COUPE DE FRANCE – « He became a football player again »: What happened with Augustin?

When rebirth rhymes with resilience. A crossing of the desert, a way of the cross, paraphrases are legion to evoke the case of Jean-Kevin Augustin, hope of French football during his years of « Parisian titi », now playing under the jersey of FC Nantes. Affected by a long Covid which kept him away from the field for more than a year, the young 24-year-old striker will nevertheless be present in the Canaries group to face Stade Brestois in the round of 16 of the Coupe de France on Friday. France.
But before turning back the lawns of Ligue 1, two weeks ago against OGC Nice, Augustin experienced a real ordeal, even making his management doubt a possible return, one day, to the elite. The doubt has been lifted for two meetings, two games where the former Monegasque came into play to end the game.

A long Covid hard to live

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Before this famous comeback against the Niçois on January 14, it was necessary to go back to November 28, 2020 to find traces of the Nantes crampons on the grass. After only three appearances under the colors of the Canaries, the party was already over. “On a physical level, he cannot be competitive in these conditions today”, had then struck the coach at the time, Christian Gourcuff.

“His head wanted but the body did not followdescribed to Ouest France Pierre Aristouy, coach of the reserve team. Everything was very hard: running, making an effort, controlling a ball, getting your bearings. He had motor problems. We had the feeling that everything was going too fast for him. He was super unhappy and it was very complex for us.”

Thereafter, still no thinning, since Raymond Domenech shared the same observation as his predecessor. A glaring lack of physics which even led to the outright exclusion of Jean-Kevin Augustin from the professional group upon the arrival of Antoine Kombouaré in February 2021.

At the lowest physically, because already out of form before his long Covid, but also morally, the Parisian by birth then had to wait and rely on the Nantes staff, in particular via individual preparation with Cyrille Moine, to believe again. to his lucky star.

After a few months, the player, not very active on social networks, resurfaced on Twitter with a letter to clarify his situation: « The medical tests I have carried out over the past few days have found an answer to the physical problems I have been experiencing since my arrival. » This was followed by the establishment of a protocol, and the beginning of the rebirth.

“There are still a lot of things missing”

A long physical work gradually allowed Jean-Kevin Augustin to regain some sensations. Left at the bottom of the ladder, the Nantes player first had to prove himself with the reserve, before hoping for a return to the top level. It was only in November 2021 that JKA returned to playing in the National 2 squad. A first step that will quickly turn into tenure, before Antoine Kombouaré finally summons him to the A team at the start of the season. ‘year.

“JK has been reinstated in training. He trains well, he repeats the sessions, he goes on so it gives him playing time“, explained Thursday, the coach during a press conference. These few minutes only materialize for the moment by a status of substitute finishing the matches, but the coach is patient.

“Now I’m waiting for the sequel. And it is he who will give me the answer. He has become a football player again but he still lacks a lot of things. That’s why I am very demanding with him. It’s a step”, continued Antoine Kombouaré. Augustin himself took advantage of the many absences in group A, due to injuries, the Covid or the call from the CAN, but his return to the top level is still far from being sustainable.

“As a striker he has to score goals and regain his efficiency, then he can compete with otherssaid the coach of the Canaries last November. But before thinking about the pro team, let him think about getting treatment, becoming an athlete again. It is now done, it remains to find the way to the nets, a favor that the magic of the Coupe de France could finally grant him.

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