Norman Derby: after gloomy months, Caen supporters happy to meet the Le Havre neighbor

The Caen supporters had included him on their huge Santa Claus list, deployed over an entire stand at the Ornano stadium before the match against Dunkirk on December 16: “Go to Le Havre in the Coupe de France”. This Sunday, January 7, there will be at least a thousand people crossing the Normandy bridge to see their team challenge neighboring Le Havre, today in the elite. “I was curious to see who we were going to come up against,” recalls Olaf, the president of Malherbe Normandy Kop (MNK). And there, Le Havre! It’s not a match like any other. That’s exciting “.

Just before the holidays, the main group of SM Caen supporters opened registrations for a trip under conditions supervised by the authorities: 1000 seats in the visitors’ stand and travel only authorized by bus. “I had to go there by car with my father and my son. The organization is tense but it’s not a hindrance,” says Fabien, a Caen supporter for around thirty years. The enthusiasm was confirmed immediately: in a few hours, all the places were taken. “I wanted to surprise my 14-year-old son for Christmas,” confides Claire. Well, he saw me do it and he understood. This will be his first derby. This is exceptional ! »

2024 will therefore start strong for the weed community, as if to make us forget the gloom of the last few months: a great start then an endless series of around ten matches without a victory, a game in full disintegration and the ouster of the former coach Jean- Marc Furlan. Not to mention heavy news behind the scenes against a backdrop of contested leaders and shareholder overhaul. “Given the results, there could have been fewer people,” agrees Fabien. But it’s a derby, we’re all here! It’s a nice break and if Caen wins, it could boost them for the future. »

Sportingly, the reunion promises to be difficult for the Bas-Normands, on the lawn of a team now hierarchically superior, which has also made a convincing return to Ligue 1. But the followers of SM Caen believe in an exploit during this 32nd final, like Olaf: “The level will be equivalent. Cup or not, it’s a special match that must be won. And then it will be close to the heart of Nicolas Seube, who played in it as a player and knows the values ​​of a derby.” The new coach of the Rouge et Bleu, appointed at the end of November, has been at the club since 2001. In the eyes of the supporters, his weed DNA can change the balance of power.

An appointment was made from 10:45 a.m. this Sunday in front of the Michel d’Ornano stadium to fill the 17 (!) coaches found to go to Le Havre. The MNK hopes that no prefectural decree will prohibit travel at the last minute, in a tense context around supporters’ travel to France. In addition to this administrative question, the Caen public has its head in the stands: “It will be even more of a party because there will be less pressure for the result. We sing even in defeat, but we have our chances. We have to live this moment and forget what has happened in recent months,” Claire projects. “There will be a big match, on the pitch and in the stands,” promises Olaf. The result is a lot of broken voices and perhaps a qualification conducive to good neighborly teasing with the people of Le Havre.

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