It was the Costières / Ligue 2 / J14 / Nîmes-Bordeaux / SOFOOT.com

This Saturday afternoon, the Nîmes Olympique will set foot on the garden of Costières for the final time, going through Bordeaux. Christian Perez, René Girard, Régis Brouard and Omar Belbey recount their recollections on this stadium inaugurated in 1989.


Modified

The casting :

Christian Perez
Nîmes Olympique participant from 1979 to 1987 and in 1995-1996.

Rene Girard
Nîmes Olympique participant from 1972 to 1980 and from 1988 to 1991. Then interim coach within the early Nineties.

Omar Belbey
Nîmes Olympique participant from 1995 to 2000

Regis Brouard
Nîmes Olympique participant from 1999 to 2001, then coach from 2005 to 2007.

“Les Costières was not a cutthroat, nevertheless it was a cramped sufficient stadium to place stress on you. » Rene Girard

What’s your finest reminiscence on the Costières stadium?
Omar Belbey: The semi-final of the Coupe de France towards Montpellier, Sunday April 14, 1996, with out hesitation. A wonderful sunny afternoon, a full stadium, a boiling scorching derby, white-hot supporters… Every thing was there for us to drag off the feat, and we gained 1-0.
Christian Perez: For me too, this match is my finest reminiscence at Costières. We performed a half of the Cup, whereas we had been in Nationwide and as well as it was towards the historic neighbor that’s Montpellier. Loulou Nicollin had put stress on his gamers by saying that within the occasion of defeat, he would return on horseback. The poor… It was extraordinary! Les Costières was full, it was fabulous.
Rene Girard: Les Costières was not a cutthroat, nevertheless it was a cramped sufficient stadium to place stress on you. I keep in mind the D2 barrage in 1989, towards Brest. It was Could 30, I consider. Within the first leg, we misplaced closely to Francis-Le Blé (3-0). And on the way in which again, it was actually scorching! There weren’t many individuals on the stadium although. (11,000 spectators, Editor’s observe)however sufficient to create a boiling ambiance, after we didn’t even handle to qualify (Nîmes had gained 1-0, Editor’s observe). However there was such an environment, that we had been carried away by our feelings, with loopy tackles, confusion. The end result was virtually pushed into the background. Me first, as captain, I used to be caught up within the factor, it was indescribable. (René Girard was expelled on the finish of the sport, Ed.)
Regis Brouard: For me, it is the derby towards Montpellier within the 2000-2001 season, the ambiance was extraordinary. After which there’s a match towards Halilhodžić’s Lille, in 1999-2000. Identical, the stadium was in turmoil, an unbelievable ambiance.

Regis Brouard

“Some gamers have hassle enjoying at Costières, I do know some who’ve gone house stashed within the trunk of their automotive. » Regis Brouard

And your worst reminiscence at Costières?
Regis Brouard: I haven’t got a selected one, however when issues go fallacious on the pitch, the general public may be very harsh. It is a public that lives, we by no means get bored! Some gamers have hassle enjoying Costières, I do know some who’ve gone house stashed within the trunk of their automotive. It might be tense.
Rene Girard: There was a reasonably troublesome Nîmes-OM in 1992… Les Costières had been full as by no means earlier than. It was even volcanic, I keep in mind the fences shaking, smoke in every single place. We could not see something. So we enter the sphere as conquerors. We even lead within the rating for an hour, however we get again up on the finish. You assume you’ve got acquired the win of the yr, however you lose in minutes. It is actually a tough reminiscence to digest, as a result of the ambiance of that day was distinctive! And dropping towards the good Marseille of the time, in entrance of a lot ambiance, it is even tougher.
Christian Perez: For me, it is a match towards Île-Rousse (1-2 in 1996). A relatively manly, tough match. We had come throughout some idiots from the opposing workforce. Frankly, some had “cacarinettes” within the head ! This is likely one of the few video games that had been very common for us in Nationwide that season.
Omar Belbey: Towards Cannes, in 1998, in Ligue 2. The Wednesday earlier than the match, I obtained my first call-up to the Algerian workforce. I talk about it with Pierre Mosca, the coach on the time, and they comply with go away me on the bench in order that I can finest put together for my week with the choice. Besides that on the 85e, one among our gamers is injured, and I’ve to go house. A minute later, I take a brush, I fall badly and I break my collarbone into 4 fragments. Massive balls. It took me 3 months to return again.

Christian Perez

“When there have been 22,000 folks singing the well-known track about Nicollin on horseback, the folks of Caveirac, my village positioned 7 km from the stadium, heard it. “Nicollin, on horseback!” It was enormous. » Omar Belbey

What made this stadium distinctive?
Regis Brouard: I beloved enjoying on this stadium, at the same time as an opponent. It was at all times particular, that is why we referred to as it “Little Marseilles” . The general public is excessive, passionate, whether or not constructive or damaging, however at all times current with its bullfighting, festive, colourful facet. It has at all times been a particular place that I favored to go to.
Omar Belbey: Certainly, I keep in mind that folks used to say that it was a small velodrome. It was not simple for the opposing groups and typically for us, when issues went fallacious. The general public might shortly take a dislike to us. Alternatively, after we began the match with a bang, it was very difficult for our opponents, particularly the massive groups. There might be an amazing osmosis between the general public and the gamers.
Regis Brouard: Throughout a match towards Vannes the place I used to be a coach, we had a memorable broth, a soccer lesson, and the Nîmes public inspired and supported the folks of Vannes. There, while you’re on the sting of the sphere, it is laborious.
Omar Belbey: Once I returned to Costières with Montpellier, the place I signed in 2000, and there it was difficult. The supporters had just a little shock in retailer for me that was to not my liking, however hey, it’s a must to settle for. They unfurled a banner that stated “Omar betrayed me” in reference to Omar Raddad.
Christian Perez: We had been near the general public. It is necessary to really feel that the bleachers vibrate! With every motion, we heard the hubbub of the general public. Nevertheless it didn’t have the particularity of the previous Jean-Bouin stadium. There, I noticed opponents disturbed by the barbed wire throughout the fences, the cinder observe the place we warmed up and the place we crossed paths with the opposing workforce. Typically we knew we had virtually gained the sport earlier than we began it. Les Costières was nonetheless much less of an ambush.
Rene Girard: The issue of the Costières could have been above all its improvement. There have been blind spots in every single place so visibility was actually not good. I can let you know that if you end up a coach at Costières, it’s a must to handle to see effectively. The identical goes for the refreshments, there weren’t sufficient of them, so the spectators had been much less attracted and communicated lower than at Jean-Bouin. However it’s nonetheless a stadium that can have marked its technology, after the Nineties. The derbies towards Montpellier or the few oppositions towards OM solid the identify of this venue. When the massive groups got here to play at Costières, they knew they had been going to be cramped and that it would make noise. Opponents felt smothered!
Omar Belbey: When there have been 22,000 folks singing the well-known track about Nicollin on horseback, the folks of Caveirac, my village positioned 7 km from the stadium, heard it. “Nicollin, on horseback! » It was enormous.

Rene Girard

“The present state of affairs is unhappy. I feel this membership has missed all of the eras. We should always have been the flagship membership within the area, nevertheless it was Montpellier who dominated. » Christian Perez

How do you view the present state of affairs of Nîmes Olympique?
Rene Girard: My concern for the present Nîmes Olympique is that it finds stability and above all a workforce. Constructing a brand new stadium is nice, it is a part of an evolution course of, and it exhibits that now we have discovered the mandatory funding to take action. However as soon as you’ve got achieved that, what in regards to the sport and the general administration of the membership? It’s at this stage that I ponder. For twenty years, Nîmes has been an incessant yo-yo. Barely three seasons in Ligue 1, earlier than returning to the decrease stage. It could be essential to stabilize, to discover a coaching id for instance. And it could be good for this new stadium to function a springboard for future tasks, as a result of for the second, we do not see very clearly. The Nîmes supporters are loyal, it is a soccer metropolis, and I really need the membership to regain its luster, with or with out the Costières.
Christian Perez: With the closure of this stadium, possibly they’ll register for the long run, it’s a good omen. Nîmes, I’ve a selected attachment between the town which is nice and the NO which is my coaching membership. I watch the outcomes, however not the matches. Already I do not have a look at all these in Ligue 1… I additionally take note of their rating, they should not go down… The present state of affairs is unhappy. I feel this membership has missed all of the eras. We should always have been the flagship membership within the area, nevertheless it was Montpellier who dominated. Loulou definitely had extra means, but additionally extra motivation than some.
Regis Brouard: There have been many upheavals lately, with the rise in L1, the descent to L2, the brand new president and his disagreement with the supporters and now the change of stadium… Such a membership wants its supporters.
Omar Belbey: It pains me that the president has alienated everybody, particularly us, the previous gamers, and the ultras. His choice to ban everybody, to do as he pleases, when he would have each curiosity in everybody going through a block behind the membership. Recently, he tried to backpedal with a semi-apology, however the injury was achieved. We spent our greatest years as footballers at this membership, with so many good occasions, that feeling excluded in a single day with out realizing the reason being laborious. He is somebody particular, who does not perceive soccer and who has a particular approach of speaking.

Omar Belbey on the Parc des Princes

Interview by Loïc Bessière, Adel Bentaha and Mathias Edwards

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