Freshly landed in Kielce, where he had signed two years earlier, Dylan Nahi (21), the little nugget of French handball who was still in the heyday of PSG a few months ago, looks back for us on his first steps in Poland . The Parisian Titi, who had never left the capital, also evokes his objectives in this club come to seek him at the time when his situation in Paris led him to ask himself many questions.
Dylan Nahi, how were your first steps in this city and this team from Kielce?
Frankly, it’s cool. Well, this is the beginning, it’s always a little difficult, because you discover everything. But frankly, it’s great, nothing to say. Honestly, it’s not Paris, but I didn’t think it would be this good. I really like it here. Afterwards, in terms of language, I won’t hide from you that I suck (laughs). I do not yet master, but it will come. In the workforce, everyone speaks English, and when the coach sees that I’m having trouble (understanding), he gives the instructions in English, so it’s not a problem. Now, the goal is to learn the language here, in order to be able to be well integrated. But by dint of hearing the words, I’m starting to get used to it.
And in terms of results, how were your first outings?
It was a bit mixed. It’s the first time that I change clubs and now I know that adaptation is something very important. I am well in this group, I have adapted well. We lost our first Champions League match, we made a mistake. But then everything was positive: we won our two league and Champions League matches, we didn’t lose anything, that’s good.
Are there a lot of similarities between this Kielce team and the PSG team you left after last season?
No, in the game it’s quite similar. The two coaches are two Spanish coaches with the same playing philosophy. So I didn’t have too much trouble adapting.
How did you come to leave PSG?
I signed two years ago, because at the time, my situation in Paris was not really one, precisely. I was not part of the plans at the time and I was not well in my head. So when someone put me in touch with the Kielce club, it happened and I signed here before my contract in Paris ended.
Leaving PSG, the club of your beginnings and your heart, should not have been an easy decision to make?
Frankly, yes, because at that time, since I was not in the plans, I had to think about my career above all and make a decision. It’s my club of heart, it’s true, but it’s still sport and my life. And so far, I have no regrets and hope I made the best choice. I am really happy with this choice.
In Paris, in 2019, given your situation, you really could not stay?
Yes, at that time, yes. Afterwards, my situation changed: I had playing time, I played a lot of matches… But two years ago, when I signed (in Kielce), it was the choice to make. I had the opportunity, I took it.
Knowing the next two years that awaited you at PSG, would you have made the same choice?
It’s hard to know. Maybe I wouldn’t have liked it (sic), maybe, on the contrary, it wouldn’t have gone well and I wanted to leave. It’s all a matter of negotiations. We must not play for nothing. All that comes into account. Frankly I do not know. The problem is, a lot can happen in two years, as the situation can also go wrong. Which means that the situation could very well have remained the same and that I could have stayed in Paris without playing. I couldn’t know what was going to happen, that’s why I made the decision to leave, and I don’t regret it.
Why did you choose Kielce? Other clubs must have asked you …
At the time, no, really not. I was asked a little later, but my contract was already signed. This club trusted me when I was very young (19 years old) and I didn’t have a lot of playing time. It’s a chance, which I must give them back.
With what objectives did you arrive in Kielce?
The same as in Paris, in truth. I want to win here and win titles, especially, because that’s the most important (He insists) Yes, that’s really what matters to me: winning titles.
Your goal is it also to gradually install yourself in the France team. Which is not the case at the moment.
Yes of course. When I was at PSG, my goal was to win at PSG. What I managed to do and I am proud of it. Now the goal is to win in Kielce and also to win my place in the France team, because I think I have the capacity to do so. Afterwards, wanting it is good, now I have to do it. I’m in a hurry.
Experience aside, what do you think you lack to be able to win your place in the France team?
I do not know. After that, the goal is to be the best you can be every time. There is no secret. Above all, you have to be regular. The France team are the best players, so everyone wants their place.
You were part of the group that competed in the TQO last March, without having been kept for the Olympic tournament in Tokyo. Shouldn’t that have been easy to digest?
It’s a disappointment, that’s for sure, since I had done the preparation. Now, that must also be a force. I know I was not taken for this campaign. It’s up to me to do everything to be taken for the next ones. After that, it’s sport. You can’t always win, you can’t always be selected. It remains a selection, with very good players opposite. You have to use that to be stronger.
You can also use this desire that you may have to make PSG regret not having trusted you earlier …
Yes, it can also be a strength. Afterwards, I don’t think I have to play to prove things to people. In any case, me, that’s how I think. When I play, it’s really for me, for my pleasure, to surpass myself, because I simply want to be better. I don’t want to prove. I don’t play for people, I play for myself. After that, for sure if I play good matches, maybe it will show them some tips. In any case, it’s not my goal to show them something. My goal is to play for myself and be the best.
And to win the Champions League, a competition that is close to your heart but that you have not yet won …
Yes, because it’s like a war. You play against the best teams in the world, the best players in the world, the best coaches. In addition, in full rooms. The Champions League is the best competition.
You come from a neighborhood where there was no question of handball. How did you end up as a handball player?
You should know that at the base, when I was younger. I played handball and basketball, and wanted to play basketball. But one day, on my way to what I thought was basketball practice, I ended up in handball practice. I really discovered the hand that day, and I stayed there. After that, it was not a problem either, since I had done some before. At the beginning, I did both sports with the school. I did everything in fact. The hand, I liked it. I wasn’t against playing basketball, but I liked the hand. And today, I don’t regret having made that choice (laughs). It is clear that in my neighborhood, they were more football than hand. But my friends quickly understood growing up that I was good at what I was doing.
Were you particularly good at hand?
When you’re little, you don’t really know. As far as I’m concerned, it’s really the work and the training that allowed me to get there. I don’t think I was a talent from the start. I then progressed thanks to my coaches and training. It’s like in all sports, only work pays off.
Did you do several positions before settling on this left winger position?
Yes, I really did all the positions and ended up on the wing. It was my Pôle Coach Pascal Person who put me in this position. I feel good. What I like ? It is to be able to finish the actions. Afterwards, I have a physique that also allows me to defend at post 2. That’s what I like: to be able to be useful everywhere. In defense as in attack.
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