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The Daddy

Albi XIII and Montpellier Red Devils

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With the new French season approaching, it's good to see these two clubs have a mini revival. The sport has great potential in both areas with both of them increasing their budgets. It's gonna be intriguing to see what Montpellier's ambitions are now that they are under the wings of the Nicolin group, are they aiming for just Elite 1 or do they hope to go a step further and bid for SL? They already have a decent ground and the city has been buoyed by Catalan Dragons exploits taking a couple of games to the big stadium there. Albi also have potential, the great thing with them is that they have the backing of the Tarn RL community, they have recruited strongly and are aiming to finish 6th or 7th.

Watch this space on both fronts

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Question what is the Nicolin Group? All we need now is team from Marseille and Paris and it would be all gravy

Louis Nicolin's money. A very rich guy that made his fortune long time ago. 

He owns Montpellier Football club and decided to invest a bit in Montpellier XIII. He could single handedly throw them into SL. Fun fact, Montpellier XIII is coached by a woman, Audrey Zitter!

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The bin man, his son is the honorary president of montpellier xiii , the dad used to own beziers Union team as well a few years ago I believe , great news as usually if nicollin wants something he usually gets it! He's been to the catalans a few times and likes what he sees, let's see how my old team montpellier mess this one up!

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The bin man, his son is the honorary president of montpellier xiii , the dad used to own beziers Union team as well a few years ago I believe , great news as usually if nicollin wants something he usually gets it! He's been to the catalans a few times and likes what he sees, let's see how my old team montpellier mess this one up!

So what's the end game for Montpellier? Are they aiming for Super League?

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They said they want to take it slowly, establish a team in elite 1 then see how it goes,

And how about Albi? Tarn is another region with huge potential

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The problem in France is that lots of clubs rely heavily on money from the local government(mairie) , when the mayor is a league man things go great but a change of mayor can ruin a club, it happened in Albi when they started to invest lots more in the union team to get them in the top division and the league team really suffered, when I was at montpellier they where always promised from more from the local government than they actually received so always struggled money wise as the season went on. Lescure are doing well as are Albi but realmont have dropped a division, not sure if it's to create a pyramid system with the 2 other teams or due to financial/sporting reasons,

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Montpellier is a beautiful city. We spent a very happy week there a few years ago - I had the best meal of my life in a restaurant there... I'd go back like a shot.

I would have thought that there'd be mileage in France in looking at players too "small" or too individualistic for the union pro clubs to at our game. There must be a lot of good players who at least have a basic knowledge of the relevant skills...

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The promoted Albi looked pretty decent at Stade Brutus Saturday in curtain raiser against a youthful St Esteve - losing it 26-18. Their Juniors too beat St Esteve which was encouraging. Experienced  tandem Anselme-Collado give them direction too I think. Their Elite 2 neighbours Lescure mowed down Lyons 40-20 also. Further down the line Albi stages the Ireland international 17 October. It all adds up for the Tarn.

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Everywhere I have been in SW France as a RL fan you get a tremendous welcome. Albi is a very lovely place and we were treated exceptionally well. I am sure the Irish team will have a good craic like we did in the Irish bar in the centre of town.

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Montpellier is a beautiful city. We spent a very happy week there a few years ago - I had the best meal of my life in a restaurant there... I'd go back like a shot.

I would have thought that there'd be mileage in France in looking at players too "small" or too individualistic for the union pro clubs to at our game. There must be a lot of good players who at least have a basic knowledge of the relevant skills...

The too small or individual players just stay in Union in the lower divisions, train 5 times a week and earn 5 to 600 euros a month at lezignan or carcassonne or train twice a week in the french rugby union 4th or 5 th division for the same money get given a job with the council or the president and touch the ball twice and make 2 tackles per game? They usually choose the latter as do quite a few league players! Edited by barnyia

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