REPORT. Toulouse native Enzo Garrido describes his departure from the OGC Nice training centre: “I went through a period of depression”

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After five years at the OGC Nice training centre, the Toulouse man has endured a harsh transfer window this summer in a position where opportunities are scarce.

Enzo, how did your transfer to FC Blagnac happen?

I prepared for a month with a physical trainer until the end of July. I started training again with Blagnac at the beginning of August because preparation is good, but less games are always better. We’re taking some direction. Eventually I saw that my agents were not making progress and neither was I. I asked myself “why don’t we go back to Blagnac?” I said. “. I talked to Fabrice Dubois (coach Editor’s note) and it happened.

You’re coming back “home”…

I have family that lives just behind Colomiers. In Blagnac, my father takes care of the football school, my mother-in-law works in the offices and my younger brother also plays here. I started playing football at Colomiers because my father was a coach. I did all my classes there. I was in U15 for the last six months before going to Nice and we decided to go to Blagnac to get stronger with the U17 R1. Blagnac offered me a good opportunity to gain experience.

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How were you informed that you would be leaving Nice, where you have been playing football since 2018?

The problem is that I had to sign a contract as a professional in Nice. It was the end of April. My old manager and I found out that I wasn’t going to be the one who would end up signing as a professional. They decide to extend number 3 Teddy Boulhendi. We had an agreement that he should leave. But in the end everything turned upside down. This is football, nothing. And so we knew I was going since the beginning of May.

So, what’s going on inside your head?

It is very difficult to return to training the next day. I’m in a good mental state, I came back and had one of the best training sessions. Everyone was shocked. But you can do this for a week or two, but unconsciously you think in your head and say to yourself “but there’s actually no point in going there because you’re not being looked after.” It’s hard to be consistent, especially at the end.

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Were you escorted when leaving the centre?

We are neglected. This is very, very complicated. From one day to the next you have nothing left. You no longer have medical follow-up, and you no longer have personal follow-up. It’s hard if you don’t get good support from your family and loved ones. They comforted me, supported me, and reminded me of the level I was at. You feel like you’ve lost your level, you’ve lost everything. I contacted some coaches from home, Nice and friends but other than that nothing happened.

However, you did a lot of testing in professional clubs…

The last test I had was in Grenoble with Marama Vahirua, my former reserve coach at Nice. It went really well. Once again, we were on the verge of signing. In the end, the coach decides to sign number 2 instead of number 3. I am returning to the region to make a lot of preparations there. I’m ready. My manager is abandoning me a bit. I have no other news. I find myself with nothing. I don’t know what my future will bring.

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Finally Blagnac and lots of free time…

Time is long. You try to keep him busy as much as you can. Frankly, I went through a phase of depression in the beginning, because I didn’t do anything, I just spent the day in bed. At one point I didn’t even want to go to practice anymore. I didn’t know where to go for my future. I woke up at 2pm, stayed in bed, and left at 6pm. This is a mental injury. I was angry and nervous when someone spoke to me. In fact, I was in my corner all the time, I didn’t go out anymore.

Yes, because here at Blagnac you have an “agreement” with the club…

My goal is to play. I know that the coach cannot remove his goalkeeper, who has been there for a while, all at once. We reached an agreement, the hierarchy would change. Otherwise, there was no point in me signing here. The other agreement was that he would release me if a more serious and advantageous offer came to me offering me playing time.

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What’s next?

My first wish was to leave France because for short goalkeepers like me (1:83) the situation is more complicated. I would like to go abroad. I no longer recognize myself in the mentality of French football. They prioritize size over a goaltender’s ability. And if you are a foreigner you will be more respected. So I tell myself I need to go somewhere else. Where I will be truly respected.

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