Let’s go back to July 2012. How was the decision made to join Racing Club de Strasbourg Alsace?
“We can say that François Keller at the time had played a big part. I had just completed two or even three good seasons with Besançon and unfortunately the club filed for bankruptcy. I remember that we’d once played against Strasbourg in the snow in Besançon. We had to clear the pitch ourselves, the Besançon players. That match is a great memory. I scored a nice goal and I think it was at that moment I’d caught the eye of François. In the off-season, there were three clubs interested and which had positioned themselves to sign me. At the time, my dad was seriously ill. I almost felt like giving up. I really wanted to go back to my family in the Rhône-Alpes region.
Among the clubs interested, the two that caught my attention were Bourg-Peronnas – this choice allowed me to get closer to home – and Strasbourg. My two best friends played in these clubs: Yannick Goyon in Bourg-Peronnas and Ludovic Golliard in Strasbourg. During Yannick’s wedding, I practically gave him my agreement to join him. I also gave my agreement to the leadership of Bourg-Peronnas. And then, Keller insisted so much. I remember: I gave my verbal agreement in Bourg-Péronnas on Friday, and during the weekend François bombarded me with messages. He even booked the train ticket for me to come to Strasbourg on Monday morning when I had told him ‘no’. At his insistence, I ended up going to Strasbourg. And then seeing the facilities, the situation, talking about the team, the city of Strasbourg, that’s how my agreement ended up on paper on Monday at the end of the afternoon to join Racing Club de Strasbourg Alsace.”
Can you tell us about your season in the Championnat de France Amateur with the club, which was marked by a steep rise at the end of the suspense?
“The year of the CFA, there were highs but there were also lows. I remember that six or seven days from the end, we were very far out in the standings. We needed wins to go all the way, and at the same time needing favourable results elsewhere. At the time, we were fifth and we only played teams ranked above us. We went to La Duchère, where we won 5-1. We only had a few tense matches left. Including the famous last match against Raon L’Etape, which faced with the stakes and intensity, was finally relocated. It was unheard of. That match, we knew if we won it we would be promoted. It was an incredible experience.”
Nowadays, what does Julien Perrin’s daily life look like?
“I still play football at the moment. I live a little above Villefranche in a small village, where there’s a sports alliance at a club called Dombes Bresse, which brings together three villages. We returned to the league last year, we had a good season. We’ll say that today I’m taking it year by year. I’m 37, there’s the job, the rhythm of life and company – it’s complicated. But I still get into the game. I’m only with good guys, I have a lot of fun. We got back to Régional 3 and then last year I scored 26 goals in 25 matches, so it’s pretty good anyway. This season, we have a lot of young guys in the group. My oldest son, who’s also a striker, plays in the same club as me. He’s not passionate like me – I was able
to be – but he loves it. I don’t know if later on I’m going to take on a role of teacher, I’m still thinking about it anyway. I’ve been playing football since I was five years old, so it’s a big part of my life.
On a professional level, after a two-year adventure in a company near my home, I started a new chapter four months ago. I work mostly at night, I get up at 01:00 and start work at 01:00 to finish at 13:00–14:00. This allows me to take care of the children in the afternoon while my wife works.”
Today, do you still keep an eye on Racing?
“I watch the matches from time to time but with the job, the children etc., it’s not easy. I still follow the results regularly. In any case, I still admire captain Dimitri Liénard. Each time I see him play, I tell myself that he has an extraordinary mentality. ‘Dim’ was raw at the time he came from Belfort. He arrived quietly, we didn’t hear him much. He took what he had to take in terms of playing time and finally today he’s the only survivor. Honestly, to see what he manages to do, it blows my mind.”