Basketball / Ilan Bernier. “We’re really glad we’re still there,” admits Eric Bartikki

Yes, we are aware that we could not have been there and we are very grateful to the people who fought, Mr Bayrou, David Bonimason-Carrier, Sebastian Maynard, Beauty Sane, all those who invested in saving the club and allowing all of us, the staff, the players, But also the staff so that we can continue to practice their profession at Elan. It’s been a month’s fight, and it’s really a pleasure to be staying there.

New ruling…

Yes, we are aware that we could not have been there and we are very grateful to the people who fought, Mr Bayrou, David Bonimason-Carrier, Sebastian Maynard, Beauty Sane, all those who invested in saving the club and allowing all of us, the staff, the players, But also the staff so that we can continue to practice their profession at Elan. It’s been a month’s fight, and it’s really a pleasure to be staying there.

A new rule has been installed. What does this change for the coach you are?

It does not change anything. My job is still the same. Of course we can’t hide everything that happened, and it’s clear that everything is not fixed around the team as if nothing happened this summer. But that doesn’t stop us from working, and as far as I’m concerned, my interest is still to bring the team back to life and get the most out of it.

Tight budget, wanting to get an extra pro player that won’t be granted… It feels like we’re going back two years where the problem was the same before the season kicked off…

Yes, we have fewer resources than the other teams, but we are aware of the financial difficulties management must face. Everyone will fight to improve it. We would have liked to have another player but we understand that’s not possible. A group of nine professionals, including two children, doesn’t suit us, but that’s it.

Is it fragility that worries you?

This creates uncertainty, which I do not hide. We have hired players who know the league well, which will help us, but in reality we are a bit limited in terms of numbers, rotation and experience. Young people are the source of irregularities and mistakes, they will find out things. We’ll see when they enter the competition how it goes for them.

It will necessarily be necessary to show humility but there will be a lot of determination

After last season, being successful in terms of results, winning the Coupe de France and qualifying for the semi-finals in the play-off, is it disappointing to return to these issues?

Disappointing no, because we could not have been there at all. We’ll say it’s a different challenge. I am very happy to be at Ilan, and I am proud to coach this team and extend my contract. This is another challenge that has been suggested to us and we are excited about the idea of ​​taking it up. Humility will necessarily be necessary but there will be a lot of determination. It will be very complicated, but we will fight, at least to keep it.

Last season, some of your opponents talked about the title with credit to qualify your cup win. Do you want to prove to them that you can also perform with realistic means?

Yes, we’ve already seen teams do that. I did it in Le Havre and even here, with Elan, in the early years. The criticisms, were justified in terms of the financial aspect, but some teams that had players referred to as our team and who we beat, who underperformed. Titles are won on the field. If the leaders do not succeed in achieving the planned budget, then there is nothing we can do about it.

By discounted means, what is the key to a successful season?

If we remember Cholet last season, the team got off to a poor start mid-season, but the club had the financial capacity to bring in two players, captain Campbell, and pivotal, Anosike, and that changed the game. This often includes adjustments during the season. It is also an asset to have vengeful and very experienced players. We have this style of players who have proven themselves at Betclic Elite.

Stockton is a boy with a good IQ in basketball, a good and unified guy

What vulnerabilities did you identify?

I don’t really know, we’ll be able to target them better in the first matches. We have complementary profiles, with Cummings, who can help out at 3rd, Ada Sané who can play in 5th after Vitalis Chikoko. The most obvious shortcoming, compared to last season, is that we don’t have a very vertical player in the pivotal position, which Hamadi Ndiaye brought us last season. And also that our back-strike force is less important, even if at first, for ego questions, it causes us some anxiety.

You’re talking about Vitalis Chikoko, we’d expect a lot from him, and we often risk reminding him of his big contract that takes nearly 25% of the payroll. Is he ready to put up with this?

I think so. We feel since the start of the season, since the team is detailed in a different way, it occupies a more important place. Arrived in good condition, we feel very active. In friendly matches he saw the ball a lot. He will have a more important role and he is aware of the problems with the wage bill and the economic situation of the club. He is a smart boy. We will have to rely on him and manage him well as well because we are not yet sure that Enzo Scharvin can be as reliable as Hamadi Ndiaye.

The other major recruit is Michael Stockton, a captain, a position that has been very successful at Ilan for several seasons. What do you expect from him?

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