The Academic Route

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar September 8, 2018 20:46

The Academic Route

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By Satish Sekar in Casablanca © Satish Sekar (September 8th 2018)


Morocco, unusually positioned at the bottom of their Cup of Nations qualifying group face Malawi tonight in the intimidating cauldron that is Casablanca’s Complexe Sportif Mohammed V. Double AFCON winning coach Hervé Renard knows that only a win will do.

The current Technical Director of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF), Nasser Larguet, nevertheless has reason to be proud. Renard has included the fourth graduate of the Mohammed VI Academy in his squad. Nayef Aguerd has had an incredible fortnight.

Youth Policy

“I’m really happy to play with national team,” Aguerd told me. “He [Renard] gives a lot of opportunities to the young players to discover the national team, and as I told you I’m very happy to be there.”

Aguerd moved from FUS Rabat to Ligue Un outfit Dijon FCO in June. Oliver Dall’oglio gave him his debut in the 4-0 drubbing of Patrick Vieira’s OGC Nice.

But why choose Dijon? “I would say I talked with the coach before I sign for Dijon and I think it’s a good team,” Aguerd said.

“They play football and it’s one of my qualities to play football, and I added a choice from my heart and also from my brain.”

Incredible Fortnight

His coach at FUS Rabat, Hoalid Regragui, a former Dijon player advised him to choose Dijon and recommended him to the club. “He told me that’s a good team for me to progress, as I told you, and that’s it,” Aguerd said. “I talk to him before that I sign here, and really I’m satisfied to sign here, as I told you I want to progress and look forward always.

“I need to work a lot and I think Dijon is the best club to progress and my ambition is to keep working and looking forward, and that’s it. I look to progress and why not to reach big teams? I believe when you work you always get paid and I worked. I had a coach who helped me a lot in Morocco, Hoalid Regragui, and yeah, it’s true with National Team we did win the cup in Morocco and it was easy for me to reach Dijon because they watch me in the CHAN and that’s it.”

After a difficult start in his debut for Dijon – he was booked after 5 minutes – he settled into the match and impressed his coach, especially in the second half, where he scored the winner.

Renard has included Mohammed VI Academy graduate Youssef En-Nesyri in the starting line-up, and Aguerd is on the bench. If he plays Aguerd will become the fourth player developed at that academy to become a full Moroccan international.

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar September 8, 2018 20:46