Amherst and the AS Monaco FC Internship
Amherst College has a deep-rooted relationship with AS Monaco, one of the most prestigious soccer clubs in the world. Each summer since 2008, a recent graduate of the college has had the opportunity to begin working hands-on with the club’s youth academy for one year, residing in Louis II Stadium while playing a role in the development of future professional players.
About the Amherst/Monaco Relationship
The relationship between Amherst and Monaco is held together by Jerome de Bontin ’81 and Prince Albert Grimaldi ’81, former classmates and Lord Jeff teammates. Prince Grimaldi has ruled the Principality of Monaco since 2005, while de Bontin has held several roles with AS Monaco in the past decade, including a stint as the club’s president.
In 1980, de Bontin organized a trip to France and Monaco with 20 Amherst soccer players, beginning a special bond between Amherst and Monaco that has existed ever since. He and his classmates organized several such trips in the 1990s, including one to Chicago for the 1994 World Cup, another to Monaco in 1995, and a reunion for a soccer game at Amherst. In 2002, Monaco’s youth team traveled to Amherst to watch the Lord Jeffs compete.
When directors of Monaco’s youth academy entertained the idea of creating a fellowship that would allow a young, English-speaking man to assist with the development of the academy’s kids, de Bontin believed it was another way to maintain the relationship between Amherst and Monaco. Although the fellowship does not have to be awarded to an Amherst graduate, Lord Jeff soccer players have an upper hand in the decision process. “[Prince] Albert and I can protect this tradition,” de Bontin says. “This is something that I would like to go on for generations."