In 2012, Patrice Bernier returned to the fold. We talked a lot more than one posterboy québécois than an emblematic figure capable of dominating on the field.
A decade later, we are elsewhere in the perception and contribution of our Quebec products.
I never believed that we should favor a player for the simple reason that he grew up in the Belle Province. Conversely, I have always found the favorable bias we had against players from elsewhere saddening.
In the same way that we can place FouKi, les Colocs or Gerry on the same playlist Biggie, Dua Lipa and Oasis (it would be eclectic I agree), we finally see that our talents have found and made their place among the pros.
As we speak, a guy from Repentigny (Samuel Piette) is captain of CF Montreal and the best team in MLS has paid $1M for the services of a goalkeeper from Candiac (Maxime Crépeau). Both have qualified for the World Cup with Canada where a coach from St-Léonard (Mauro Biello) is the assistant to the best coach in the history of the Maple Leaf.
We’re not talking about Ronaldo, Mbappé or Zidane, but we’re talking about it… it was an unimaginable scenario 7-8 years ago.
Not just a boy thing
This reality does not only apply to men.
Ever since Phillip Danault, pizza in hand, wished Good St-Han to an entire province in 2021, two Quebecers won gold in Tokyo.
Évelyne Viens and Gabrielle Carle have proven that local girls can not only be invited to the biggest soccer dances in the world, they can play there and walk away with great honours.
A girl from L’Ancienne-Lorette who passes the medal around Christine Sinclair’s neck on the highest step of the Tokyo podium, it still gives chills.
The next step will be to develop the one who will dominate on the world stage.
It won’t happen by accident. For both boys and girls, CF Montreal’s expertise and investments will be crucial to get there.
Budget cuts, the suspension of competitions during the pandemic and the decision not to participate in the MLS reserve league will certainly have consequences for the production of the Academy. It is possible that a generation of players was lost in the process.
If so, you will have to live with it. The last two years have confirmed to us that there are more important things in life than sport.
The fact remains that to make up for lost time and assume its desire to produce more high-quality local talent, CF Montreal will have to quickly find the means to achieve its ambitions.
While waiting for our Alphonso Davies (or our Céline to continue the musical analogy), I wish you an excellent national holiday.