this season. The KO16 is coming very soon and the preparation is short.

“A lot of players in our team have not really experienced it before and we will not have the opportunity to count on as many leaders as last year. We are expecting a tough match against Kazan and we are working hard to be ready the D-Day.

“If we keep a good structure and a strong defense, I think we will have our chances against Kazan. 

Obviously it is easier for us to draw a Russian team than a Dutch or a German one, but if we pass that first match, we will face Surbiton or Real Club de Polo and it will be a new big challenge. So reaching the KO8 is still far from us, but which competitor would not dream about it? 

“That [win over Egara] is a good memory. More than that, I think that weekend was one of the best hockey memory of many players of the team. Winning in the ‘money time’, against the local team, in front of many of our supporters, that was just crazy!

‘We hope that it will give us inspiration for this year and the strength to play as best we can to not regret anything.”