MONTREAL – Philippe Eulafroy is known for coaching many Quebec players on the life of a professional footballer, and he likes to remember that many coaches, before they got on their feet, also went through the structure that set him up.
The former director of the Impact Academy thinks in particular of Yoann Damet and Jack Stern who were hired by FC Cincinnati or Joseph Dahha who works for Vancouver Whitecaps or even Serge Dinkota who went to the Portland Timbers.
Wilfred Nancy became the most famous in the group this week when CF Montreal confirmed their appointment as head coach.
“Will, he’s not the only one, but he’s so far the one who has reached the highest point. And I think that’s just the beginning of his rise,” Eullaffroy predicted from his former colt in an RDS interview.
Nancy was thinking of Eullaffroy when she officially came out for the first time in her new role. “I got here, and no one knew me,” he recalls, putting into context his gratitude for him.
The two men met for the first time on the grounds of the University of Quebec network. Nancy was a star player at UQAM while Eullaffroy led the McGill University team. Later, a mutual friend brought them together at the same table. With Christophe Dutarte, longtime Citadins Technical Director, they begin to take pride in the project to create a private academy.
“I got to know him there as a man, but also as a future coach, with his ideas and personality,” Eullaffroy recalls. And that’s when we started the academy [de l’Impact] And that we had to hire coaches, this is the first person that comes to my mind. “
From the very beginning, they were associated with great complementarity and the axes of their philosophies have always been aligned. Many of the beliefs Eullaffroy defended crept into his friend’s opening speech on Monday. When Nancy, for example, insisted on the importance of being considered the man behind the player, he didn’t learn it from the neighbor.
“In the academy, we had that approach. That means we assume that a good human is more likely to make a good footballer than the other way around,” Eullaffroy explains. It might sound trite to say that now, but for a very long time, and it’s still going on for some Time, people only care about the soccer player and forget the human side of the person. I think you cannot improve a player’s performance if you are not interested in the person, his mentality, emotional state, life, personal experiences or history. This is the role of a modern coach, and it is a good part of his time. . “
But Eullaffroy warns at the same time that “the danger is that this thought is 100% common.” And so, even if he was 10 years younger than him and had a hierarchy that respected him, Nancy was never afraid to confront him about ideas their opinion might disagree on. This confidence and penchant for questioning has served him since his rise to the first team. He was never afraid to offer alternatives to the coaches he had worked with, even if their name echoed more than his track record or impressive track record than his.
“It was a force, an interrogation force, but it was also a power of suggestion. When he was in the academy, he identifies Eullaffroy, describing his former classmate as an“ investigator. ”He’s someone we liked to ask ourselves for his approval and criticism of. There was a real dialogue. It’s really a great force. To open new horizons in player development and training. Because he met him again not long ago, keep that up. He has always been an explorer for the game, loves to search, loves to explore and loves to try. That hasn’t left him since I knew him. “
Time as an ally
Eullaffroy believes that the fact that Nancy survived three training changes as an assistant before he was promoted is a sign of the high quality of his work. Has the club misunderstood their candidacy so often? The question no longer matters.
“My name is only Wilfred Nancy, but I am proud of my name.”
“The fact that he turned one or two more years before taking this position could not help but reinforce his convictions. I think he always took it in a very philosophical and positive way. Even though you might think he could have been appointed earlier, he wasted his time staying on.” A assistant and this is the most important. Today, he is stronger than he was a few years ago, so he has more chances on his side to be successful. “
Nancy reiterated that he wasn’t offended by CF Montreal’s decision to offer him a one-year contract only. Eullaffroy is no longer horrified by this club strategy.
From the start he suggests: “That should be a challenge.”
“I think that has changed a little bit, but until recently, Pep Guardiola said that he has long refused to sign contracts for more than a year. Why is it interesting is that again, a professional, if he always wants to be at the top, if he always wants Improvement and performance, the contract term in the end is of little importance because in your nature, you take a challenging season, with a real desire to take on challenges and prove yourself constantly. If you demonstrate your qualities, you will get good results and you will be extended. It will come automatically.
Released by the Montreal Impact last summer, Eullaffroy is still looking for their next career challenge. He knows CF Montreal has not taken up the assistant position that Nancy had a few days ago who has no idea of the club’s plans, but he frankly admits that he will be running back if his ex-partner offers to join him.
“I will be very listening and happy to work with him again.”