VIDEO: Watch as ex-France boss Raymond Domenech takes Derry City training session
FORMER FRANCE manager, Raymond Domenech arrived in Derry on Monday afternoon and wasted no time in putting Derry City's youngsters through their paces at Brandywell Stadium.
The 64 year-old is on a three day visit to the city in his role as President of the National Union of French Coaches (UNECATEF), facilitated by ex-Derry City defender, Pascal Vaudequin and hosted by the Ryan McBride Foundation.
It was a fantastic opportunity for the Candy Stripe youngsters to learn from a man who guided Les Bleus to the 2006 World Cup Final where they lost on penalties to Italy in Germany.
The French man also oversaw France's controversial 2010 World Cup play-off victory over Ireland at the Stade de France and managed world class players such as current Real Madrid boss, Zinedine Zindane and Arsenal and Barcelona star, Thierry Henry. So it was a chance of a lifetime for the young Derry players.
Domenech, who is the current manager of the Brittany national team, has led several unemployed French coaches to the maiden city, including recently sacked Metz boss, Philippe Hinschberger as they bid to improve their English and he hopes it will help improve their chances of getting jobs on the Continent.
"What I like to do best is to give lessons to new coaches," he said. "It was the most pleasant job I had. You give knowledge to the young coaches which is more interesting for me. I'm more of an educator of coaches now.
"In France we have the best reputation for coaching younger players. French football nurtured a lot of good young players like Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial, Antoine Griezmann.
"For the young players people know the best is the French coaches but we have a problem with getting the top jobs. Yes we have Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid and Arsene Wenger at Arsenal of course, Claude Puel is still around but a lot of coaches are in Africa. It's difficult to have French coaches in England, Germany, Italy.
"When you speak about Italian coaches they say they are the best tactical coaches and everybody believes that - not me!," he laughed. "German coaches are offensive and are machines. Spanish coaches are technical, think Pep Guardiola. But what is a French coach? It's mixed. What is the French character? A little of all things!
"Our coaches are not identified by any particular style and it's difficult to get the top jobs. So we have to work on people's opinions of French coaches.
"I say to French coaches, 'you can coach anywhere in the world' because I know what we do in the courses but they need to speak English and that's why we are here.
"We expect the coaches to improve their English on the pitch first. We want them to be able to take a session in English. We don't need a lot of words to explain on the pitch. What you do is more important. And we want to say to French coaches - 'look you can do that no problem'.
"We want them to be more confident., Coaches who are unemployed lose their confidence and need to build that back up."