Chamois Niortais FC

Ligue 2
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Season Guide
2019/2020

Chamois Niortais FC

In


Olivier Kemen (mid) from Olympique Lyonnais; Bryan Passi (def) from Montpellier Herault SC; Ibrahim Sissoko (att) from FC Lorient; Quentin Braat (gk) on loan from FC Nantes

Out


Zakria Grich (sp) (mid) - released; Adrian Dabasse (sp) (att) - released; Cyriaque Rivieyran (r) (def) - released; Ande Dona Ndoh (k) (att) to AS Nancy Lorraine; Ibrahima Conte (r) (def) to FC Lorient - loan ended; Tom Lebeau (sp) (mid) on loan to Stade Lavallois

Niort are looking forward to a fresh start after a difficult 2018-19 season in which they went almost half the campaign without winning a game before finally getting their act together in the final weeks to pull away from trouble. Since then, however, Les Chamois have been hit by the departure of their star player, with striker, captain and all-time leading scorer Ande Dona Ndoh leaving the Stade Rene-Gaillard to join Ligue 2 rivals Nancy. He will be sorely missed, and the pressure is certainly on coach Pascal Plancque, whose position is already not entirely secure after he struggled to make an impact on the team following his appointment at the start of 2019. At least talented midfielder Valentin Jacob remains for now, but there is still plenty of time for that to change. In the meantime, Niort have brought in Ibrahim Sissoko from Lorient to boost their attack following Dona Ndon's departure, while Olivier Kemen is an intriguing addition. The former France youth international midfielder turns 23 this summer and is hoping to kickstart his career after failing to make the breakthrough at Lyon, or at Newcastle United before that. "I have already moved about quite a lot and played for several clubs. This is just an opportunity for me to show what I can do," he said. As the club continue in their quest to build a new stadium which they hope will catapult them into a successful new era, their main ambition for the campaign ahead has to be consolidating in Ligue 2 in what will be their eighth successive season at this level.

Target


Mid-table respectability

Season Review
2018/2019

№12: Chamois Niortais FC

Niort are one of the more modest clubs in the second tier so should in theory not be too disappointed with a 12th-place finish that means they will be back for an eighth consecutive campaign at this level next season. However, it has been a trying year for Les Chamois in so many ways, with a campaign marked by the sudden departure of their coach in December. Patrice Lair, the former coach of the women's teams at Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain, was an interesting appointment last summer at the Stade Rene-Gaillard and a strong start meant his side were sixth in the table approaching the midway point in the season. Then, all of a sudden, he was gone following an apparent disagreement with directors. It was a messy affair and it left its mark, even if Pascal Plancque - the former assistant to Claude Puel at Lille, Southampton and Leicester City - was named as the new coach in January. The fact is that Niort did not win any of the 17 league games that followed Lair's departure. Plancque did not get a first victory until his 15th match in charge, a 2-1 win at Valenciennes. Niort won just two of their last 21 league matches, with the other victory in that run coming at home to relegated Red Star on the final day. Survival was not secured until May. It was a mess of a season in so many ways and it will be interesting to see what happens next. Will Plancque remain? Cameroonian striker Ande Dona Ndoh, the club captain and record goal-scorer, is leaving for second-tier rivals Nancy. He scored 13 league goals, reaching double figures for the fourth season in a row. Benin international Saturnin Allagbe was a consistent performer in goal, while Dylan Louiserre proved a solid recruit in midfield and Valentin Jacob enjoyed a fine breakthrough campaign. The 24-year-old came from lower-league Annecy and scored or set up seven goals from midfield. He could be rewarded with a move to a bigger club.


Player of the Season: Valentin Jacob

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