Ballou is finding himself

Ballou is finding himself


OTTAWA | Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla left CF Montreal at the end of last season and is back today with Atlético Ottawa in the Canadian Premier League, a setback in appearance, but not for him.

“It was not a step back or sideways because when I was released by Montreal , I was in a period when I was not physically well,” he admits.

“I had an injury and pain that dragged on for a long time. It is sure that it is my training club, but I did not take it negatively. It was a time to do an assessment of my body and accept a new challenge. »

It is a serene, relaxed and affable Ballou as we have never known him who met Le Journal in the national capital last week. We are light years away from the shy Ballou who did not seem to vibrate when he met the media at the time.

Ballou is not looking for excuses, we feel that he has gone further in his journey. However, he admits that the pressure eventually got to him, especially during his second stay in Montreal, even though he was used to it.

The pressure

“At 17, I was having fun, but when I came back from Barcelona, ​​I felt more pressure, but at Barça, you eat pressure every day. When I came back to Montreal, I already had this confidence and serenity. I did not expect to have this pressure, but there were expectations.

He may have sinned a bit then thinking that his new challenge would be easier, but external factors also influenced him.

“I changed agencies, there were injuries and lots of little things that came to burden me. Mentally, I wasn't at my best.

Off-pitch concerns

He admits it bluntly, while people expected him to fill the net, he didn't always have the head for football.

“If you have a lot of stuff in your head, a lot of expectations from the coach, if there are external factors or if things are not going well in the family, for example, you cannot enter a football field and allow you to do what you want to do.

“Sometimes I would walk onto the field and think of things that I shouldn’t have thought of. Now I just savor. I'm still young, but a football career goes fast.

Mentally calm

So it was with the idea of ​​erasing and starting over that he accepted the offer from Atlético Ottawa.

“I'm really calm mentally and when I come here every morning, I'm smiling, it's been a long time since I had this feeling. »

« I took a step back to rebuild myself and have fun. I said to myself: “Ballou, you are in a new city and a new club, what can you do to be able to bounce back?” »

“It influences the way I play a lot and my concentration is better. The love [for sport] is much more there because I feel more free on the pitch and in my communication with the people around me.

A lot of experience

Even though he is only 23 years old, Ballou Tabla already has a lot of experience. It's a cliché, but we asked him what advice he would give the 17-year-old Ballou.

“I think I would tell him to focus on himself and his family because the world of football is very tough. There are injuries, criticisms, but a lot of good things too, so don't rush, trust your talent, work hard and live every stage. “

As for the rest of things, he intends to do his job on the ground and have a little confidence in life.

“I have dreams and ambitions. If that happens, so much the better because I have always dreamed of playing in Europe. But whether it's in MLS, here or in Europe, I just want to play football. Of course it happened when I was younger, but everything will come with time. »