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Benjamin Graton, from Caudebec-lès-Elbeuf to the professional world

When he saw Benjamin Graton land among the beginners at the RCC, Bastien Baudu immediately understood that he was dealing with a phenomenon. “Everything he did was clean, enthuses the one who also had him under his orders in the under 13 years. He was a lively, technical and tough little fellow. He was making real differences on his left wing. We called him Baggio (in reference to Roberto Baggio, the Italian international). »

A nickname which took on its full meaning when, carried by a supercharged Graton, the youngest of Caudebec-lès-Elbeuf won the Normandy Cup against the Le Havre ogre (4-3 in 1999). “It is mainly thanks to the work of the RCC educators that we achieved this performance, he specifies. They instilled in us values, they insisted a lot on the notions of competitions and work. We weren’t bothering each other, we worked a lot, we progressed quickly. “

So much so that like Nicolas Pallois (his teammate), he aroused the interest of the big Norman clubs. “Quevilly, Caen, the HAC began to follow him, Baudu remembers. Only, at the time, small sizes were not necessarily popular. But he was swimming in his swimsuit (laughs). These clubs therefore waited until they grew a little. ”

” A dream
to play
in Diochon “

Too much, no doubt, because when the attacking midfielder decided to leave the Elbeuvian agglomeration, he turned to FC Rouen.
“We got a nice, polite boy, insists Eric Ratsimbazafy who coached him with the Red Devils. And then, in the field, it was not bad too. He was combative, dynamic, he had an interesting left paw. »

Assets which allowed Graton to climb the ranks (U13, 14 years federal, 16 years national, reserve) leading to the pennant team (2006-2007 season). “I worked a lot to get there, he supports. It was a dream to play Diochon. “ The rest was just as idyllic. After hooks by Lorient (B team) and Vitré then a good year at Beauvais, Laval (Ligue 2) indeed offered him a professional contract (2010-2011 financial year).
“It was the culmination of my work, he breathes. Unfortunately, it didn’t go the way I wanted. I had personal concerns. I was loaned to Orleans which was coached by Yann Lachuer. It was a little better, but my contract was broken. “ Behind, Graton has chained the clubs (Beauvais, Les Herbiers, Bourgoin) without ever managing to revive.

“He could have stayed longer with the pros, estime Ratsimbazafy. He had the qualities for. » Instead, after a stopover in Déville / Maromme (2019-2020 season), Graton has definitely hung up his crampons.

An express conversion

Becoming a trainer, Benjamin Graton (32) has always thought about it. Also, in 2014, he embarked on the preparation of the diploma which he obviously validated. A precious sesame which allowed him, once his playing career ended, to look for a club where he could pass on his knowledge. A quest that Luc Bénard (technical executive of the French Football Federation) facilitated.

“He told me about La Jeunesse Combourgeoise (a club located in Brittany)
and put me in touch with Cédric Cousin, the club president (former player of Fécamp), explains Graton.
I want to thank them both, because today I am the general manager and coach of the first team (which evolves in R2)
. I try to understand the coaching profession in the same way as those who trained me in Caudebec. Above all, I try to help boys to become men. I put forward values ​​that are dear to me such as respect, work. “ In order to achieve which objective (s)?
“It’s a long-term project. The idea is to rebuild the club, to move it forward gradually, relying mainly on young people. “

So no way to get your hands on and then look elsewhere, Graton has decided to enroll in the long term.
“You have to know how to ask yourself, especially when you have a family, he insists.
After having traveled a lot during my playing career, I want a little stability. When you leave the professional world, it’s always a bit complicated. There, now, all the lights are green. “

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