Gilles Tavergeux was elected as the new President of Federation Caledonienne de Football (FCF) late last year, which represents a new era in New Caledonia.

The retired policeman, who was a goalkeeper in his playing days, caught up with OFC Media and spoke about what the future holds for football in the archipelago.

What is your vision for growing the game in New Caledonia?

It is the vision of our team to focus on the youth. We need them to play more and throughout the territory.

The OFC vision for 2026 must be the guideline underpinning our work to achieve success.

To do so, we will rely on the three provincial associations that represent the clubs, which are in turn the heart of football in the Northern, Southern and Islands Provinces.

Part of our vision is to enhance the image of our national team by organising games on our home territory against quality opponents to help the team improve.

Our national team showcases our work as a football association.

Also, we will revitalise our Technical Training Centre by building accommodation facilities, which are essential, and was part of the initial idea behind the Centre.

We want to revive the practice of beach soccer focusing on school children, by organising festivals in schools for both girls and boys.

Other priorities include:

  • To revitalise the Centres of Excellence and sports in school programmes for young boys and girls
  • To develop refereeing by recruiting and training male and female referees
  • To further develop and make the practice of futsal viable and accessible for boys and girls through programmes in high schools across the territory

What do you bring to the role that will help you do a good job?

Having been delegated Vice President of the FCF from 2007 to 2011 with the President Claude Fournier.

This period enabled me to further my understanding of certain situations and I will rely on this experience to carry out my mission for football in New Caledonia.

Through clear and transparent communication, I will aim to unify and bring together all people of goodwill around our vision for our football.

My time at the FIFA Referees Committee will help me develop and maintain relationships on the international level for a better management of FCF.

On the local level, transparency and communication will be the best tools for the development and the influence of the FCF.

Gilles Tavergeux, left, at the final of last year’s Caledonia Cup. Photo Credit: FCF Media via Alain Vartane

Are you happy with how FCF have adapted in the COVID-19 environment this year?

I can only be satisfied with the way FCF has adapted to the COVID-19 crisis this year, for which the new team brought its own touch at the end of the season.

This has even been more noticeable recently since the start of the new lockdown where staff and volunteers have all responded in a very proactive and positive way to cope almost naturally.

What do you want to achieve during your time in the role?

My greatest wish would be to continue the work initiated by the team led by Claude Fournier in 2008, namely the construction of an accommodation building at the Technical Training Centre in Paita.

This facility would cater for all our different needs such as competitions, training courses, and Oceania region exchanges.

This is a point that has often come up during our discussions before the elections because the clubs are the first to ask for this.

But the most important thing is to unify the football family around our vision through consultation in order to work for our youth who I hope will flourish in our sport.