Retired from the field in 2020, Loïc Perrin has not left his lifelong club, AS Saint-Etienne, where he holds the position of sports coordinator. He is a central player in the Forez club, fighting to stay in Ligue 1.
Loïc Perrin has not been an ASSE player since the summer of 2020. He wore his cleats and this green jersey as a professional for 17 years, a total of 23, and he returned to the club’s stewards. Captain’s armband. One page was changed not only for the man but also for the club.
The leader of the ASSE, to whom Perrin offered his career (which he returned well), then decided not to participate as such. It was agreed that Perrin would stay at home at Center Sportif Robert-Herbin: time should be left for him to understand the workings of the various administrative departments of the club and to broaden his vision as a pro player to others. . Areas that make up the life of a club.
It’s a cliché but “in football, everything happens very quickly” and when a club is in an emergency like ASSE, things get a little quicker. After the departure of Claude Puel, Saint-tienne reorganized itself around its executive director Jean-François Soucasse with a challenge: good administrative and financial management of the club with the support of the service directors.
To achieve this, Toulouse relied on two products from Saint-Etienne. Two people who know the club by heart. Samuel Rustam, former Director of Security and Stadium Manager at the club for more than 10 years, and Loïc Perrin, Propelled Sports Coordinator. A delicate and uncertain mission but one that both men accepted without hesitation. Obviously for Perrin as well, having to save one club – his club – is in danger.
Its mission: to define the form of first team sport, to facilitate the relationship between professionals and the rest of the club, to supervise recruitment and also to participate in reflections and decisions at the training centre.
Regardless of the daily privileges of Pascal Dupraz, he is a facilitator. Dupraz is very much: “From December 15, I say it and I repeat it, Loïc brings me all his expertise, his relevance, he is extremely balanced. Indeed, through delicate times surrounded by people like Jean-François Soucasse. It’s extraordinary to live with, Samuel Rumstem and Loic Perrin, because I never once felt disbelief.”
A leader for old and young
But Loïc Perrin also necessarily constitutes a guarantee for the supporters. “The fact of course is that a man like Perrin is confident, he knows the values of the club, the supporters and the field”, explains Lucas, 26, a client who worries about the end of the season. Christophe, 43, says: “He is a club player, he was coached, played and captained here, he is one of the best images of the club.”
Since the arrival of Dupraz and the acquisition of Perrin, ASSE has been doing a little better, even if the maintenance is fiddly. And yet in these difficult times, someone close to the club confirms that the atmosphere is firm and remains very good. The spirit of human courage in the face of adversity was forged between Dupraz, Rustam, Soukase and Perrin.
For a few weeks, while the club has been playing its existence among the elite, Loic Perrin has unofficially put his armband back on his tweed jacket, this time. In a locker room who respects him, his talk still goes on. There are old people with whom he played (Hamouma, Khazari, Boudebouz), and young people, to whom he was always presented as a mentor during his years in the training center. His journey, his loyalty and his irresistible career have always made him a leader of the club and an example to be followed by the club’s teachers. Camara, Gourna, and other Nades have always looked to Perrin as a supporter when they grew up on state playgrounds.
close to locker room
After the slap received at Lorient (6-2), Jean-François Soucasse called a meeting the day after the sinking. He then put players before their responsibilities and recalled the impact it could have on their careers as well as jobs within the club. If the acting president is not of a derogatory character, the tone was firm. And in an almost “good cop/bad cop” perspective, Perrin came to speak more closely with the group. The former protester discussed, listened individually and collectively. He tried to burp possible abscesses, he regurgitated some and comforted others.
As he did when Christophe Gaultier was one of the relay managers of the years, Perrin set a goal for the group: “four points on a welcome to Brest and a trip to Bordeaux.” The objective, achieved by players in difficulty, is to return twice in meetings where the team was behind. A character created by a man whose voice has always been moving without – or almost – needing to lift it. And players are receptive to the aura of Loïc Perrin and Pascal Dupraz. An anecdote is revealing: “They call him ‘Capy,’ that’s an abbreviation for Captain!”
The renewal of this responsibility, determined by necessity, does not differ from the captain on the ground, be it Boudebouz or Khazar. But with a group that is still young, the presence of multiple captains on and off the field is not a luxury for ASSE. As for Perrin, he seems destined to be captain of the Greens forever.