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Kamara: “I had missed football”

Interview

July 11, 2021

Kamara: “I had missed football”

The outfield player with most appearances last season, Hassane Kamara had an excellent first season for Le Gym, which was capped off by an international call-up this summer. Returning to the squad at the start of the week, the Aiglon retook to the pitch on Saturday during the friendly against Lausanne (0-3). After the encounter, the left full-back discussed his close season, pre-season and the season to come.

His first season in Rouge et Noir came to a close later than the rest of his Nice teammates. In June, Hassane Kamara picked his first two caps for the Ivory Coast. Following his international duty, Le Gym’s defender took full advantage of a three week break. His holidays saw him spend time with his family, heading to Spain and discovering Nice: “I already knew some of the city but this time, it was different. I was able to go for walks, head to restaurants and the cinema. I even bumped into several Nice’s supporters.”

With his batteries recharged, the man who played 3,381 minutes in 2020-2021 saw his legs begin to shake with impatience to get back out onto the pitch, “I had missed the south of France and the football too” he laughed. Back at training on 5 July, the defender has dusted off the cobwebs and re-found his feet: “The return to training went well. My programme was slightly reworked given that I arrived a little late but I still completed the full week. During the break, I continued to follow the programme sent by the club before returning to the squad.”

In a particularly young Nice squad at the start of this pre-season , Kamara appeared very close to the youngsters. A role that he has taken seriously: “I can feel that I am no longer the most recent arrival at the club. But everything that happens is natural, I try to share what I have learnt, to advise the youngsters in terms of the mistakes I have made, to help them to let go and have a better attitude. They are getting their first taste of the job.”

"WE ARE TALKING A LOT ABOUT TACTICS"

Back at the training ground, Hassane Kamara also met with the new coaching staff led by Christophe Galtier: “He is strict and wants to teach, and that’s important for the progression of the players” explained the Ivorian. “We are talking a lot about tactics. We are focusing on that for the moment and all of the squad are getting on well with the new coaching staff.”. A new season, a new coach and the return of the supporters to the stadium, Hassane Kamara feels there is a breath of fresh air as he starts his pre-season 2020-2021: “We have a new coach and the return of the supporters this season. It gives us the opportunity to bring joy to others and to enjoy ourselves too. We are excited that things will get going again”.

While waiting to be able to look to the 12th man at the Allianz Riviera, Kamara continued his preparation on Saturday with some game time against Lausanne. Following the defeat (0-3), the frustrated full-back was still able to put things into context: “We are trying to put things in place and we are still getting up to speed with our tactics. It takes time. Physically and tactically, we aren’t yet at our best.”.

Les Aiglons’ pre-season will continue, on Thursday, with the traditional trip to Divonne-les-Bains. Hassane Kamara and his teammates will take part in three games there, with the first taking place on Friday 16 July against Bastia.