Soccer. Sofiane Kouba, Mondeville goalkeeper: “Get down and go!”

Sofiane Kouba joined Mondeville this season from AS Trouville-Deauville. ©Aline Chatel

With three losses and one victory, Mondeville is having a rough start to the season. The short trip to the Maladrerie, this Saturday, November 5, 2022 (7:00 pm), promises to be very important. Interview with Sofiane Kouba, the goalkeeper who arrived this summer from Deauville.

Sofiane, the first derby smiles at you, the second requires you to take points because of your accounting situation…

We know that the beginning of the championship will be very complicated. We must not forget that we are in a year of transition. We are in rebuilding. New coach, new players… Everything is new. In addition, we did not have an easy start to the calendar as we played ASPTT Caen, Deauville and Flers, the three favourites. We expected that. We have worked to respond as calmly as possible. Against PTT, it smiled at us.

The sad thing is that you failed to use this victory, because you lost at Bayeux.

I thought the PTT match would be our reference match. I didn’t think we would pass our next game. Unfortunately, that’s what happened. Again, we are in a year of transition. We know very well that, this year, we will have reference matches and mismatches. Bayeux is a booster shot. We will try to put the same components as we put in front of the PTT.

“Let everyone do what they know how to do”

What are the essential ingredients in your situation?

The head is low and dark. There was everything against PTT, in particular desire and discipline. I think the group has many characteristics individually. Everyone should just stay in their place, do what they know how to do and what they should do. This allowed us to win against PTT. We are a team.

Does the start of the season and the number of runs suggest you’ll only be playing for maintenance?

As a competitor, I was a little disappointed. My goal is to win matches. We know that Rome was not built in a day. We can’t get there, rebuild everything and say: “we’re going to N3”. You have to move forward slowly. We will play match after match, try to win as many points as possible and we will do the accounts at the end. We don’t have a specific goal.

What brought you to Mondeville this season?

I want to go back to Caen. I spent four wonderful years in Deauville. I met good people, dedicated people and good teammates. I want to find a stable private life. The road is used. I felt that it affected my performance and my physical condition. The days are long. I leave at 7 am to go to work and come back at 10 pm So I want to find a project in Caen. Communication with coach went well. Before signing for Deauville, I spent two years at Mondeville.

“The coach brings what it takes”

Is it natural to return?

I have some contacts, but nothing concrete. The only person I talked to and met physically was the coach. When Mondeville came to me, I said to myself: “it’s obvious”. I need to find a project in Caen and Mondeville needs to find a goalkeeper.

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Was Johan Gallon’s presence important to your choice?

This is a plus and it weighs in the balance, obviously. When there is a coach of this renown, with his past as a footballer and coach, you tell yourself that it can only bring you more.

What does it bring you?

The first thing I noticed was the rigor, the necessity, the discipline. I’ve never played at a high level, but I think that’s the nature of this high level. As of this summer, this is what he wants to put in place. We feel that he lived. He talks football, we will not lie to each other.

How did you start the season?

I’m starting a crescendo (smile). We made tremendous preparations on a physical level. Now, I don’t think I’m 100% yet. We must recover the rhythm and the sensations. The schedule for the start of the season was complicated by our quick elimination from the Coupe de France. Finally let’s move on.

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