On January 10th, Rémi Garde held a press conference to present his new coaching staff but also gave the opportunity for Impact fans to get some information about the upcoming season. First off Rémi presented his new coaching staff:
- Maxence Flachez who will be one of his assistant coaches. Maxence and Rémi played together for a short period at the end of Rémi’s career. Maxence had a lengthy career as a player and then became a coach. Rémi trusts his competencies and believes he will be a great individual to develop the younger potential.
- The second assistant coach is a familiar face for the Impact community, Wilfred Nancy. Rémi explained that he was looking for someone who knew the league to help him know what to expect. After meeting with Wilfred he saw that they were a good match on a personal level but just as well on an athletic level.
- The goalkeeper coach who Rémi also referred to as another assistant coach is Joël Bats. Rémi and Joël go way back having played together and coached together as well. Joël Bats has established himself as a goalkeeper coach having developed players extremely well in Lyon.
- The final member Rémi presented was the fitness coach, Robert Duverne. Another individual from Rémi’s past that actually was his fitness coach when he was a player. Rémi likes the methods that Robert uses and is happy that he will be able to rely on him for this season.
Secondly, Rémi Garde and Joey Saputo then welcomed questions about the upcoming season. A lot of topics were covered but a few were important to consider going into the training camp and preseason.
Questions were asked about the lack of movement in acquiring new players that will make a difference and help reduce the chances of the Impact not making the playoffs again the season. This has been becoming a growing concern because the team seems to be losing key pieces and not gaining any substantial returns. The staff explained that with the coaching change it has been more difficult to get the ball rolling but a plan has been put into place and it has began being executed. Rémi explained he does understand the impatience being expressed by fans but said that finalizing contracts is a lengthy process. He hopes that in the upcoming days more developments will be made available.
The next big subject was the departure of Blerim Dzemaili. Rémi explained that Dzemaili expressed his want to return to Italy for athletic and personal reasons. Rémi does not want to keep player against his will but they want to ensure that they get the right return in the process. Rémi is disappointed because he was hopeful of working with Dzemaili. The staff is aware that a replacement for a player of such caliber is necessary; Saphir Taider is one those players that Rémi does believe is of caliber. The staff did make it very apparent that they are not frustrated with the departure of Dzemaili but more so excited about what they can get in return; they see it as an opportunity.
The final point discussed was that of the goalkeeper standings. Rémi explained that Bush would start the season and Clement Diop would be his back up. As for Maxime he had expressed his want to leave and Rémi will try to figure out something to fulfill his wishes but not at the detriment of the team. With five keepers on their roster as of right now it is understandable that something needs to be done before the season starts.
Saputo explained that his 5 year plan has not changed they are on year 2 of the 5 year plan. While some questions were answered a lot of the major points got very incomplete answers. Rémi Garde and Joey Saputo, juggled their answers well and at times, like good politicians, chose not to give the clearest answers. It seems that a lot of potential players are on their table right now and that going into the camp fans may still not have all the answers they want but some moves are imminent.