Bergamo’s Montrouge young guns looking to make mark

** Aymeric Bergamo in his playing days with CA Montrouge and in coaching mode this summer. Pictures: Frank Uijlenbroek/World Sport Pics

Aymeric Bergamo is hoping his CA Montrouge club can evolve from being one of France’s most productive youth academies to retaining more of their talent-lines to compete higher on the European stage.

The head coach has been a central figure both for club and country in guiding some of their brightest stars, working with the French federation for seven years.

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That spell concluded this summer with France – featuring a half-dozen Montrouge Under-21 players – beating England to finish fifth in the European Championships following last December’s bronze in the World Cup.

He has since taken on the role of Sports Director at Montrouge where he has made his home since moving to Paris almost 20 years ago from Antibes, a role he will split with his head coach duties.

During his role, he has seen the likes of FIH Rising Star nominee Timothée Clement, Mathis Clement, Eliot Curty, Antonin Igau and Mattéo Desgouillons establish themselves in the Belgian league.

The hope is he can develop systems to keep some of those top stars in Paris for longer to help club and country’s development.

“It is a big issue for the club but it is good publicity for the work we do too!” he told the EHL website. 

“If you know hockey, you see every year one, two or three players moving to the Belgian league. If our work wasn’t good, the players wouldn’t leave! 

“We have to rebuild every year, improve our young players. It is tough work but for the moment, that’s the way it is. My job now as Sports Director is to change this point, to develop more money, more opportunity for the club to try and keep our best players in the club and the French league.”

To that end, he is delighted to have Corentin Sellier (21) in situ for another season and he will be a key player with Montrouge face Lisnagarvey on Thursday afternoon in the Men’s KO16 in Hamburg.

Along with Louis Poupee (22), they were key figures in back-to-back EuroHockey Trophy victories for the club and a subsequent French championship title.

Just five of their wider squad are aged over 23 and so Bergamo says the crucial element is getting these young players heads in the right space.

“They are talented, for sure, but they are still young. My question for them is not what is your potential but that the most important thing is to be ready today. When you are young, that is difficult so we are working on that and I am sure they have a big motivation.”

For Bergamo, it is another phase in his love affair both with the EHL and the club. He was a player for their first stint in the competition between 2009 to 2011, famously beating Banbridge – located nearby to Lisnagarvey – 4-3 to record their only win in the elite club competition.

“I also love the EHL and a big part of my story with the club is to play in the EHL. Next year will be 20 years for me in Montrouge. I love this club; it is my club! My blood is orange!”

“I don’t know Lisnagarvey but I am sure if they play in the EHL, it is because they are a good team. We know facing them we have more opportunity to win than if we had Amsterdam for example. Irish teams are always tough, they play with big energy so we have to be ready.”


EHL Men’s KO16 will be available for broadcast across the globe from September 29 to October 2, 2022 via the following outlets