is a football (soccer) club from France.
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Espérance Sportive Troyes Aube Champagne is a football in France club, based in Troyes. It was founded in 1986. It is the third professional club from Troyes in history, after ASTS and TAF. The club was promoted to Ligue 1 for the 2005–06 season and their first Ligue 1 season was in 1999-2000. It currently plays in French second division, Ligue 2. They won the UEFA Intertoto Cup 2001 after beating Newcastle United F.C. on the away goals rule after the score was 4 – 4 on aggregate – all goals being scored in the second leg at Newcastle.
First period: ASTS (1900-1965)
The first ever football club in Troyes was created in 1900, as Union Sportive Troyenne (UST). In 1931, it merges with the AS Savinienne, a club from the suburbs of Troyes, to form the Association Sportive Troyenne et Savinienne (ASTS). The newly formed club became professional in 1935, and joined the Ligue 2.
The club reached the Ligue 1 in 1954/55, under the guidance of manager and former international player Roger Courtois (1952–1963), with players such as Abdelaziz Ben Tifour, Marcel Artelesa or Pierre Flamion. It constituted one of the more glorious time of the club, as they reached the Coupe de France final in 1956, against CS Sedan Ardennes, which they actually lose 3-1. The same day, the youth team of the club won the Coupe Gambardella, the French Youth cup. That very same year, the club failed to keep its place in French top flight, and was back in Ligue 2. It finally succeed in reaching the Première Division again in 1960, but it lasted just one season, as it was relegated in 1961. The club had some financial difficulties, and had to leave professional football at the end of the 1962-1963 season, which they finished 17th out of 20. They pursued two more seasons at regional level, under the guidance of former ASTS player Jacques Diebold, before disappearing.
Second period: TAF (1970-1979)
After two years without any major club in Troyes, a new one was created in 1967, under the name Troyes Omnisports, still at regional level. It renamed itself Troyes Aube Football (TAF) in 1970 as it took back professional status, and was admitted straight in the Third Division. They were promoted in Second Division after just one year. For their first season in Second division, under the lead of Pierre Flamion, they finished second, but failed to win promotion, as there were three Second division groups that season. They finished first next year, in 1973, and losed in the Champions final between the Champions of the two new groups against RC Lens.
The club knew its longest consecutive run in Ligue 1, as they stayed five consecutive seasons in the top fliht, from 1973 to 1978. It has however a difficult spell, as it had to struggle each season against relegation. Pierre Flamion leaved in 1975, and was replaced by René Cédolin, former Stade Rennais manager. Its best position was 15th out of 20 in 1976-1977. Even though they had some very good players, such as striker Gérard Tonnel (1972–1975, 107 games, 69 goals in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2), right-back René Le Lamer (1973–1978), keeper Guy Formici (1970–1978) and Yougoslavian star, winger Ilija Petković (1973–1976). They were finally relegated in 1978, finishing 19th.
After just one year in Second division, in which the club finished 17th and were relegated in third division, it came to bankruptcy.
Third period: ATAC/ESTAC (1986-nowadays)
After the death of the second professional club from Troyes, some persons tried to rebuild a new club, which could be able to came back to professional status. At first, in 1979, just after the disappearing of the TAF, they merged the amateurs teams the TAF with the Patronage Laïque de Troyes, creating the PL Foot, once again under the guidance of Jacques Diebold. The club only succeed to reach the Fourth division in 1984, but became relegated after just one season, finisching 17th.
In order to build a more lasting club, Maurice Cacciaguerra, Angel Masoni and some other persons decided to create the Association Troyes Aube Champagne (ATAC), taking the place of the PL Foot in Division d'Honneur, French sixth division, at regional level. The new club won the championship for its first season, and was promoted to Fourth division in 1987. After just three seasons, they finished first of the Fourth Division in 1990, and reached the Third Division. Despite being well listed during the three next seasons, the club failed to promote to the Second division. Due to the reform of French football leagues in 1993, the club was transferred to the newly formed Nationale 2, the new fourth level of French football. New president Angel Masoni called Alain Perrin to take the lead of the team. He was to become the most successful manager ever in Troyes, and stayed nine years, from 1993 to 2002.
For the first year, he won the Nationale 2, and ATAC was promoted to the Nationale 1 in 1994. The following year, it finished 10th, before being 2nd in 1995-1996, and was promoted to the Ligue 2: for the first time since 1979, Troyes were playing professional football.
The first season was very difficult, as ATAC finshed 20 out of 22, only keeping its place in Deuxième division due to the bankruptcy of FC Perpignan and FCO Charleville. The two next seasons, were much more successful, as it finished 5th in 1997-1998, and 3rd in 1998-1999, due to the presence of players more used to this level, such as Frédéric Adam, Richard Jeziersky, David Hamed, Samuel Boutal, fans favourite Slađan Đukić and local players, such as captain Mohammed Bradja. ATAC took the lead during the first part of the season. Even if the second part was more difficult, the team finished third, only to goal average, after a last win against AS Cannes. But the more important was that ATAC was promoted to Ligue 1, 21 years after its last season at this level.
The first season in Ligue 1 in 1999/2000, ATAC finished to the 14th place out of 18, meaning that it avoided relegation. At the end of the season, the name ATAC was changed to ESTAC due to the complaints of a French discount supermarket chain having the same name. The glory days came the two next seasons, as they twice finished seventh, qualifying them for the first time to the Intertoto Cup in 2001 and 2002. In 2001, with the likes of future international player Jérôme Rothen, Rafik Saïfi, Tony Heurtebis, Fabio Celestini or Nicolas Goussé they defeated Newcastle United in an epic Intertoto Cup second leg final, which finished to the score of 4-4 at Saint James Park. After a first round qualification in UEFA Cup over Slovaquian MFK Ruzomberok (6-1; 0-1), they played against Leeds United, and despite having won the second leg 3-2, having losed the first 3-1, failed to qualifie to the third round. Next year, they beat Spanish side Villareal CF, and qualified to the UEFA Cup, but the result was canceled due to the disqualification of David Vairelles, which eventually played a few minutes. UEFA disqualified ESTAC, and Villareal persuided to UEFA Cup instead. At the end of the season, despite the sacking of new manager Jacky Bonnevay and the nomination of Faruk Hadzibegic in January, Estac finished bottom of the Ligue 1, and was relegated to Ligue 2.
Avoiding bankruptcy, thanks to the take over of new President Thierry Gomez, they finished 10th next season. In 2004 Jean-Marc Furlan, who had spectacular results in Coupe de France with amateur side Libourne Saint-Seurin, was appointed manager. For his first season at the club, he secured promotion, as the club finished third, particularly due to the great performances of two young strikers on loan, Sébastien Grax from AS Monaco and Bafétimbi Gomis from AS Saint-Etienne. The club played some attractive football, in the style of former manager Alain Perrin. The club maintained itself in Ligue 1 in 2005-2006, but failed the following season (2006–07), finishing at the 18th position. Furlan left at the end of the season, and Denis Troch became new manager. As he failed to win promotion, taking only 4 points in the last 11 games of the season, he was sacked at the end of the season, where ESTAC finished 6th, despite being in the top three during the majority of the season. Ludovic Batelli was appointed next season, but had to struggle against relegation. He was sacked in April 2009, but caretaker manager, Claude Robin, ESTAC director of formation, couldn't avoid relegation.
Once again in financial difficulties, Thierry Gomez stepped up as president, letting place to Daniel Masoni. He called Patrick Remy who succeed in taking back the club to the Ligue 2, finishing third of the Championnat National in 2010. After a disagreement with president Masoni, Remy quit in June 2010, and Jean-Marc Furlan came back. The club stayed in Ligue 2 at the end of the 2010-2011 season, finishing 16th.
As of 4 January 2011
Out on loan
Famous past players
For a complete list of former Troyes AC players with a article, see :Category:Troyes AC players.
- Marcel Artelesa
- Pierre Flamion
- Bafétimbi Gomis
- Tony Heurtebis
- Patrice Loko
- Blaise Matuidi
- Damien Perquis
- Jérôme Rothen
- Mamadou Niang
- Fabio Celestini
- Mohammed Bradja
- Mehdi Meniri
- Rafik Saïfi
- Karim Ziani
- Joe Gaetjens
- Ilija Petković
- Slađan Đukić
(January 1986 – April 88)
- Pierre Flamion (April 1988 – June 88)
- Jean Louis Coustillet (1988–92)
- Patrick Aussems (1992 – December 92)
- Pierre Flamion (1992–93)
- Alain Perrin (1993-02)
- Jacky Bonnevay (2002 – December 2002)
- Serge Romano (December 2002)
- Faruk Hadžibegić (January 2003–04)
- Jean-Marc Furlan (May 2004 – June 2007)
- Denis Troch (2007–08)
- Ludovic Batelli (2008–09)
- Claude Robin (2009)
- Patrick Remy (footballer) (2009–10)
- Jean-Marc Furlan (2010–)
Winners (1) : 2001
- French Cup Runners-Up (1) : 1956
- Coupe Gambardella Winners (1) : 1956
- - Runners-Up (1): 1957