Jérémie Bréchet, the Girondins' latest defensive signing, gives his first interview as a Girondin.
President Jean-Triaud took the microphone to get proceedings underway.
"Welcome back everybody. That break went very quickly, but we all know that's for the best - we all get a bit bored when there's no football to discuss. We're here today to talk about Jérémie Bréchet, who as you know signed a contract with us a few weeks ago. Francis Gillot came to me with the idea of signing Jérémie and, between you and me, I didn't need much persuading. We all know Jérémie's record, and we're happy to have a player of his talent and experience in a position where our squad was wearing a little thin last season. We were also impressed by his personal qualities, and what he could bring to a squad with a lot of young players. His character, his charisma and his experience will be big advantages in the changing room. So the discussion was very brief, and fortunately our negotiations with Jérémie were just as quick. He's signed a one-year contract, with an option to extend that for a further season. We're delighted to have him here, and I'm sure he's going to be a major asset for the team and for the club as a whole."
girondins.com: Francis, what is it about Jérémie that impressed you?
Francis Gillot: His experience, and his talent. I worked with him for two years at Sochaux, so I know him well. He's somebody you can count on, a real fighter and a consummate professional. As the President just said, we have a fairly young squad and it's good to have players in the changing room that can lead by example. Jérémie is one of those guys.
girondins.com: Would you agree with that Jérémie?
Jérémie Bréchet: I hope I can live up to the expectations of the club and the coach. As I said to the president before I signed, I can't promise to be first choice. But I can promise to give everything I have to try to be first on that team sheet. I'm very happy here.
girondins.com: Jérémie, is playing for the Girondins a long-time ambition or more of an opportunity which came up at the right moment?
Jérémie Bréchet: After the last few seasons that I've had, it was hard to imagine myself playing for a prestigious club like the Girondins again. This is a fantastic opportunity for me. And while I'm here I'd like to take the chance to thank everyone I've worked with over the last year and a half, particularly in Troyes. Without President Masoni and the manager Furlan - a Bordeaux man, of course - I wouldn't be here today. And I want to thank the Girondins' President and manager for putting their faith in me. As you know I'm going to be 34 this year, and in France you don't often get an opportunity like this at my age. So now it's time to get down to work...
girondins.com: Are you frustrated with yourself for picking up three yellow cards in your last three matches?
Jérémie Bréchet: I only recently realised that that was the case, so yes I'm still frustrated.
girondins.com: How do you see yourself slotting into the Bordeaux defence?
Jérémie Bréchet: Like any player joining a new club. I have a month now to train and fight for a place. We've got a very busy match schedule already, and I think everybody will get a chance to play.
girondins.com: What does Jérémie bring to the squad?
Francis Gillot: Florian Marangehas started taking more of a wide role. He's left-footed, and that's left us without a left-footer in the middle. This was a good opportunity to recitfy that. Like Jérémie said, we play so many matches, and then there are always injuries and suspensions... We've already got three defenders suspended for the game against Paris. When you're playing twice a week, the defence suffers more than anyone else. Jérémie will have plenty of opportunity to show what he can do. And if he plays well, he'll be in the team.
girondins.com: Does Jérémie's arrival mean somebody else might be leaving? We've heard the rumours that Lamine Sané is keen to move on.. Or is this totally unrelated?
Jean-Louis Triaud: Even if Lamine Sané stays, we were short at the back. Lamine is still here. That's great, but the squad was still too thin. Now we're stronger. If August 10th comes around and we're missing someone else at the back, we'll find a replacement.
girondins.com: Francis, you mentioned Jérémie's experience. Is that a strength which was missing in the squad last year?
Francis Gillot: In the centre of defence we have a fair bit of experience, but that's the absolute foundation of the team so it's crucial to have as much match experience as possible in the squad. That's what Jérémie brings to the side. There are a lot of younger players in the middle: André Biyogo Poko, Maxime Poundje, Hadi Sacko, Henri Saivet and Greg Sertic are all young guys… They sometimes need a bit of guidance, not just during matches. It's also about the work off the pitch, in the changing room, and on the training field. The younger lads need someone to look up to, an example to follow. It's important for their development as professionals.
girondins.com: Jérémie, you were considering extending you stay in Troyes. Did Francis Gillot call you and persuade you to change your mind? How did this move come about?
Jérémie Bréchet: The hows and wherefores of the deal aren't really important. We had a chat and the whole thing happened very quickly.
girondins.com: Were there other offers on the table?
Jérémie Bréchet: Yes, but I had a good season at Troyes, in spite of the relegation. I was very attached to the club. I was looking at a choice between staying with Troyes or moving to a club that was fighting to stay up, and…
Jean-Louis Triaud: …And he chose the club fighting to stay up! (laughs)
Jérémie Bréchet: And then Bordeaux came along, and that's just too good to turn down.
girondins.com: Jérémie, what does playing for the Girondins mean to you? You've played for some big clubs…
Jérémie Bréchet: This is a big club. Champions a few years ago, cup winners last season, playing in Europe regularly. This is a big club. For me this is a huge opportunity, a chance to play in Europe again.
girondins.com: Have you heard a bit about the club's facilities?
I'm very happy, as players we have everything we need here. I can't wait to get out on that pitch. It's not that I don't like you, but the less time I spend talking to the press the better I think (laughs).
girondins.com: What image did you have of the Girondins before coming here?
Jérémie Bréchet: Just remembering some of the big names that have played here. This is a club with a really rich history. The Château, the big names, the team… for me that's more important than the region or whatever.
girondins.com: Do you like wine though?
Jérémie Bréchet: Yes I do like wine, but that's going to have to take a back seat for now.
Jean-Louis Triaud: Not too much wine! (laughs)
girondins.com: Was the chance to work with Francis Gillot again a big attraction for you?
Jérémie Bréchet: Yes, like any player moving to a new club. When the manager signs you, it's because he knows what you can bring. He explained to me clearly why he wanted me here. And I know that if I'm not playing well then he won't hesitate to put me on the bench or in the stands. You get judged on performances. The coach brought me in, now it's my job to prove I'm worth it.
girondins.com: In France, when players reach the age of 33-34 they tend to see their careers winding down… Is it a big boost to you to have a club like Bordeaux giving you the vote of confidence?
Jérémie Bréchet: I'm very happy. Even if it sounds a bit presumptuous, I'm proud of the way I played last season. Especially after the nightmare I had at Sochaux for a season and a half, when I really struggled with injury. I almost threw in the towel. It's a big deal because I know there are always financial considerations when bringing in a new player. And when you're 34, you've got no resale value. I'm going to do my best to repay the faith the President and the coach have shown in me, and show them what I can do. It's such a great opportunity and a pleasure for me to be here, I hope it'll be a win-win situation.
girondins.com: Some fans will be sceptical because of your age, does that put any more pressure on you?
No, I understand! Bréchet, it's not a headline-grabbing signing (laughs). I don't blame them for thinking that. But I know my strengths and I know what I can bring to this team. After that, we'll see how it goes.