Lyon Offside’s 2019 Women’s Player of the Year

Thirty-seven games, thirty-four wins, zero losses, and five trophies. All in all, not a bad 2019 for OL Féminin, which closed out a decade of dominance with yet another show of European–and even global–supremacy. We could be here until 2020 shouting out all the players whose show-stopping performances contributed to a hugely successful year, but before the calendar flips, we’ve picked our Lyon Offside 2019 Women’s Players of the Year.

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Breaking Records and Barriers on the OL Academy Fields

The OL Academy fields are legendary. On just about any given day, the Academy fields are populated with future superstars, male and female, promising youngsters who are surely just a few years away from dominating European football, just like Alexandre Lacazette and Wendie Renard, or Karim Benzema and Amel Majri before them. And then there was me, for one day only, lacing up my spikes on those hallowed grounds.

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The revolving door comes to a halt?

Benzema, Lacazette, Martial, Tolisso, Ben Arfa, Umtiti, Fekir, Aouar, Lopes etc… Okay! We get it! The Olympique Lyonnais academy conveyor belt’s ability of producing quality footballers, gift wrapped and ready for a high level international career is well documented, and to quote Moussa Dembélé #IfYouDontKnowNowYouKnow! Around the academy is an incredibly successful recruitment cell led by OL’s secret weapon and chief recruiter Florian Maurice, whose ability to still find hidden gems at low prices in this modern age of football is both astounding and vital to the OL DNA and its ongoing success.

Despite only Anthony Lopes and Nabil Fekir left at the club (Jordan Ferri is currently out on loan to Ligue 1 club Nîmes Olympique), supporters and onlookers have become accustomed to the revolving door of exciting young talent passing from the academy through to the first team. Youngsters at the club are drawing more and more attention from supporters and the footballing world alike as the next big talents.

The strong generation of Ferri, Lacazette, N’jie, Grenier, Fekir, Umtiti, Tolisso, Benzia, Plea and Lopes, most of whom came into prominence during Rémi Garde’s tenure as coach between 2011-14 came to fruition during the 14-15 season under new coach Hubert Fournier. Fournier himself greatly benefited from the trust that Garde was somewhat forced to place on the academy players coming through at the time. Since these players came through, there had been a frustrating gap in quality between the reservists and the first team causing OL to rely more on canny and smart recruitment. Now it’s far different, the current crop of u19 players (not to mention a handful of 15/16 year olds), are already starting to knock on Genesio’s front door for a first team place.

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Jean-Mimi’s Diary – August 6th, 2018

this is my diary where i keep all my sekrets. do not read unless your name is also jean-michel aulas, president of ol but soon to be president of all football

Mood: Annoyed

dear diary,

i am very mad at all other clubs in the world. their players want to come to ol but their clubs won’t let them follow their dreams

ruben called me today and was crying to come to lyon. benfica has locked him in his apartment and threw away the keys.

yerry emailed me yesterday to tell me that barcelona were trying to force him to play for everton even though he wants to play for lyon. barca said they would send him back to colombia if he didn’t listen

victor also really wants to come to ol but jose mourinho not only said no but also took away victor’s phone. that’s why no one has heard from him ever since. but victor found a pigeon who delivered a note to me, so i know he’s alive

and no one knows this but cristiano ronaldo winked at me a few months ago, which in football sign language means he also wants to play for lyon. sadly it didn’t work out because i cannot afford all his hair products

but all these clubs gave me a good idea. i will take away nabil’s phone. only if liverpool pay me 70 millions euros will I give it back

i will look into it tomorrow

i have the best ideas! no wonder i am best club president in the world!!!

Lyon Post Secret: Week 1

Olympique Lyonnais is a great club to play for. They have a zombie manager, a president who micromanages at nanoscopic levels, and a mascot that looks like it walked out of a child’s nightmare. In return, all Lyon ask of their players is to keep their mouths shut, to stay away from prostitutes and orgies, and to drive under the speed limit. But for those who can’t handle it, struggle with temptation, and are hemmed in by the pressure, they can turn to Lyon PostSecret.

(Lyon PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where the players, coaches, and anyone affiliated with them mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard.)

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