Sitting in the Carabins’ locker room alongside coach Pat Raimondo as well as teammates Félix Goulet and Guy-Frank Essome Penda, Quentin Paumier began highlighting the names of absent players during this interview.
“When I look at all the names out there, they each have their own. They are our strength.”
The University of Montreal Caribbeans men’s soccer team won the Canadian U Sports Championship on Sunday against the Carlton Ravens, the host team. And they did so in the most dramatic way.
A masterful free kick by Captain Baumeer equaled the score 1-1 at 90NS Accurate. After their lead in overtime, Karabins experienced the return of the pendulum in injury time, and the goal was 2-2, from directional shots on goal.
And who other than Isumi Binda, a top player on the Canadian University circuit this year, to take the penalty kick that gave Montreal the win?
This victorious kick was not only the last in the bout, but also the last in Essome Penda’s college career.
This is a moment I will cherish for a long time, for the rest of my life. At the same time, for me, it’s the end of a chapter in which I learned a lot.
Jay Frank Isom Pinda
But this is the only time in the Carabins locker room where the player will talk about his individual successes.
Isom Pinda adds: “The strength of a team is not only in the players on the field, but also in the players outside.” Despite their personal disappointment, they manage to get through it and clear their heads, working for the team. ”
Gullit, the goalkeeper named to U Sports’ first star team in 2021, cites in particular defender Charles Raymond, who was injured early in the season and eventually had to undergo surgery.
“Before the Canadian championship, he wrote us a note for the whole team,” says Gullit. He arrived with his papers, just like what the Canadians did in 1993. It inspired him quite a bit. ”
To score, Jack Demers and Patrick Roy handed out cards on which they wrote inspirational messages to the players, which they had to keep in their wallet during the Stanley Cup playoffs.
“It was easy to get frustrated with that, to just go ahead and do your thing,” the goalkeeper adds. But he found a way to make his contribution. It pushed everyone in the same direction. If a player is injured, he will not be able to play and he does so, you have no choice but to do everything he can on the field. ”
“committed” and “modest”
This lesson in “humility” comes from coach Raimundo, says Jules.
“Having worked with him for the past five years is what he gives to the team: the players come first. He does everything he can to make sure we are in the best conditions possible.”
Raimondo won the title of National Coach of the Year in 2021. He has missed that honor in recent seasons, including the first championship year in Carabinese history, in 2018.
But the fact that his name isn’t always mentioned has fallen out of favor, in favor of the “experiences” that players had to live, according to Goulet.
Through his words, we feel that Raimundo is well-characterized as the janitor.
“This group has been fantastic all year,” said the coach in charge since the Carabines men’s soccer team was formed in 2001.
I have a lot of admiration for them, for the work they do in the field, at school, how they stick together, how they help each other.
Pat Raimondo, Carabins coach
The Canadian champions have the best record of goals scored and conceded this season at RSEQ. Their nine wins in 12 matches led them to first place in the standings, with the same number of points as Laval University Rouge et Or.
“The number of goals we count, the quality we have, the way we defend, it all doesn’t surprise me, the coach explains in a calm tone. I see work all week. They are there, committed, present, humble.”
pass the torch
Gault and Isom Penda were in their fifth and final year of eligibility. And having it end like this couldn’t have been better for the striker present during the 2018 title.
“All I wanted was to win with this team,” Essome Penda says passionately. I wanted to share my experience with others. I came out as a more satisfied person than when I started with the team. ”
They are now leaving plenty of room for Paumier to lead this team over the next few years.
“I’m a captain, but I’m actually following in the footsteps of Jay and Felix,” Boomer explains. […] They are wonderful guys that I draw inspiration from. ”
“In the last game, I was like, ‘Guys, we have to win for these two guys because everything they’ve done for us is amazing.'” We have the ball now, they are no longer there, we have to take over. ”
Originally from Marseille, Baumier played football in France. But he lost the joy of playing in his country, due to the lack of “solidarity” in training in particular. He finally found her in Montreal, who was playing his sophomore year with the Carabins.
“When I came here, I thought I would give it another chance. In the end, I wasn’t wrong because that was exactly what I was looking for. To find real friends, real teammates, and real feelings.”
According to Raimundo, the emotions they sought were thanks to a team that had the assets to go far.
“My gut told me it’s a group that can be very special. It’s not about talent, it’s more about the characters, the characters, the leadership, and the maturity of these guys.”
Raimundo, at the end of the interview, adds: “It’s a great gang.”
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