Go­ing up six pro­moted sides

World Soccer - - Contents -

The wild cel­e­bra­tions that sur­rounded Amiens’ 96th-minute pro­mo­tion­win­ning goal on a crazy last day of Ligue 2 over­shad­owed a far more sig­nif­i­cant el­e­va­tion: the re­turn of Strasbourg, one of the great names of French foot­ball, to the top flight.

The top six teams in the sec­ond tier were in con­tention go­ing into the fi­nal round of matches, and Em­manuel Bour­gaud’s win­ner at Reims made the head­lines as Amiens edged out Troyes to se­cure a first-ever sea­son in Ligue 1.

How­ever, Strasbourg sealed the Ligue 2 ti­tle with a 2-1 win at home to Bourg-en-Bresse. The vic­tory was, how­ever, all the more re­mark­able be­cause it meant a fourth pro­mo­tion in six years for the Al­sa­tian club, who re­turn to the top flight of French foot­ball for the first time since 2008, hav­ing en­tered liq­ui­da­tion in 2011 and been rel­e­gated to the fifth tier.

It took just two sea­sons to get up to the third-tier Cham­pi­onnat Na­tional, where they spent a fur­ther three years.

It was the ap­point­ment in 2014 of Jacky Dugueper­oux as coach for a third time that saw the club re­turn to the pro­fes­sional ranks. Cap­tain of the 1979 ti­tle-win­ning side, he led them back into Ligue 2 last year be­fore hand­ing over the reins to for­mer in­ter­na­tional Thierry Lau­rey that sum­mer.

Home form was key to their suc­cess this term as Lau­rey’s side won 11 of their last 12 fix­tures at the Stade de la Meinau, scor­ing 30 goals in a run stretch­ing back to Novem­ber as they se­cured back-to-back pro­mo­tions.

Vic­to­ri­ous...a win against Bour­gen-Bresse se­cured the ti­tle

On the up...Ernest Seka has had backto-back pro­mo­tions with Strasbourg

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