El Hadj Coly: "The Derby? It's all everyone at the Academy is talking about"
El Hadj, tell us about your football career...
I started playing at A.J.AT. Villeneuve Grenoble when I was eight years old. I discovered football there before going to a club closer to home, AC Seyssinet. OL then came to observe me, and after several scouting visits, I was recruited to the U14 team.
Playing for OL was a dream come true for you?
I've been a supporter of OL since I was very young, so when I was extremely happy when I got recruited! It took a hard work at first, because it wasn't easy for me, but it's great to wear this jersey.
You had a great season with the U17s last season (23 goals in 24 games)
Yes, it was a very successful season. Was it my best? I'm not sure, I really hope there will be more but I would say it was very important for me. I had the chance to be a decisive player and score a lot of goals. It's also thanks to the coach (Pierre Chavrondier) who trusted me throughout the season.
By giving you the captain's armband in particular?
Yes, the armband is a beautiful show of confidence. I had the obligation to perform. But you know, it's in my nature. I'm a leader, I like to win, I like to talk to my teammates.
How's the first part of the 2018-19 season going for you?
Very well. I joined the Pro2 squad at the beginning of the season. This is the next level and I'm progressing faster. When I play with the U19s, it's up to me to be on my game. I've also played in theYouth League and I hope to now play some matches in National 2.
OL play the derby this Friday. Are the Academy players looking forward to it?
All us young people are talking about it all the time. Since I arrived here, the phrase most commonly used is: 'A derby isn't played, it's won!' We must win these matches, that's how it is. Last year, with the U17s, we beat Saint-Etienne at home at the last minute (2-1). It was fantastic.... I hope the pros will win, I trust them.
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