Nîmes Olympique: the upset journey of midfielder Abdallah Lemaangr

Nîmes Olympique: the upset journey of midfielder Abdallah Lemaangr

Deux matches, deux victoires pour Abdallah Lemaangr, milieu de la réserve de Nîmes Olympique appelé dans le groupe professionnel par Adil Hermach. Midi Libre – MiKAëL ANISSET

La carrière du milieu de 25 ans, lancé dans le grand bain du National par l’entraîneur croco Adil Hermach, est tout sauf linéaire.

"He had a journey strewn with pitfalls", said Adil Hermach after the victory in Orléans ( 1-0) in which Abdallah Lemaangr, surprise starter (74 minutes of play, 10 km covered), participated. The middle of the crocodile reserve, already 25 years old, has actually struggled quite a bit since the start of his career.

The 32nd day of National and the ranking

"At home, it’was football", says the native of Pontoise who &quot ;always had a dream of being a professional". Following in the footsteps of his big brothers, Itmane – on the verge of signing in Monaco – and Zouhair, left back and defensive midfielder who played in N2 and N3, little Abdallah took his first steps at 7 years old in Saint-Ouen-l’Aumône.

Trained in Angers

Spotted by the SCO Angers, he went alone to Anjou, at the age of 15. Aspirant (1 year) then professional trainee (2 years), his progression is linear – "I’was well seen" – but in his last year of contract, he fractured the 5th metatarsal of his right foot twice.

A failed test in England, Covid in Valenciennes 

Not kept, and because he doesn’not consider "going home with nothing", he takes his car and his bag and, without speaking a word of English, he goes to train at a football academy in London. He gets a trial in Manchester, in a League One club (3rd division) whose name he has forgotten. "It's been a long time since I played, I sucked!"< /p>

Return to France and square one. He spent a few months in Saint-Leu, in National 3, before joining the Valenciennes reserve (N3) in 2020 "It’s been the year of Covid! We only played four official matches… I often trained with the pros but at the end of that season, VA did not sign any first contracts for its young people. I then told myself that football was not for me…hellip; My family has always been behind me when I found myself in trouble but I could see in the eyes of my loved ones and my friends that I was experiencing a failure."

No plan B

Plan B ? "There is none", s& rsquo;would almost amuse Abdallah Lemaangr, who never loses his smile. He stopped his studies in his final year, the Baccalaureate year, which he now regrets not having passed. However, he managed to bounce back in Greek D2. His career may have been launched since he signed for two seasons at Apollon Larisas. "It was sold to me as an extraordinary championship with extraordinary structures, but there was none of that even if the level of play and the ;atmosphere in the stadiums wasn't too bad."

Not paid in Greece

Another (big) problem: "I have never been paid, me like others! Sometimes, we met the president who gave us 500 € or 1 000 € in cash, crazy stuff. Yet I stayed. Rather than returning to France to do nothing, I preferred to play (17 appearances in total including 7 as a starter, Editor's note) and keep the rhythm hoping that it would help me find a club."

Carletta (Beaucaire coach) : "A midfielder who has a high volume of play"

Last summer, however, although he has a few touches in the Paris region, not many people are rushing to the gate, apart from Beaucaire (N3) where he will spend a season full (22 matches).
"We were not mistaken in betting on him, rewinds Beaucairois coach Sofyan Carletta. Abdallah is a midfielder who stays on his feet and who has a large volume of play, an ease in repeating efforts, in projecting himself with or without a ball. Thanks to his training in a professional club, he is equipped for modern football, he has all the necessary equipment. I am not surprised that Adil Hermach called on him. He has the profile to evolve in National."

Lemaangr : "You just had to give me a chance…"

Adil Hermach. It was he, then coach of the crocodile reserve, who convinced Lemaangr to join Nîmes in Regional 1, giving him a glimpse of the possibility of a career at Hamza Sbaï… "Once again, I make sacrifices because I am not paid but I was not afraid even if nothing was written."  Despite several training sessions with Frédéric Bompard's group where he knew Sy and Doukansy, working alongside him in Paris, the one who defines himself as "a box to box environment" n’would actually never have emerged without the change of coach.

Since Adil Hermach took office, Abdallah Lemaangr has started in Orléans and he played eight minutes against Red Star on Monday evening. Two matches, two wins. "I’I always knew I could play at that level, I never had a doubt. worry. I just had to give myself a chance… But nothing is done, I still have everything to prove. I'm going to hang on. I have always had rage inside me. I didn't do all this for nothing, it will pay off in the end."

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