The ex-Canary Dollard Wandji.
Jérôme Bouchacourt / Footamateur.fr
Dollard Wandji, central defender of Châteaubriant, opponent of Montpellier in the round of 16 of the Coupe de France this Wednesday (6:45 p.m.), played four years at Jonelière.
At 24, the former Canary, who has been evolving for several years in N2 or N3, says he has not given up on the professional world.
He was born in Saint-Herblain, grew up in the Bellevue district of Nantes then joined Châteaubriant "at the age of 5 or 6".
This Wednesday evening, in the round of 16 of the Coupe de France, the Montpellier attackers will see a defender
stand in their way
His name: Dollard Wandji, central defender of 1.86 m, real keystone of the rearguard of Châteaubriant (N2).
A surname well known to the followers of the FC Nantes training center.
And for good reason: Dollard Wandji spent four years at La Jonelière (2010-2014) without succeeding in turning pro.
At 24, the defender has not yet departed from this ambition.
What generation at FCN are you part of?
Generation 1996. No one has really broken through at the highest level.
Was there Alexis Alegué (L2 now), Alexandre Olliero (L2), Brice Hereson (N2), Christopher Shiashia (N2)?
I was preselected in the France U16 team at that time.
I spent four years (2010-2014) at FCN, but during my last season, I hardly played due to a pubalgia.
When Samuel Fenillat [the director of the training center] told me that I was not being looked after, I was disappointed but not surprised.
It remains a failure.
We all hope to exit through the front door when we enter the training center of a pro club.
I was shot instantly, but I quickly told myself that I had to get back on track and catch up with the train ...
You then spend four years at Poiré-sur-Vie (National, CFA and CFA 2) then six months in Besançon (CFA 2) then six months at La Roche-sur-Yon (CFA 2) before returning in 2019 to Châteaubriant where you had evolved very young.
Why this choice ?
It was a real homecoming.
Papy Leye knew me very well and his assistant Florian Plantard too.
I resumed studies, a BTS in business management in Rennes, but that's not why I absolutely gave up on the professional world.
I continue to climb the ranks and I do not close any doors.
Becoming pro is always a goal.
What makes you still believe in this personal goal by playing in N2 (4th national division)?
It goes very quickly in football as we often say.
I firmly believe that by performing, even in N2, you can get noticed.
I fully believe in it.
I get up and go to bed thinking about this.
What we saw in the Coupe de France with Châteaubriant is a perfect showcase to make ourselves known.
All eyes will be on us on Wednesday.
I'm not the only one in the team with this goal of rallying the pro world.
Half of the players want that.
Grandpa Leye has a big role for this?
Grandpa, he's a father for everyone.
He treats us like his sons.
Thanks to his experience and his knowledge of football, he knows how to make us progress and motivate us.
Do you really think you have the level to play in L2 or L1?
I always thought it was more a question of adaptation, luck and opportunities than level.
I have seen huge potentials in some clubs that have never made it through.
I tell myself that for me it could change one day.
I don't set any limits for myself.
What if you can't?
I don't think of failure.
I don't have time for this.
I took a hit when Nantes chose not to keep me.
I had to go from the pro world to the amateur world, it wasted time, but nothing is finished.
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