“I wouldn’t want to play a whole match against those guys.”
This line from Gabriel Cousineau perfectly expresses what opposing linebackers Nicky Farinaccio and Harold Miessano have to repeat to themselves when facing the University of Montreal (UdeM) Carabins defense.
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The two assistants have been at the heart of the Blues’ defensive success since their arrival on the college scene in 2021 and appear to be at the top of their game this year.
Asked what it was like facing his two-man offense every day in practice, the Carabins offensive coordinator didn’t hesitate.
“It’s a mess for us,” Cousineau said with a laugh. They are so good. Both have a very high football intelligence.
“Let’s just say that they don’t give the striker much confidence during training. They play so much that it is difficult for us to perform.”
According to UdeM defensive coordinator Denis Touchette, it is precisely because of the efforts Farinaccio and Miessan have put in upstream that they are experiencing so much success during games.
“Training is not a burden to them,” he said. They give as much of themselves in training as they do in matches. They are constantly looking for ways to improve.”
“These are what I call “old school payers”. They never want to leave the field and they never have pain,” added head coach Marco Iadeluca. They never have enough. They push each other to be better.”
From opponent to helper
That’s the same observation from the two main parties, who said they greatly appreciate each other’s commitment to work.
Farinaccio and Miessan have come a long way since they are the same age and come from the same part of the country.
“We competed for so many years. We played against each other in the civil game,” explained the first. That’s a source of motivation to play with such a good player.”
“I faced him every year from the age of 12 until we got to the Carabins,” added another. We come from the same place and our paths are similar. We have the same style of play and the same mentality.
It shows when you watch them play key games week in and week out.
“It’s not easy for opposing teams,” Touchette said. If it’s not one, then it’s the other. They have no choice but to have a game plan to block these two. If you forget one, they’ll make you pay for it.”
A worthy opponent
This Saturday, as part of the Uteck Cup, Farinaccio, Miessan and their defensive teammates will have their biggest challenge of the year: the Western Mustangs.
The Ontario champions will arrive at CEPSUM with an unblemished 10-0 record. The Mustangs scored 42 touchdowns and averaged 43.8 points per game in the regular season.
Canada’s semi-final is complex for its players, given that they do not know the team they will be up against very well.
“It’s a change,” Miessan said. We know it’s a great football program. This is the kind of match you want to play.”
“It’s exciting to face an undefeated team,” Farinaccio said. We want such challenges. They are big guys, they will run and hit hard the whole game.”
Unsurprisingly, the two stars of the Blues are still on the same wavelength.
– Carabins and Mustangs will meet this Saturday at noon in CEPSUM. The match will be broadcast by TVA Sports.