Piquionne spearheads Martinique advance

Frederic Piquionne’s decision to reinvent himself on the international stage with Martinique has proved a fruitful one, as the team continues to rise…

Frederic Piquionne’s international career with Martinique has been nothing short of enigmatic, having represented them at the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2003 he took a nine year break from the setup before re-joining for the recent Caribbean Cup tournament.

And what a boost he has been. Piquionne is exactly the sort of character the nation needs: someone with high status, experience and pedigree.

Having played for the likes of Stade Rennais, Monaco, Lyon, and Portsmouth he is undoubtedly a much travelled, top level player who can only be a positive influence on the national team.

Piquionne is exactly what Martinique need: high status, experience and pedigree

Sure, things haven’t worked out splendidly for Piquionne this season with his current club West Ham United – for whom he has made over 50 appearances for – but at 34 it’s an inevitability that he will become jaded. The English game is ferociously physical.

For Martinique to obtain such a high quality asset like Piquionne is really very momentous and he must rate the prudence of the setup otherwise he wouldn’t have turned down the offer of featuring for his country of birth, New Caledonia.

The team is, or certainly was in the recent edition of the Caribbean Cup, more or less built around the dynamism and attacking instinct of the striker. His exploits were fitted into the blueprint of the side.

He contributed significantly towards Martinique’s impressive semi-final finish as they crashed out to Trinidad & Tobago – who went onto lose to eventual champions Cuba in the Final – in unfortunate fashion losing on spot kicks.

Ironically, Piquionne did indeed miss the crucial penalty in the shoot-out which gave Trinidad the 5-4 victory but a semi-final finish was a audacious achievement nonetheless.

The national side’s semi-final finish in the latest edition of the Caribbean Cup was an audacious achievement

He scored in the Group B opener against Cuba which set the team going as they marauded through the group finishing table toppers with seven points.

The semi-final feat was commended by many spectators and supporters alike, illustrating the astute development of the management and players.

But it wasn’t all about Piquionne. The defence has shored up, the midfield is full of craft and guile and there is plenty of firepower upfront – all directed by the meticulous head coach Patrick Cavelan.

Other such individuals including Kevin Parsemain (below, right), Gael Germany and Yoan Pivaty all deserve a mention. The former oozes class, with the ability to effortlessly glide past defenders and his solo strike against Trinidad in the semi-final (2:45 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1stac76M8fE )  was simply sumptuous. It’s surprising he hasn’t courted interest from overseas.

Germany is solid and one for the pragmatists. Strong as an ox and versatile – he helped the backline concede just two goals in the three group stage matches.

Pivaty is an upcoming 22-year-old – plying his trade in Bulgaria – and so frequently seen on buccaneering runs and encapsulating crowds with outrageous, yet measured, tricks. He is quite possibly one for the future.

But perhaps more pertinently, it’s been a tremendous team effort. The recent progress lies with the cohesive unity and notion of hard work.

The cohesive unity and notion of hard work has helped with the recent progress

It was important for Cavelan’s men to reacquaint themselves with the latter stages of the Caribbean Cup, too, having won it back in 1993. Maybe now with the heavily influential Piquionne steadying the ship – Martinique can push for trophy glory once more next year.

By Nathan Carr

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Thank you for reading! Feel free to leave any constructive feedback in the comments box below. Meanwhile, you can get in touch with me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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