Interview with Head Coach of the ICEF Julien Bernard
A Head Coach with a long-term vision
At the ICEF, every member of the coaching staff is highly certified with either UEFA licenses (or FFF equivalents) and have numerous experiences working with athletes at the professional level. However, the ICEF staff stands out from the rest thanks to the multi-disciplinary team of different coaches , and most importantly, for its ambition to guide its players to be well-rounded and reach their maximum potential.
Leading this innovative staff is head-coach Julien Bernard, UEFA A certified with experience coaching high-level teams from adult to youth level in France. When asked about what makes the ICEF different from other training centers he’s worked with, his answer was compelling: “We are different because we focus our efforts on the long-term success of our players. My goal will never be to win the weekend match, nor to promote ICEF to a player who has completed his cycle and is ready to move up. My goal is entirely focused on long term success.”
Pro training to be prepared for unique opportunities
He oversees 15+ hours of weekly football training, as well as all the training off the field. This includes sessions for the players in mental preparation and football psychology, expert movement training, strength and conditioning, as well as yoga and meditation. At the ICEF, Coach Julien Bernard oversees the exceptional program specifically designed for players to develop routines of top-level athletes while living on a state-of-the-art football facility..
Through hard work on and off-the field, the student-athletes are regularly exposed to unique opportunities, including access to training and matches with the first team of owned professional club Thonon Evian Grand Geneve (TEGG). However, Coach Julien reveals other exposure opportunities in store for the players, “Yet beyond the TEGG opportunity, our passion is to push our players to reach for the highest level, and we’ve seen other players transfer to other professional or national level clubs. We are often in contact with French and European scouts to promote our players, and our competition schedule this season includes matches against the pro academies of Paris Saint-Germain, Olympique Lyonnais, Servette FC, AS Saint-Etienne as well as International tournaments featuring the best pro academies in Europe.”
Coaching players to be as well-rounded as possible
Finally, when asked about how he viewed his work with his players, Coach Julien Bernard was sure to emphasize the advantages about the multi-disciplinary staff unique to the ICEF:
“Every member works together to bring our players to the top, and to understand what type of player they are going to develop in the coming years. Technical aspects are of course handled in training with the coach, the fitness coach, and the video analyst. Yet the players are also in close contact with a psycho-sociologist to better understand their mental preparation, a nutritionist to have a healthier diet, and many other specialists.” Becoming a top player does not rely on training one single aspect, but more of a collection of aspects, “All our efforts allow for our players to mature. We believe in having a ‘solid head before having good feet’ as we say.”
There has already been significant progress amongst the players this season, and excitingly enough, Coach Julien and his staff are improving their methods year after year. Online and in-person applications to join the ICEF team for the 2022-2023 season are now open. Apply now to play on one of the most innovative football centres in the world.
To watch a video interview with Julien Bernard, click here.