No, CF Montreal has not contacted Philippe Eullaffroy for a position on the coaching staff of the senior team. Would he have the profile, though? “Yes, I think so,” says the club’s former academy director.

“It’s a championship that I know very well, it’s a club, a city that I know very well,” explains Eullaffroy in an interview with La Presse. I know all the young players from the Academy very, very well. Is this a position that might interest me? Of course. But they haven’t contacted me, and I don’t think they will anyway. »

Philippe Eullaffroy had been working at Impact for 10 years when he was fired in April 2020.

“It was a huge surprise when it happened,” recalls the man who now works for Dakar Sacré-Cœur in Senegal. It was the very beginning of the pandemic. The club was in financial difficulty. There’s not much I can do about it. »

But Eullaffroy has no “bitterness” towards the CFM, he assures. Even when the pandemic put a brake on sporting activities, his Impact youth teams were “first in their respective championships”, he says. Hence the “surprise”.

“But in the professional field, these are things that can happen. You put on a brave face against bad luck, and you know that you chose this profession with these disadvantages. »

Philippe Eullaffroy says he is still on good terms with “Gab Gervais”, president of the CFM, and sports director Olivier Renard, “even if they are not people [he has] on the phone very often”.

That doesn’t stop him from having his opinion regarding the management of the young prospects of the team “from [his] city” and, above all, the absence of a team in MLS Next Pro.

This circuit is essentially the third American division. Starting next year, all MLS teams will have a reserve team in this league. All except CF Montreal.

The CFM’s plan is currently to have its U23 team play in Ligue1 Québec – formerly the Première Ligue de soccer du Québec (PLSQ) –, a semi-professional circuit. He also sends his best hopes on loan either to the Canadian Premier League (PLC) or to the USL, the second division.

“I find that it is always complicated in a club to do development without a reserve team, without a team that makes the transition to the first team, while remaining in a training environment for these players. »

“We can always say that the lucky ones can go to the PLC to get playing time, which is not necessarily a bad thing. […] But they go out of sight of the club, we no longer have any control over their playing time, their way of doing things. It is not the role of PLC clubs to optimize the playing time of young CF Montreal players. »

Eullaffroy thus deplores the “loss” of a “very important tool” in the last stage of player development. He speaks of a need for “consistency” in the “club development pyramid”.

He gives the convincing example of Mohamed Farsi, very recently champion with the Columbus Crew. The Quebecer was in the PLC when he decided to join Crew II, in MLS Next Pro, in 2022. From there, his rise was direct, he was recalled by the big club that year, and started in the 2023 MLS Cup final.

“In MLS Next Pro, there is a lot of proximity with the first team. This allows the first team staff, the sporting director, to keep an eye on these players who are developing, and to call on them at any time. »

For Philippe Eullaffroy, the strong presence of Quebec soccer artisans in the MLS final is “an incredible phenomenon”.

On the Crew side, there was Wilfried Nancy, who has been playing in Quebec soccer since 2005. There was his staff, Yoann Damet, Maxime Chalier, Jules Gueguen as well as Kwame Ampadu, all former CF Montreal players. There was Farsi on the field, in front of LAFC goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau. And Marc Dos Santos, the assistant head coach of the Angelins.

“I’m not even sure that in hockey, we would have a Stanley Cup final with so many people from Quebec involved. It’s quite phenomenal and unique, and it represents the breeding ground that we can have at home. »