Stories

Etoile’s 2010 S.League winners: Where Are They Now?

Eight years ago, French outfit Etoile FC took Singapore by storm as they romped to a League Cup and S.League double in their first season of existence. FFT traces the whereabouts of that legendary 2010 side, which made history by becoming the first foreign team to win the S.League...

We are part of The Trust Project What is it?

Yohann Lacroix

In goal for the Stars was this 1.96m custodian, who dominated the penalty box with his presence. The former Lille man kept 21 clean sheets in 31 outings and set a new league record of not conceding in 1065 minutes (11 straight shutouts) in the first half of that 2010 season.

Lacroix joined Tampines in June 2011 after their first-choice goalkeeper Hassan Sunny sustained a serious injury, and he helped the Stags to lift the title that year. In doing so, he became the first player to win the S.League with a foreign and local club – a feat which no player has matched since.

His Singapore adventure ended the following year as he chose to rejoin Etoile, but the club pulled out of the league.

Lacroix returned to Europe and played for Northern Irish giants Crusaders in 2013 and spent four games on loan at Ballymena United the following year, while completing his Master of Science degree in sports business.

The 33-year-old is now working for UEFA’s marketing agency, CAA Eleven where he is responsible for the media rights of the national team competitions under UEFA.

Photo: Shatz Zuby Alsagoff

Julien Deletraz

Equally capable at defensive midfield as well as at right-back, Deletraz’s versatility made him a valuable member of the squad as he featured in 30 out of 33 league games – contributing a solitary strike.

Deletraz returned home to play for fourth-tier outfit Rodez AF for a season before joining Grenoble Foot 38 in 2012. He then jumped ship to Jura Sud Foot in 2014, but returned to Grenoble two years later.

The 32-year-old is now captain of Grenoble, a side ranked second in the third division and on course to be promoted to Ligue 2.

Loic Leclerq

At the heart of defence was this commanding centre-back, who possessed superb reading of the game and scored one of his two goals on the final day of the season as they came from behind to defeat Albirex Niigata 4-2 away to clinch the title.

Leclerq then left for Belgium where he played for fifth-tier side RFC Tournai and second-tier outfit AFC Tubize before hanging up his boots in 2016.  

The 29-year-old is now back in France working for a company which scouts promising French players for American universities, after previously spending a year in Dubai where he was a coach with the Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) academy.

Stephane N’Cho

Partnering Leclerq in defence was this robust midfielder who could also do a job as a centre-back. He was not an automatic starter but always did the job when called upon.

N'Cho then went back to France to play for lower-division clubs like FC Chambly and US Meru Sandricourt before retiring a couple of years ago.

The 33-year-old is now thought to be working at a French college...

Daniel N’na

On the right side (and occasionally left side) of defence was this marauding full-back, who had a penchant for going forward to support the attack.

That was how he scored his only goal of that season as the 76th-minute strike helped to sink Sengkang Punggol (now Hougang United) 1-0 in a televised clash in May.

The Cameroon-born defender returned to France after winning the title with Etoile to play for lower-division teams like Lavaur FC and Cugnaux before retiring at the end of 2012.

The 34-year-old is now a football agent based in Rome, Italy, and helps young players to find playing opportunities.

Cyril Bagnost

A gifted workhorse of a midfielder who had the nifty feet to get away from tight situations, Bagnost was one of those who stood out in that Etoile team.

Surprisingly, he would join struggling Tanjong Pagar United in the following mid-season transfer window and played for the Jaguars till the end of 2011.

The wide man then left for Belgium in 2012, where he played for fourth-tier side KVK Tienen for a season before retiring.

The 33-year-old has since made the interesting transition to footballer to designer. He now works for Picto, where he conceptualises and creates lamps and furniture.

Kevin Yann

In the middle of the park was this energetic box-to-box midfielder, who contributed four goals en route to Etoile lifting the title.

The former Guingamp and FC Lorient trainee then left for Indonesia the following year to join Medan Chiefs, where he was teammates with Singapore centurions Shahril Ishak and Baihakki Khaizan.

Yann then played for another three Indonesian clubs before returning home to join lower-division side L’AS Plouhinec in mid-2013. He retired two years later due to injury problems.

The 28-year-old is now based in Melbourne, Australia where he plays for semi-pro outfit Richmond SC and coaches the kids at the club.

Flavien Michelini

One of the star players of that Etoile team, this playmaker impressed many with his superb technical ability and eye for the killer pass.

He will be remembered as the one who scored the Stars’ first-ever S.League goal as his late strike helped them sink Beijing Guoan 1-0.

Michelini returned home to play for third-tier side FC Gueugnon in 2011, before returning to Southeast Asia the following year to join Thai League 1 side Bangkok Glass. He then left for Ratchaburi in 2015 before going back to France.

The 31-year-old is now playing for fifth-tier side FC Limonest...