“I can no longer work in these conditions,” says the former Dax-Gamarde coach

We don’t necessarily feel wrong because, with one win, we cling to and play in the playoffs. This formula was the most punishing for us, which means that in the second stage we only take into account the matches against the teams of our group. Of our 10 wins, we’ve lost seven against teams from the other group.

Were you strong against the strong?

approx. Against the less powerful, those in our pool, we were often handicapped from injuries. We played with Rennes without a playmaker and there is an inevitable disappointment that we didn’t manage to replace the injured, we are the only team in the division that didn’t. I still wonder how this is possible. But I’m not the one running this part. Unfortunately, the players were also waiting for reinforcements that never came. The team when…

We don’t necessarily feel wrong because, with one win, we cling to and play in the playoffs. This formula was the most punishing for us, which means that in the second stage we only take into account the matches against the teams of our group. Of our 10 wins, we’ve lost seven against teams from the other group.

Were you strong against the strong?

approx. Against the less powerful, those in our pool, we were often handicapped from injuries. We played with Rennes without a playmaker and there is an inevitable disappointment that we didn’t manage to replace the injured, we are the only team in the division that didn’t. I still wonder how this is possible. But I’m not the one running this part. Unfortunately, the players were also waiting for reinforcements that never came. The team remained very united and united in the face of all the difficulties we faced. it is my pleasure.

What difficulties are you talking about?

During the first stage, we played 13 matches out of 26 with only 7 players. It is necessarily very complex over time. Last year we already had the problem. It took three hits to take a player and end the season. With this way of working, the club has no place in NM1. We always knew we had the smallest budget in the pool. But when a salaried player is injured, Sécu covers his salary and this makes it possible to replace him. All clubs do this. We can’t do that. I stopped fighting this year. Three years ago, I was just asked to coach, and take care of the pitch. I did it successfully in the first two years, except this year.

What happened three years ago?

Everything changed with the rise of NM1 in 2019. The management had a hard time managing. There is a regulation gap between NM2 and NM1. The work required is enormous, and we had to do it together. But everyone locked themselves in their places. I think I was taking up too much space, especially with the results. It’s not satisfying, it’s his club (Jean Laminere, co-chair, editor’s note), it’s run by me. He wanted to appoint Jerome Manzani as sporting director. It was a failure, he completely sided with the president. But I don’t blame anyone. I just want things to be clear and we’re not saying anything, like when we say I was the one who wanted to leave. It’s the first time in my career that I’m leaving because of the conflict, I didn’t think it would happen at the club I’ve been in for ten years.

“Jerome Manzani is my former captain, I had so much faith in him. I fell apart quickly.”

Initially, the arrival of Mansan was good news for you?

Sure, I had a good relationship with my captain. He was a very trustworthy person, and he had the same vision as me regarding the things that needed to be developed. So two years ago, I thought appointing Jerome as athletic director would change everything, so I gave him all the contacts I had with the agent. It was a failure, and things just got worse. He’s my former captain, I trusted him a lot. Soon it collapsed. It’s a big mess. The club did not know how to build itself as it should. With a budget smaller than NM1, we knew we’d be back down. When you’re organized, you can climb quickly. Otherwise, it is very complicated.

How can Dax-Gamarde be better organized?

By developing ideas in terms of partnering with schools, which we haven’t done before. It could have been a way to keep young people and parents… Plus, we didn’t go to see a sponsor this year. We can not be surprised that behind this, the budget does not increase. Finally, no effort is made towards Dax so that we can settle here permanently. We don’t have daquis volunteers, with the exception of co-chair Françoise Bilher-Diozid and physiotherapist Jean-Philippe Lisalt, whom I salute both. There is a painful lack of openness. We cannot develop like this.

“Last summer, the president asked my agent to find me a new club”

Did this play into your decision to leave the club?

You must first understand that my departure was chosen but restricted. Last summer, Co-President Laminaire asked my agent to find me a new club. So I announced in November to Françoise that whatever happened, I would not extend my contract which was about to expire at the end of the season, because I was not able to work under the circumstances. Starting a tournament knowing that the boss tried to fire you is complicated. The season started on these grounds: trust was broken with the sporting director and co-chair. For me, there are a lot of lies. I can no longer accept work under these conditions.

lies?

To say I want to leave when they push me out. To say that we will compensate the wounded without doing so. We say in the summer we have a lot of budget, then we start the seasons with a lot less… It’s an accumulation of a lot of small details. We don’t work the same way. I like that we say things clearly and then move on.

Beyond the human side, it seems there is still a lack of professionalism?

yes ! I did everything to focus on the pitch for three seasons. However, there was a lot of negative feedback from the players. I tried to move it before stopping because it was useless. We considered, for example, a freelance translator to replace Xane D’Almeida, who has been injured for eight weeks this season. We didn’t get it. So I asked for the qualification of the young Louis Laguerre who plays for the Asian Development Bank in the U-18s. He made it up for two weeks, and I was happy to bring in young Landis. They did not create a license for it in time. Another example: Travis Cohn arrived from the United States and signed his contract three weeks ago. When I get to the match, I see him in the locker room, not in uniform. He was not eligible to play. This is a clear lack of professionalism. The season was very complicated for me: every week there were new problems.

During seven years in Landes, you still have good memories. The most beautiful, is exactly this height?

It is this period. We are the champions of France, climbing up, the Landes Cup in the Dax Arenas in front of 8,500 people. This is indelible. I think it’s the best sports memory I have. We have chills, tears. When you enter the arenas from below, when they are full, it is unusual to experience this. There are also the first five Lands Cups (in 7 appearances, editor’s note), five “Southwest” Super Cups. We collected a lot of titles, experienced a great atmosphere with the volunteers, and a brutal after-match. These are great memories. I am very happy to experience all of this and proud of the work done.

Exactly, tell us a little bit about Beaumaris.

(Believes). The first time I saw Beaumaris, I was there as a spectator. Coming from Pau, we climb a path to the squares. I will always remember: we could see smoke bombs from afar. I thought to myself ‘Hell this crazy thing, it’s magic. I instantly fell in love with this atmosphere. Even for the guys it’s amazing. “For the first time, I see France Bleu’s microphone stretching out. We’re talking about the students! It’s delirium.”

Do you really feel for Landis?

yes. It is a beautiful place, we are near the sea, not far from the mountains. I love the climate, the people, the party, the smiles. I love spending time at the Basque Bar with my friends. I have coffee there every morning. I made strong relationships, it is very difficult to leave. Then Chalus and his basketball, it’s extraordinary. I experienced the big Europa League atmosphere at Pau. But here, it cannot be determined. They have their identity, fun team basketball. Young people are shaken up there, and basketball is anchored here. The number of licensees is greater than the number of licensees in football or rugby. I wasn’t expecting to leave here.

Is it possible to return someday?

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