“Here, there is no light for the shower” / Coupe de France / 16th / Pays de Cassel-PSG (8:45 p.m.) / SOFOOT.com

In a club house too small for the hundred supporters present to encourage the US Pays de Cassel (R1), the former player and midfielder of USL Dunkerque Nicolas Bruneel (25 years old) tells his journey before the biggest poster of his career: a round of the Coupe de France at Bollaert, this Monday (8:45 p.m.) against PSG.

You are going to challenge PSG at Bollaert. Is it like in a dream?
It is a dream filled with emotions and excitement. It doesn’t happen every day and even more so at Bollaert. As I am for OM, it adds a little spice to the match!

“We have no pressure, we don’t have much to lose. You just have to have fun and give it to the people of the North. »

Since your qualification, have you been in more demand?
Yes, and it’s normal when you achieve a feat like we did, qualifying in the sixteenth round of the Coupe de France against PSG by being a Regional 1. There were a lot of journalists who came by, I don’t never seen so many people at the Noordpeene stadium! But we don’t have any pressure, we don’t have much to lose. You just have to have fun and give it to the people of the North.

The Bollaert stadium will be full, does that surprise you?
Surprised, yes and no. We know that people are really into football in the North, especially in Lens where there is an atmosphere like no other. But I’m still surprised, because it’s a Monday night and it’s not easy for children and working people.

“We know very well that no matter who there will be, it will be stars and it will not be easy. »

Carlos Soler, Vitinha, Marco Verratti… Do you have a preference for your face-to-face?
Marco Verratti, I would love to! We know very well that no matter who there will be, it will be stars and it won’t be easy. Three-quarters of the teams know how they play, and the result remains the same: they can’t. We will play with our values ​​and with what we know how to do.

How did you end up in R1, at the US Pays de Cassel?
I was without a club, and my best friend, Clément Bogdanski, plays there, so I said to myself: “Why not do a year here? » For an R1, the club has a project, it wants to develop.

“When I arrived, I was surprised by the level of my teammates, I expected more difference. »

This summer, you still went from Ligue 2 to R1. It’s not too brutal as a change?
If so, let’s be honest. There are a lot of things that change. When I arrived, I was surprised by the level of my teammates, I expected more difference.

Last year, you disappeared from the USL Dunkirk group overnight, at the end of January. Is it revenge, this course in the Coupe de France??
I had a small injury, a tear in my hip, and in Dunkirk, they didn’t really treat me well… I got a little upset, because they weren’t making sure I got better. I was told that I could resume soon, when I was in too much pain, there was nothing I could do. So that delayed the whole recovery process, and then it ended like that. I had a very bad heart. I spent more than ten years at the club, I made my best football encounters there. We must not forget all that. I had the best time of my life there. Except maybe Monday…

You had joined Dunkirk at 13 to do all your classes there. How is your discovery of amateur football going?
It does change quite a bit! It’s the village and a few people from the countryside next door who meet here, it’s a pleasure. It’s real football, the football we love, the magic of football. The changing rooms are totally different. Here, there is no light in the showers! It’s totally different comfort, but you get used to it quickly and when you have a good group, like here with lots of friends, that makes the difference. I remain unemployed while waiting to find a project. We’ll see next year what I want to do: get back into football seriously or find a job and play football on the side.

“It’s the first time I’ve played for a team that has the ball so much in games. »

You mentioned it earlier: what is the project of the US Pays de Cassel?
It’s to make a good game, even in R1! Even though I played at a high level, it’s the first time I’ve played for a team that has so much ball in games. It feels good a little bit, it’s better to be an actor with the ball. It is our game plan that allows us to have a good season in the league and this course in the Coupe de France. In almost all of our cup games we had possession and we created a lot more situations. In addition, I think we showed that we had character by coming back to score at the last minute against Wasquehal.

During this game, you were suspended because of a sports bet you had made. How was it to experience that in the stands?
I didn’t watch much of the game! To be honest, I didn’t even see the goals, I just heard the noise from the crowd. When I knew that we had equalized thanks to the cries of the supporters, it was magnificent. But the penalty shootout… not being able to be an actor was untenable!

You have a professional past. Did your teammates come to ask you for advice before Paris?
For the moment no. I’m going to try to help them as much as I can on D-Day, when we’re going to go into a big stadium, to see people. They will have stress, but it has to be good stress, we have nothing to lose. It’s just fun! We kept our routine this week, apart from our Sunday training at La Gaillette. But we feel that in training, it was crazier!

Interview by Loïc Bessière, in Noordpenne

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