Olivier Echouafni: "We miss our supporters"
The coach of the Paris Saint-Germain women’s team, Olivier Echouafni today answered questions from journalists at a press conference organised at the Ooredoo Centre.
"It was a long wait! But we're very happy to back together, to recreate that link that we'd been missing a lot. We were able to keep the players up to date a bit with the various developments in the situation, and we were able to send them specific programmes to follow, as a result of what we knew we wanted them to do when we got back to training. I called them frequently, in order to get their news, and news of their family... The question that kept coming round was the return date for training. In the end we are all back together, and we're very happy about that."
THE TRANSFER WINDOW
"Confinement meant we weren't able to work in a calm way on the transfer window. We wanted to rely on the squad already in place, and to make a few adjustments, as we've already been able to do with Ramona Bachmann coming in, as well as players of huge potential such as Bénédicte Simon and Charlotte Voll. We're going to give ourselves thinking time for what to do next."
"We have 10 weeks to prepare for the new D1 season, 8 for the Champions League and 5 for the Coupe de France. That's both a lot and very little at the same time. We're going to try to build things progressively. The players were tested first of all. Those who tested positive are fine, the professional who tested positive is now back with the squad, while the two Under-19s players are still in quarantine, though we should know more this evening. We have three friendlies on the schedule before the semi-final of the Coupe de France, against Twente here in Paris on July 17, and then a double clash with Paris FC on July 20 and 25."
THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
"It's going to be a special format, there are three matches to be won in order to be champions. The atmosphere will be strange, that's for sure as maybe it will be behind closed doors, but in two magnificent stadiums. We've got every chance and I think the team that will be in the best physical condition will go all the way. We're going to give ourselves every chance of lifting the trophy."
HIS CONTRACT EXTENSION
"I feel very happy here and very proud to be at Paris Saint-Germain. There was a lot of frustration with the way last season ended, and we're starting up again with a squad that knows our working methods, an ambitious and motivated squad, one that wants to get rewards for their work. There's a lot at stake and I am happy to be part of it. The club is also ambitious. Leonardo dropped by to say hello to the players and the staff when we came back. He wants the women's team to continue to progress and I am happy to have him on board."
"We're missing them a lot. Since March 13 we have been going through a difficult time. We know that football makes a lot of people happy and especially our supporters. Getting back onto the pitches was a first step for us but we cannot wait to be back with our supporters, to play for them in competitive matches. We are impatient to see them again, hopefully in Bordeaux and maybe in Spain for the Champions League. We will need them."