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Heart of Hérault: 100 years of fervor around the paulhanais football, it’s worth celebrating!

Since its creation in 1921, the football club has always had a special place in the village, behind generations of players who have made the Star shine at regional and national level.

Many will tell you, in Paulhan, there is Irrifrance and the Star! “The two have always been closely linked. Many managers and players have worked at the factory, which has long been a privileged partner of the football club”underlines Thierry Pérez, the president of the ESPP Avenir.

This Saturday, June 11, players, leaders, and all those who have made history are invited to the Laures stadium where the club is organizing a great reunion day to celebrate its 100th anniversary.

The pioneers, in 1921 with the creation of a football team in the village.

101 years exactly!

“101 exactly. The Covid made us postpone the event for a year”, continues Thierry Pérez. After signing his first license at the age of 8, under the presidency of Loulou Sert, the Paulhanais experienced the glory days of the Division d’Honneur Excellence in the 1980s, before taking the reins of a club in agreement with Pézenas. .

“It was in 2018, with Tarek Eladi at the time.” After its administrative liquidation, the club then descended from National 2 to Departmental 2, the former PHB. “Julien Poueys stayed to train the senior group. Since then, we have worked with a handful of volunteers to keep it alive.” And to give him back his deserved place in regional football. What Claude Valéro had done before him, taking over the presidency in the 90s of a club that once again descended to the departmental level before bouncing back.

“History has been made up of ups and downs, but the club is still there thanks to the fervor it arouses, the support of leaders, supporters, behind generations who have marked their era.” That of Jean-Marie Bertrand, Borao, Anselme, Bousquet… before the Critérium Junior of 77-78 of Michel Martinez.

“Find a League level”

The Eveno, Liron, Silhol, Conquet… quickly joined the pennant team under the leadership of Riquet Franquès then Michel Azun. They joined Brun, Pailharès, Bermond, Courret or Zanon there. Followed by Isure, Llopis, Pérez, Espinas or Caruso in the 90s who followed in the footsteps of their elders.

Without forgetting Pascal Dagany, the club’s most successful player then coach with the Lalaoui, Laborde, Poueys and Oroque generation… “Many of the current mayors of the Cœur d’Hérault have been players at Paulhan”, specifies Thierry Pérez. Claude Valero of course, but also Claude Revel (Canet), Henri Sanchez (Cazouls-d’Hérault), Olivier Brun (Fontès) or Jean-Marc Isure (Campagnan).

Today, after two seasons truncated by the health crisis, the ESPP Avenir flag team, still coached by Julien Poueys, has won the 2021/2022 D2 title and reached the D1. “In general we always celebrate our birthdays with a climb, it was the case for the 80s and then the 90s”smiles the president. “We would like to find a League level for Paulhan, and work around our youth school which is a priority for the club.”

A ten-year adventure ends with Pézenas

Created during the 2012-2013 season, under the chairmanship of Stéphane Mouton, the Paulhan/Pézenas sports agreement has lived! The club had a good time before an administrative demotion which caused it to fall from National 2 to D2 at the end of the 2017-2018 financial year.

Next year, the two cities will have their club again and Paulhan will find his Star and his red and black colors in D1. In ten years of agreement, the ESPP won its only Hérault Cup in 2014 (after losing finals in 1954, 2004 and 2012) and had two accessions with titles in the Division of Honor (2014-2015) then in N3, (2015-2016) under the leadership of Pascal Dagany.

The matches will follow one another this Saturday, June 11 at the Laures / Yves-ros stadium: football school (9 a.m.), former Star (10:30 a.m.), categories U11 to U15 (3 p.m.), former National 2 – Seniors 1 (4:30 p.m.). Animations, inflatable games and photo exhibitions all day long, free grilled aperitif, music at lunchtime. The anniversary will end with a meal and cabaret show in the evening, at the Halle des sports (by reservation).

“An institution in the village”

Three questions to Claude Valero, mayor and former president.

Can we return in a few words to football in Paulhan?

Football was created in 1921, it was already played on this site of the current stadium, on a smaller field, without a stand and quickly gained importance. All the families of Paulhan had at least one of their male member who played, it was the only collective sport practiced for a long time in competition and it quickly became an institution in the village.

With its heyday…

Yes, early on those early teams won trophies and the club had a meteoric rise. Dormant during the Second World War, he left the day before the signing of the armistice during a match followed by the establishment of a new office. We were one of the first in the territory to reach the high regional level, which meant that we attracted good players, while training very good young people. Many then became Hérault football executives. Beyond the results, ups and downs, Paulhan is a club that matters in football.

And celebrating its 100th anniversary!

Absolutely. There is a big enthusiasm behind the day on Saturday, thanks to the work of the leaders. It’s good to create a framework that allows us to meet again around the values ​​conveyed by our collective sport.

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