A FAREHAM man is helping Croatia plot England’s downfall in the World Cup semi-finals.
Marc Rochon is serving as a video analyst in coach Zlatko Dalic’s backroom team at the Russian tournament.
The 33-year-old is a trusted companion of Croatia’s boss, having previously worked together for three-and-a-half years at UAE club Al Ain.
Yet the former Henry Cort Community College pupil hails from the south coast – and also had a three-and-a-half year spell at Pompey.
Rochon’s remit within the Blazers’ camp is to assess their players’ strengths and weaknesses, with the aim that the manager oversees a rise in performance levels.
In addition, he compiles dossiers on opponents, identifying weaknesses to be exploited, which in this case is England, tonight’s semi-final opposition.
It’s a role Rochon has held since November 2017, having been brought into the international set-up by Dalic shortly after he took over the helm for Croatia.
Yet until January 2015, he was employed at Fratton Park and lived in Catisfield, Fareham.
Steve Cotterill was Pompey’s boss when the ex-Southampton Solent University student was recruited in August 2011.
Initially working as the Blues’ Academy analyst for three years, manager Andy Awford subsequently promoted him to the club’s head of performance analysis in August 2014.
However, Rochon opted to leave Fratton Park – and England – six months later after winning a job at Al Ain.
During four seasons with the UAE club, they claimed the league title twice, earned three cups and reached two more finals.
In November 2016, while competing in the final of the Asian Champions League, they lost 3-2 on aggregate to South Korean side Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.
Then Dalic was named head coach of the Croatian side in October 2017, with Rochon joining him shortly afterwards.
Rochon, who was born in John o’ Groats, Scotland, and moved to Fareham aged five, had started his career as a two-year intern in Southampton’s sports science analysis team.
That was followed by a one-year stay at Spurs as an analyst intern.
Yet it would be Pompey who put the former Funtley footballer on the path to the World Cup finals.