Romain Del Castillo: 'I don't hold back on my dribbling'

Romain Del Castillo: 'I don't hold back on my dribbling'

Publish on 02/22 at 16:02 - G. BOXALL


Romain Del Castillo speaks to us about his flair for dribbling, the final pass and his penalty-taking skills. Our Interview with the instinctive playmaker for Stade Brestois before they face Strasbourg on Saturday evening.

Your coach Eric Roy has said on several occasions that "you have to be hard on talented players, otherwise they fall asleep". How do you feel about that?

I appreciate that. It's a positive thing when a coach expects more from a player. He knows what I need to push me to the top. He can ask me about my performances. And sometimes, when I say that on the whole I've done well, even if I could have done more, he'll tell me straight out that it wasn't like that at all... So that can surprise me! But it's for my own good.

Is this a new type of relationship for you?

Yes, it's a bit more advanced than what I've experienced before. I think that, generally speaking, coaches always expect a lot from technical players. So this type of behaviour with players of my profile is quite common.

In any case, it seems to have a positive effect on your performance.

Yes, I feel good. It's a total package. The team runs smoothly and everyone gets on well. The coach trusts me. It also helps a little that I'm no longer injured. Everything's in place for me to be at 100%.

Does 4th position in the table change the way other teams perceive SB29?

It's clear that people are watching us more than before. Being anticipated by the opposition means we have to raise our game to keep moving forward.

The same goes for you as the team's attacking leader?

Individually, it's true that I have a little less time than in the past. Sometimes it can even be a two-person job. It's all quite new. Opposing teams certainly fear us more.

This season, you are both top scorer (5 goals) and top passer (4 assists) for Stade Brestois 29. How do you explain why it's working so well for you?

It's often said that 27-28 is the age of maturity (Romain will be 28 on 29 March). Maybe that's the reason... It's happening this season for me, so all the better. I'm trying to make the most of it and make it last as long as possible.

How do you see your role in this attack?

I'm there to act as a link between the midfield and the strikers. Sometimes I play on the flank or re-centre myself to create this link. I come in to make the final pass and help finish things off. I feel good in that role. The coach gives me a lot of freedom when we have the ball. I can also switch with Matthias (Pereira Lage) or Jérémy (Le Douaron).

At the start of the season you were one of the top players in Ligue 1 Uber Eats, with the number 2 ranking for the number of successful dribbles and the number 2 ranking for the number of final passes before a shot. How have you managed to double your stats compared to last season?

Confidence is crucial in a player. I'd say that I ask myself fewer questions before attempting a dribble or a pass. It's easier to take risks when the team is doing well. This season, we've been lucky enough to play our games without too much pressure to get a result. We're enjoying ourselves enormously by approaching things in this way.

Can you tell us about your love of dribbling?

I've always loved dribbling. When I was a kid, my mates and I used to play street football, where dribbling was the most important thing. It helped me and I've kept it up over the years.

What role does dribbling play in your game these days?

I'm not obsessed with it. If I can make a pass without dribbling, I do it without any hesitation. I don't tell myself before a match that I have to dribble... On the contrary, making a simple pass to save time can be more effective. What's important is to play as close to the ball as possible. But if I have to dribble, I do. I often hear criticism of dribblers in TV commentaries. But sometimes it's the right thing to do! Dribblers shouldn't be restricted. The most important thing is to find the right balance and know how much risk to take.


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