"Keep that momentum going"
MATTHIEU CHALMé - Sunday, July 16, 2017 - 10:15
Bordeaux's former right-back is back at Le Haillan, this time working alongside Philippe Lucas as assistant coach of the National 3 squad (the Girondins' reserves).
girondins.com: Hello Matthieu, how does it feel to be back for pre-season?
Matthieu Chalmé: Great! It feels good to be part of the group again, and to get back out on the pitch. I'm lucky enough to be working with Philippe Lucas and the reserves. I'm really happy to be back at the club, and to keep on learning the ropes of coaching while also putting my experience as a player to good use.
girondins.com: What does it mean for you to be back at the club?
Matthieu Chalmé: It means a lot! I have a very close connection to the Girondins! I've spent three quarters of my life here, it's a very special relationship. I played for the club, I won trophies with the Girondins. And this is also where I started out as a coach, alongside Ulrich [Ramé] and Pierre [Espanol]. That's what set me on this path to coaching.
girondins.com: What differences have you noticed between the reserves and the first-team dressing room?
Matthieu Chalmé: In the first team, more than half of the boys are experienced players. There's less teaching involved. But the younger pros require more care and attention. Our objective is for as many of the youngsters as possible to sign professional contracts. There's a lot of work to be done.
girondins.com: What's your role in all that?
Matthieu Chalmé: I'm assistant coach. My job is to help the players and Philippe on a day-to-day basis. To bring that fighting spirit and educate these lads about the club's values.
girondins.com: Is this a way for you to give something back to the club, for what the club has meant to you as a player?
Matthieu Chalmé: In a way yes. Above all it's about giving back to football in general. I started out here in 1990 then spent six years elsewhere. Then I came back to Bordeaux and played the rest of my career here. Coming back to Bordeaux has pretty much always been my goal.
girondins.com: Is it also a way of passing the torch to the next generation?
Matthieu Chalmé: Philippe and I both had very respectable careers as professional players. And I'm going to learn so much from him as a coach. As for me, my job is to bring something new to the table. I'm still learning the ropes as a coach. Philippe has a lot to teach me.
girondins.com: Did you always know that you would go into coaching?
Matthieu Chalmé: For a long time I was convinced that I would never be a coach, even though people told me I was made for coaching. I'm here to learn and see if, in the long term, I could be capable of managing a team.
girondins.com: What's your feeling about this squad?
Matthieu Chalmé: The boys need to keep the momentum going and build on what they've achieved. They were champions last year, but now they're in a different league. They're going to be up against players who have been in this division for years. Some of them work other jobs too. This experience is going to toughen them up.