Recently winner of the Nations League with the France team, Quentin Jouffroy had a wonderful experience for his first selection. Turned to the world championship (from August 26 to September 11 in Slovenia and Poland), the center of Narbonne Volley remains in uncertainty for his club season.
A first selection with France, playing time and a title at the end. Couldn’t you dream of better?
Of course it’s not nothing. When I was in Canada in early July, I wanted to make the most of it and take what there was to take. In the end, I was present throughout the competition, I had playing time, I am champion with this team. Frankly, it’s amazing. With this team, it’s just love, it’s great. All the entries on the field, there was really this quirky side, which serves this group to remove all the pressure around the matches.
In this competition, what made you achieve your goals?
Frankly, it’s the team! She helps a lot. At the beginning there is a lot of pressure, but the way they take the matches, it almost seems that they don’t take things seriously, but they are very professional, I found the pleasure of playing again like when you are child, you go there to have fun. And with them, that’s what happens, it helped me a lot to find this desire in volleyball. And then, it must be said, playing with the Blues jersey is always special so it boosts even more.
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“I want to be part of this team and stay there”
In the final stages, you replaced Barthélémy Chinenyeze and Nicolas Le Goff. How did you experience it?
Casually, it made me laugh because I was nicknamed “the young”. I’m still 29 years old and have some experience, so it’s a role I’ve already experienced even with Narbonne at the end of the season. The coach (Andrea Giani, editor’s note) trusted me, he was preparing me a bit before I went home to warm up. I was ready to help the team, I knew I wouldn’t start, but I wanted to stay with this group. I did everything to be at my maximum when the coach needed me. In a final, being on the bench is one thing, but being able to help, entering the field, is another. I am happy and proud to have been able to contribute to France’s performance on the pitch. We always help them outside, but being on the pitch is always better. After in the team there is Bart (Barthélémy Chinenyeze, editor’s note) and Nico (Nicolas Le Goff, editor’s note), there is no competition, they pull us up. When we train, I enjoy it, sometimes I’m frustrated when I leave because I was countered, but I tell myself, they are still Olympic champions. They all have big careers, Chinenyeze is in the middle of his big career, he goes to the Lube (one of the best clubs in the world in Italy, editor’s note)so I’m positive, it’s going really well.
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The world championship is looming. What is your program ?
After the title, we have 10 days of vacation, before returning to the France team on August 4, so I take advantage of my family. Then there will be a new selection in Bordeaux, because Bultor will be back from injury, so a central should come out of the group. Behind, if all goes well, we do 10 days of preparation in Bordeaux, 5 days following in Montpellier with two friendly matches and we continue with the departure for Slovenia and the start of the competition. I have the same objective as in the Nations League, I want to be part of the team, to stay there and if I can have playing time, it will only be a bonus.
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“It’s always complicated to prepare a plan B, I want to stay in Narbonne”
Did the Narbonne Volley situation disturb you during this competition?
When I put on the Blue jersey, it’s still apart, it’s especially outside, in my free time that I wonder and my loved ones too. After, at the beginning when I was asked, I said “don’t worry guys, we got a letter, it’s just the change of status of the club”. In the end, there is a financial problem, so I inevitably start to worry. The club reassures me, but when we see that things are not progressing faster than they should, there are a lot of uncertainties. Especially since I’m not alone, I have a child who is two years old, my girlfriend has rebuilt herself professionally in Narbonne, she was hoping to continue, but the plans are falling apart a bit. We are a lot in the dark, it is not easy. Behind, to find a club, with the label of the national team, I might have a little more luck, even if that does not guarantee anything, but it will surely not be in France, and not where I I want to be. It’s very stressful and overwhelming. I will be really disturbed if at September 11 (after the world championships, editor’s note) Narbonne it didn’t work and I couldn’t find a club.
Have you prepared a plan B, if the administrative demotion is confirmed by the new appeal(s)?
It’s always complicated to prepare a plan B, I want to stay in Narbonne, to continue here. Even if we look aside, at the moment, it’s not easy. Everything is closed. My agent told me that I would probably have to wait until September for things to settle down a bit. So there, the whole summer is going to be very long. The club gave the file to the CNOSF this Thursday from what I understand. We still have to wait to see what this new remedy does. It’s heavy, after compared to Narbonne, I don’t see myself taking all the steps to leave the club, I believe in it until the end. I received a message from the president to reassure me, I trust them even if it’s a little stressful. It’s a little selfish, but it takes a weight off not being there at the resumption. I don’t know if everyone will come, if the recruits won’t wait for an answer. The recovery is very uncertain I find, even if they are confident. I hope that by then there will be an answer and that everything can click into place correctly. With the France team, I met the new assistant who is very excited about this project, so I hope everything will go in the right direction.