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“It’s going well, very well,” Sierra Leone’s Kei Kamara shares his experience.

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“It’s going well, very well,” Sierra Leone’s Kei Kamara shares his experience.

WhatsApp Image 2022 07 31 at 9.36.47 AM 1Sierra flix

Forward Kei Kamara, with 17 years of professional soccer, mainly in MLS, finally landed in Montreal last February. Five months later, he confirms that he likes it like a fish in water. We knew Kei Kamara’s contagious good nature. His meeting with La Presse confirmed this beyond any doubt.

THE PRESS “It’s going well, very well,” he replies in French as he sits down in one of the empty seats in the Center Nutrilait conference room on this hot July afternoon. “I’m taking French lessons,” he continues in English. All in all, it’s going well! I understand it well, but I’m embarrassed to speak it. But when you speak, I understand you. » We then try to push the note. Do you like the city of Montreal, Kei? ” I really like ! he said in the language of Félix Leclerc. I love Montreal. I play soccer in Montreal with CF Montreal. There is no problem ! » Kei Kamara, with 17 years of professional soccer, mainly in MLS, finally landed in the Quebec metropolis last February. The 37-year-old striker has signed a one-year contract with the Bleu-et-noir. Five months later, he confirms that he likes it like a fish in water.

Because Kei Kamara always seeks to immerse himself in the culture of the places where he plays soccer. He did so in nine North American cities, in addition to Middlesbrough and Norwich, UK. And, more recently, in Helsinki, Finland. “Montreal is such a perfect place right now. There is summer, sun, culture, diversity. People from all over the world come to Montreal. I’m so happy that we can be here right now. » And precisely, his club played its first sold-out game since 2019 at Saputo Stadium last Saturday. Against his big rival in Toronto. We ask the question in French: how was it to finally play in front of a full house here? “It was very good,” he reacts, before switching to English. This rivalry is great. […] Before the match, we had a discussion. We know what that means for Montreal. The issue of French in Canada. And against Toronto. There is blue and red. It means so much.

Kei Kamara at CF Montreal training on Thursday A baggage to share With his 132 goals, Kei Kamara is one goal away from becoming the fourth-highest scorer in MLS history, tied with Jaime Moreno. He makes it his duty to share this experience with his youngest teammates. As he did with Alphonso Davies when the two played for the Vancouver Whitecaps. Before the latter signed up with Bayern Munich and became an international football star. We had heard about it from both sides before our interview with the native Sierra Leonean. The point came out of our meeting with Jojea Kwizera, a few weeks ago. “He gives me a lot of advice,” said the young striker chosen at the SuperDraft in January, and who is in his first professional year. “He was drafted like me. He’s been through the same things, so he understands them. I get a lot of inspiration from him, I ask him a lot of questions. I try to watch everything he does. He’s an impressive person

Kei Kamara sees no problem with that. On the contrary. When our photographer François Roy comes to the Nutrilait Center to take some shots of the player, he is sitting with Kwizera, Zorhan Bassong and Sunusi Ibrahim. They got into the habit of talking football like that after training.

Kei Kamara (second from left) with Zorhan Bassong, Sunusi Ibrahim and Jojea Kwizera Ibrahim is another who had good words for the veteran, at the end of May. The 19-year-old Nigerian had just scored a hat-trick against Hamilton’s Forge in the quarter-finals of the Canadian Championship. “When Kei came to the team, I was so happy,” he said. […] After practice, we sit together and he says to me, “You have to do this, that.” I’m so happy he’s here

Same story for Mason Toye. “He can help me think about the game better,” the 23-year-old striker said at a press conference in late June. “We will continue to have discussions, to dissect my game and see what improvements I can make. I’m young, he’s been doing this for a long time. I want to be a sponge. » His smile and his qualities as a mentor make people happy on the field as well as in the locker room. Talk to Wilfried Nancy, who on June 25 was celebrating the new tradition of playing Sweet Caroline after every victory. An idea from Kamara. “Kei is very good at it,” he said after the home win over Charlotte. It’s a good initiative, because we have a group that is young. Kei brought that dynamic.

This mentoring reflex comes naturally to him. “I try to lead by example,” Kamara explains. It’s who I am. I get up and train every day. It’s easier to do something like that than to ask someone to do something. » “If I go all out, they have to keep up. »

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