We are still at the very beginning of training camp, but we know that the intensity is already there on the field and this in all positions. There is one in particular, where many new faces showed up to compete for and we spoke with one of these newcomers (who is actually quite known in Quebec) the former Carabins player David Ménard.
As we know, this training camp is special for everyone given its absence from 2019. It’s even more special for Ménard who returns to the Belle Province after 6 years of exile in Vancouver.
It’s kind of funny. I’ve been going to Vancouver every year for six years to get into my football bubble, and this year it’s really different. I feel like I’m going back to my university years when I was at home. I have to create my own football bubble and find my footing in there. But I’m super excited to be here, it’s different but it’s super positive.
Nevertheless, his previous experience allowed him to enter the training camp very quickly.
It’s going great so far! Everyone is excited to be here and works hard. There’s a lot of competition but that’s fine, it forces you to step up your game.
David Ménard is used to having to raise his game when competing for this position, which features a majority of American players.
It’s kind of the story of my career to compete with Americans, but my mindset is always the same from the beginning. I need to carve out a place for myself, it’s up to the coaches to decide and if that’s not the case it’s okay. I’ll be in the rotation with the mindset of becoming a starter, which will make me even better.
An element that could help David this year is the significant presence of francophone players on the team, and even former teammates from the university level…
It’s a bit special because during my 6 years in the West, it was 100% anglophone or almost. Now it’s almost more French than English. It’s really cool to be able to talk to each other in French and to be able to say silly things to each other whether it’s on or off the field.
While some might think that this strong Francophone presence could create divisions within the team at the start of the camp, the Laval native quickly dismisses this idea.
It’s perfectly normal during training camp to turn to the players with whom you already have some affinity, but honestly, even if I was a little afraid of that, given the number of Quebecers present in the team, the atmosphere is so good. Whether it’s the veterans who were already present in 2019 or those who’ve just arrived, everyone wants to compete in a very healthy atmosphere.
After these first few days, all the players are unanimous on the pleasure of being back on the field. Even if the competition will increase as the camp progresses, a certain chemistry and camaraderie are already being created. This is not David Ménard’s first rodeo, and he will be able to bring his professionalism and his positive attitude to whatever role the coaches give him.
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