I have just signed for Fleury 91 in my native country of France, but I shall be sad to leave The Seagulls and Brighton. I arrived in Brighton in August 2019, but in March 2020, at the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown, I became very homesick and decided to go back to Paris, back to my partner and my lovely cat Newton.
I came to play football in the UK because I wanted play in another country than in France for a big experience and challenge. I had only been to England once before on a short visit to London, so it was very daunting to leave my previous club, Guingamp in Brittany.
The first thing I had to do was to find somewhere to live. I was so lucky. Using Marketplace and Facebook I was very quickly in touch with a host family in Aldrington where I lived for my whole stay in England. Being in Aldrington (West Hove) made it easy to get to both the Amex stadium and Albion’s wonderful new training centre in Lancing where the women’s team is based. I was near Aldrington Halt and there were plenty of buses. Sometimes Amanda Nilden and Jackie would give me a lift.
I loved living in Brighton and will really miss my host family who were so kind to me. There was, before lockdown, so much to enjoy in the city – in fact just walking round the streets was a pleasure and everyone was very friendly. As I was trying to learn English, the one drawback I found was that I met a lot of French people … who wanted to talk French to me! One thing I did find very different from France is that, in many cafés, you have to order and pay for your drink before you sit down. In France we are always served at table, even if it just a beer or a glass of wine.
Training with the Albion was rather different from my experience with a French club. in England it’s a lot of about tactical, physical strength and speed, but less of technique, gamesmanship, possession, and finish in front of the goal. I am proud to have already played for my country, both as a junior and more recently for the French national senior women’s team, and hope that my experience in England will help me to win further caps as well as to play well for my team.