The Olivier Renard method | The Press

Wilfred Nancy. Romell Quioto. Victor Wanyama. If it stays that way, these three key CF Montreal players will be out of contract next December.

Posted at 6:00 am

Jean Francois Teotonio

Jean Francois Teotonio
The press

But Olivier Renard pleads for patience. Especially since Nancy and Quioto already have year-long options attached to their agreements.

“We have time,” explains the sports director and vice-president of the club in a forty-minute interview The pressThursday.

We are in one of the classrooms at Center Nutrilait. Club training has just started outside. Renard talks about his calm tone, which we’ve come to appreciate in more than three years in Montreal.

I said that to Romell, as I did to some other players: I don’t discuss contracts with players now. I know the players, I was like them. If you argue now, you will change your mind.

Oliver Fuchs

He wants “everyone to finish the season well to go as far as possible”.

“We’ll have time in the off-season to see what we do with X, Y, Z. You have options. Having an option is a contract. »

He applies the same logic to his head coach. Although the latter led this team to third place in the East on a tight budget at press time.

You mustn’t think that Wilfried and I don’t talk to each other. Of course we talk. He knows my vision for the future, I know his. He’s relaxed. I’m relaxed too. […] He knows that I am very satisfied with his work.

Oliver Fuchs

Then why not confirm that satisfaction by extending their contract beyond their one-year option? That was what the same Olivier Renard had done in 2021 after back-to-back defeats, while Wilfried Nancy still wore the interim head coach label.

“Not because we are now very satisfied with the employees, I’m suddenly giving a five-year contract,” he emphasizes. I will never. Let’s see what will happen. We are very confident and happy. […] I want the squad to improve. The potential of the players improves. And then we discuss it. He’s not out of contract.

“The club had situations in the past where they had to pay several coaches at the same time because of the layoffs. I’m not saying Wil will be fired. It’s not at all. But you never know in the future. »

Victor Wanyama, “a lovely person”

The case of Victor Wanyama is a bit more complicated. He has no options on his designated player contract. His salary weighs heavily on the payroll. And despite his status as a defensive midfielder, he’s not getting any younger at 31 either.


Victor Wanyama

“These are conversations I have to have with him,” assures Renard. It will happen soon. Victor is a nice person in the dressing room. He brought many things with him. »

When the sporting director is satisfied that Wanyama “plays 95% of the games,” he qualifies by speaking of his “age” and “investment price.”

“Does the club prefer to invest again for the same position when we might already have other players who can play? Are we keeping Victor because he’s an important person in the locker room? We have already weighed the pros and cons. After that, it’s up to me and Victor to talk about it. »

“There are several clubs on Ishmael”

Our interview with Olivier Renard comes just minutes after Ismaël Koné confirmed Norwich’s interest in him at a press conference. A rumor that surfaced a few weeks ago.

The sporting director insists he cannot talk about Norwich. Even if he adds afterwards that he “never had an agreement with a club”.


Ishmael Kone

Koné said he was “grateful” for this first offer from a European club. Fox corrects him.

I know it’s not the first club already. There are several clubs on Ismaël as there are several clubs on other players with us.

Oliver Fuchs

“The transfer window is not yet closed, the sporting director advises, pointing out that players can still leave MLS. […] We also had other offers for him from other clubs. That’s the truth. »

He adds that he will never stop a player from “following their dreams” because “everyone [en serait] Loser”.

“But the player knows he won’t go for the price of a bottle of mineral water. »

Development according to Olivier Renard

“I don’t care what other people do”

Olivier Renard insists and signs: For CF Montreal it is not worth joining the MLS Next Pro, this new development circle organized by MLS.

And that, even if Bleu-et-Noir will be the only team in the league not to be there next year.

“I’m believed a bit, but I don’t care what the others do,” revealed the sports director in an interview The press. I know how much it costs to do this category when we can train our players very well in other ways and it costs us less. »

The first MLS Next Pro season is underway. There are 21 teams, around fifteen of which are the reserve formations of MLS clubs. The average age of the players is 21 years.

CF Montreal, on the other hand, chooses to play their young players in their backyard. Its under-23 team plays in the Premier League Soccer of Quebec (PLSQ) championship, a semi-professional circuit.

A decision that raised eyebrows at first, recalls Olivier Renard. But he still doesn’t move today. Especially since the team from Montreal does not dominate too much: It ranks 5the Ranked 12th, with 7 wins in 13 games.

Everyone laughed at the PLSQ. I’ve seen some games where our young players were ridiculous. Before you think you’re going to play against amateurs, you must first win all your games. Then maybe the club will say that this category is not a category for our youth.

Oliver Fuchs

He adds.

» The truth must be told. We don’t have 25 talents in the U23s who are all starting XI’s in MLS.

“The good players, we follow them. I know it’s not the biggest competition. But for us as a club, it’s already costing us a few million less not to organize the MLS Next Pro. Although it would return money too if I’m being honest. »

Olivier Renard even insists that certain teams are now telling him he “maybe made the right choice”.

“You become a different person”

The sports director speaks of money to justify his decision. But not only.

In addition to the PLSQ, there’s the Canadian Premier League (PLC) where he can send some good talent on loan. An interesting path that, in particular, allows these players to acquire a “personality”.

“My choice also comes from knowing we don’t have 25-30 players ready to make the first team. There are five or six that we can borrow in SPS. Move with that fact. People forget that. Because with the MLS Next Pro, people would stay here in Montreal. »

I like it when they go and build their character somewhere else. That they will not only become professional players, but adults.

Oliver Fuchs

He cites the example of defenseman Karifa Yao, who was loaned to the Calgary Cavalry. Goalkeeper Jonathan Sirois with the Winnipeg Valor. And forward Sean Rea, at the same club in Manitoba. These three players could make their mark in Montreal as early as next year.

  • Sean Rea


    Sean Rea

  • Karifa Yao


    Karifa Yao

  • Jonathan Sirois


    Jonathan Sirois


“Now’s Sean Rea isn’t last year’s Sean Rea,” Renard points out, a statement he attributes to the other two. He was asked to be more determined, with more assists and more goals. »

“Those players who are from Montreal, still with mom and dad, still in the little cocoon, when they go there, they become men. Having to eat alone, being alone in the evenings without family. You become a different person. »

The case of Woobens Pacius

Speaking of PLC, there’s another Montreal talent making waves right now. Forward Woobens Pacius, who plays for Hamilton Forge, has scored 10 goals there this year and is the second-best scorer.


Woobens Pacius

Pacius is a former Impact Academy member who was invited to a training camp ahead of the 2021 season but failed to reach an agreement with CF Montreal.

“We knew the qualities of Woobens,” assures Renard. I’ll even tell the truth: I tried to find a club for him. He came back from two pretty serious injuries and deserved to play. »

Like Joel Waterman, who became the first player to make the leap from PLC to MLS, does Pacius have the potential to break into the big leagues?

“Will he come back to us one day? Maybe. We will see. Will he continue at another MLS club? We keep the rights of the player. […] But not everyone can play with us. »

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