Papy Leye, Châteaubriant's trainer.


Illusion & realism

  • Amateur footballers from Châteaubriant (N2) will face Romorantin (N2) on Sunday in the round of 16 of the Coupe de France.

  • On the bench, Papy Leye, an emblematic and historic trainer, in Châteaubriant.

A great first for the Voltigeurs de Châteaubriant.

Sunday (6.30 p.m.), the Loire-Atlantique club, resident of N2, will play in Romorantin (N2) its first round of 16 in the Coupe de France.

In 2007, the Castelbriantais had qualified at this stage of the competition, but had finally lost on the green carpet the 32nd final (won 1-0) against Bois-Guillaume.

For Daouda Papy Leye (57), the historic coach of Châteaubriant, it is necessarily "a small event".

The one who coached from 1998 to 2012 and since 2017 at the Voltigeurs told his players: “In 25 years, we may be talking about this Sunday match.

What is important is what we leave, it goes beyond football… ”A speech that perfectly matches the philosophy of this former professional player from Ancenis (44), of Senegalese origin.

Tell us about your arrival in France in 1985 and your love affair with football ...

I played soccer in Senegal.

However, I was only allowed two months a year during school holidays.

When I arrived in Paris to come to study, an agent spotted me at the Porte de Clignancourt.

He asked me if I wanted to play club football.

That of Ancenis had placed an advertisement in

France Football


The match during which I was tested was against… Châteaubriant.

After that, I had to find a ploy to get my father to think I was continuing my studies.

That's why I became a coach.

I passed the diplomas.

As soon as I had one, I sent it to him.

Ancenis, you stayed there for eight years as a player ...

On a human level, I have met some exceptional people.

It marked me, that's why I never left Ancenis as a player because I owed them a lot.

We played until L2 and it was a great story.

And then, in 1998, you became the coach of Châteaubriant [which he upgraded from DSR to CFA 2 at the time].

A story that also lasted ...

Anyway, between Ancenis [where he was also a coach from 2013 to 2016] and Châteaubriant, I never left the department.

Loire-Atlantique has marked my life with these two cities.

I haven't done anything else elsewhere.

Have you never wanted to leave the department for a new challenge after all these years?

You know what you're leaving, but you never know what you're going to find.

This is always what I said.

And the grass is not always green elsewhere.

Money and notoriety have never been my driving force.

I have never been a careerist.

I never had a career plan or tried to get support here and there.

I always did according to the leaders, the players and the volunteers with whom I had to deal.

When I felt good with them, I couldn't see myself going anywhere else.

It is not a lack of ambition.

This is who I am…

Was there a bit of reluctance on your part?

It is not reluctance.

The education and stability of my four children mattered too.

Above all, the environment has always made me feel good.

I couldn't see myself leaving when things were going well.

Yes, I had requests as a player and a coach, but I did not go further.

I never applied, never tried to sell myself.

What is your engine?

In Châteaubriant, there was everything to build.

The club was in DSR when I took it.

What will remain the day I quit is this recognition of the work done and not that I could have earned 2,000 or 3,000 euros more elsewhere.

No matter who you are, the important thing is the image you leave in your path.

Compared to my story, I will never have any regrets.

Is it this idea of ​​transmission that still drives you?

When I coached the women's section four years ago, we won the District Cup and I was in heaven.

I had run like crazy at the end of the match… When a girl did not know how to juggle and that by dint of work, she then managed to do five jugglings, I was the happiest in the world.

This is my life.

I don't need any additional recognition.

I live well and I measure how lucky I am every day.


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