Stadium TPR. Fabien Fortassin, the reasons for his departure from Valence-Romans: “A career development”
This week, the National players are at rest, but not Fabien Fortassin. The Stado coach (7th), future manager of Valence-Romans (2nd) is a busy man, finishing the season well with Tarbes while preparing for the next one with the VRDR.
Leaving Tarbes for Valence-Romans, we can only see a promotion there…
Clearly, I take it that way. If I had missed this opportunity, I’m not sure it could ever come again. Being at the head of such an ambitious, structured project is a chance, I am aware of that.
With very limited resources at the Stado and the inability to grow so quickly with the club, is that what explains your choice?
I am living a season where I enjoy myself sportingly. The collaboration with Romain (Terrain), it is exceptional, the group is top. But there is also career development to consider. A bit like when I was a player. At some point, you have to be able to give yourself new challenges even if everything is going well. If I passed my DES (Higher State Diploma, allowing him to officiate in Top 14 and Pro D2) last year, it was with this in mind. With the Stado, in the short and medium term, the evolution would have been very slow, it is a reality. Regularly chaining good seasons like this year is not so simple. Lionel (Terré, president of the Stado, editor’s note) was great, really, because he understood my choice and is happy for me, Romain (Terrain) too.
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How was it done with the VRDR?
There was a bit of word of mouth. The president sounded me out, invited me to see the club. And I was impressed with the working tools. They have facilities to make a lot of clubs blush. I finished my career as a player in Biarritz, and the soundtrack, for example, is far behind Valence in terms of infrastructure, organization in the offices. At VRDR, they are ready for what’s next. And me, I’m curious to see what my work can give in other conditions.
Your appointment raises a lot of questions in the Drôme, do you understand that when the club had received around forty CVs, some of which were from renowned technicians?
I can understand people wondering out there if I’m a bad choice or not. The question is legitimate. There is a part of the unknown for me. I’m under pressure, but the president didn’t base himself on a name but on criteria, boxes to tick… I don’t know the region, the club is young, new, in search of building a strong identity. I have uncertainties but concerning the game, the ground, I am not worried. I have confidence in myself to make the team play well. But whatever happens, it will be hard. If the club goes up, it will have to be kept in Pro D2. And if it’s the National, there will be the pressure of the climb.
Four years of contract, it is a real comfort too?
For sure ! Of course that is taken into account, there are more responsibilities, the salary aspect… It’s a real project, professional and family.
“I don’t want to loot the Stado, but I don’t forbid myself from trying to bring one or two players with me”
In Tarbes you had to manage everything with a very limited staff, can we say that you are going to change jobs at the VRDR?
This job of general manager, I do not know it specifically. But at the same time, I don’t want to change my way of being and I will remain coach of three-quarters. Afterwards, there will be more people around me but I will always have this need to be closer to the players, to the field.
All you have to do is finish the adventure with Tarbes…
Yes because she is beautiful. The timing of my appointment (two weeks ago) is not what I wanted, but the Valencia club had its requirements as well. I was afraid that the announcement of my departure could impact the group before the reception of Nice (22-20 victory) but this pressure is evacuated. She will probably come back when we receive the VRDR in two weeks. But my way of working will not change until the end. We all want to finish well, as high as possible.
Can we consider Tarbais at the VRDR next year, whether in the staff or the workforce?
Romain (Field), I really want to work with him again one day but it won’t be for next season. Regarding the players, I don’t want to loot the Stado but I don’t refrain from trying to bring one or two with me…