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French Ultras' spirit still lives on....

"Etoile Ultras" with their distinctive banner on matchdays
"Etoile Ultras" with their distinctive banner on matchdays

"Etoile's sit-out is not a surprise for me."

That was the first comment by Mr Pierre Foucaud, the group leader of "Etoile Ultras" - the independent Etoile FC's fan club on the 2010 S.League Champions' decision to sit out of the upcoming 2012 season.

A meteorologist by trade, the local-based Frenchman together with two other compatriots formed the "Ultras" back in 2010 to back the French side when they debut in the S.League and claimed the title in their inaugural season.

Johan Gouttefangeas (pictured above left with French star Laurent Robert
Something that never materializes (Picture credit: from sources)

Despite that feat, things did not appear to be rosy on the surface with allegations of reports on various unpleasant issues that surfaced along the way and eventually saw their former chairman Johan Gouttefangeas (pictured above left with French star Laurent Robert) left in the club in last June (Gouttefangeas was recently named as the S.League deputy CEO).

With the iron already cast on the decision to sit out by the French club, Pierre insisted that the involvement of the "Ultras" and the club will not cease.

"I have worked closely with other members and established a partnership with Nicolas Possetti," said the bespectacled man with his trademark orange baseball cap at any Etoile match in the past seasons.

THE LINK WILL CONTINUE ...

Nicolas Possetti was a one-time assistant to Patrick Vallee, who won the title with the Stars in 2010, is now being the person in charge of the Etoile Football Academy.

"Bringing back Nicolas to run the Football Academy is a clear sign from Hicham (Moudden, the current Etoile chairman) to show he cares for Etoile and considers the youth education a top priority." added Pierre on reaffirming the club's priority during the "sit-out" period.

"We are going to support the players from the Academy. We will meet them and share our passion for football and fans (with them).

"The history of ULTRAS is rich and can be shared with others. It is about friendship, dedication, fun, respect, and die-hard support for a cause we believe in." concluded the self-proclaimed "Ultra" from leading French club Olympique de Marseille since 1988 in an email interview with this blog.

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