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Background of Ivory Coast-Abidjan Academy

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1993
Jean-Marc GUILLOU decides to go to the Ivory Coast to launch the first Academy in partnership with a club in Abidjan, the ASEC-Mimosas.  JMG will assist the African club in its huge financial difficulties whilst the latter will allow him to set up the Academy installations on the club’s training ground and facilitate their operation.

December 1993
The recruiting sessions begin in all the districts of Abidjan and between 5,000 and 6,000 10- to 13-year-olds are seen.  Eight of them will form the core of the First Selection.

February 1994
The first training sessions begin under the strict supervision of JMG and his deputy, Lambert AMUAH.  JMG names the Academy “MimoSifcom” as a gesture to his two partners (ASEC Mimosas and the Sifcom Group).   Additional recruitment of new players for the First Selection takes place through competitions organised by the Academy.

September 1995
Additional recruitment for the First Selection through competitions organised by the Academy, together with recruitment of the core of the Second Selection (8 players).

April 1997
First tournament in France for the First Selection.  Additional recruitment for the Second Selection through competitions organised by the Academy.  Recruitment for the Third Selection.

May 1998
Second tournament in France for the First Selection.  Additional recruitment for the Second Selection through competitions organised by the Academy.

February 1999
The First Selection makes its debut at the highest level of competition with the ASEC Mimosas team and wins the African Super Cup against the Espérance de Tunis.

April 1999
Feyenoord Tournament finalist.  Additional recruitment for the Third Selection through competitions organised by the Academy.

July 1999
Winners of the Côte d’Ivoire Cup.

November 1999
The First Selection represents the Ivory Coast Olympic National Team for the qualification to the Athens Games.

April 2000
First tournament in France, including the Rezé Tournament (semi-final) for the Second Selection.  Further recruitment for the Third Selection through competitions organised by the Academy.

June 2000
The First Selection represents the Ivory Coast Olympic National Team at the Toulon Tournament (semi-final).

August 2000
ARUNA and ZOKORA become the first European transfers.

November 2000
The First Selection becomes Ivory Coast Champions.

April 2001
Second tournament in France for the Second Selection, including the Rezé Tournament (semi-final).

June 2001
Stake in the Belgian club, KSK Beveren.

November 2001
First Selection becomes Ivory Coast Champions.

December 2001
Disagreement between the Academy (JMG) and ASEC (Roger OUEGNIN).

February 2002
ASEC inappropriately takes over control of the Academy MimoSifcom association.  Launch of the JMG Academy. 

April 2002
Third tournament in France for the Second Selection, including the Rezé Tournament (semi-final).

June 2002
11 “Académiciens” from the First and Second Selections at the Belgian KSK Beveren club.

November 2002
The First Selection becomes Ivory Coast Champions.

June 2003
14 “Académiciens” from the First and Second Selections at the Belgian KSK Beveren club.

December 2003
Transfers of the first “Académiciens” from KSK Beveren (YAYA, YAPI and ARSENE).

April 2004
 First tournament in France for the Third Selection, including the Rezé Tournament (final).

May 2004
Final of the Belgian Cup.

June 2005
Majority stake in KSK Beveren.  16 “Académiciens” from First, Second and Third Selections at KSK Beveren.

June 2006
Disagreement with the management of KSK Beveren.  The new management of KSK Beveren releases several “Académiciens”.  JMG puts an end to the activities of the Academy in the Ivory Coast.    Inappropriate take-over of the “MimoSifcom” Academy by the ASEC management.  First participation of the Ivory Coast national team at the World Cup, with 80% of its squad formed at the Academy.  Since 2006, up to 80% of the Ivory Coast national team is regularly comprised of players formed at the JMG Academy.

2010
Second participation of the Ivory Coast at the World Cup in 2010.    The MimoSifcom Academy is still in existence but no longer enjoying the success of the JMG years.  The ASEC club is experiencing a major decline despite having benefitted from huge financial returns, even as recently as the latest KSK Beveren transfers.  KSK Beveren, relegated to the second division in 2007 despite having also benefitted - and just as unfairly - from returns on players formed at the Academy, was forced into a merger with a local club to avoid relegation to the third division.   But this first Academy remains the source of inspiration for the many Academies already in existence and for those yet to come...