A homecoming and a new beginning.
Pascal Papé, the former second row and captain of the XV of France, is preparing to leave the Stade Français where he had led the training and the Espoirs team for four years, to become, from July 1, the sporting director of Bourgoin-Jallieu, Isère club currently in National (3rd division) where he turned professional.
The 40-year-old former international (65 caps) returned to the motivations that led him to make this decision and turn the page on his Parisian adventure.
What guided your choice?
It is a carefully considered decision.
I've been at the Stade Français for fourteen years
(Editor's note: he was champion of France in 2015 and won the European Challenge in 2017)
and four years in club training.
I learned a lot.
I was able to transmit my passion but I wanted to take a turning point in my career, as a manager.
Bourgoin is my first family.
It is a club that is structured and developed.
President Henri-Guillaume Gueydan has been doing a lot of work for four years and I want to add my stone to the building.
This role of sports director is transversal.
It's a mission that will allow me to work with all components of the club, not just the pro team.
It's a homecoming ...
This is my region and it means a lot to me.
I joined Bourgoin at 17
(Editor's note: from Givors in the Rhône)
, I left at 26.
I grew up as a young adult there.
This club gave me the oxygen I needed at that time.
I have always followed his path after my departure.
I was saddened by his financial worries but I have been reassured for four years and the remarkable work that has been carried out there.
Bourgoin is a historic club that still has a huge aura in the region and beyond.
What are your sports goals?
Apply to ProD2 within the next two or three years.
The subject is not today to find the Top 14. I will work with Sébastien Tillous-Borde
(Editor's note: the new manager, former scrum half of the XV of France)
We know each other, we played together in the blue jersey.
He has convictions, character.
We will combine our skills.
I like this.
My driving force is teamwork, exchanges, discussions, decisions too.
I was already like that as a player.
I needed to share everything with others.
That's why I was a captain.
What will you remember from your years at the Stade Français?
First, I want to thank Max Guazzini
(Editor's note: former president who revived the club in the mid-1990s)
for allowing me to live fourteen incomparable years.
The Stade Français is a club different from the others.
There is not a single season where we are quiet here.
But at least I never got bored.
These are the emotions that make us live and there we are served.
False merger, sales, takeovers… It never stops.
The club seems a little quieter at the moment ...
Yes, and we must thank Thomas Lombard for that. With him and Doctor Wild, the club is in good hands. Thomas understood my approach and gave me the opportunity to leave. I am leaving Stade Français for my first love, but I have a free spirit because there are hypercompetent people in the staffs from young people to seniors.