Thierry Ambrose On KV Oostende, Manchester City And Working Under Patrick Vieira

Thierry Ambrose On KV Oostende, Manchester City And Working Under Patrick Vieira

An interview with Thierry Ambrose by Callum McFadden for WFi.

You signed for KV Oostende in 2021. How would you reflect on your time at the club so far? 

“I am really happy at the club because I am playing regularly which is the main objective of any footballer.

“I was playing in French football before I came here and my game time was limited at times so moving to a club for regular football was the aim and KV Oostende have given me that platform.

“This season has been tough for the club as we are battling to stay in the Belgian Pro League whereas last season we finished in mid-table.”

You started your professional career at Manchester City. How much did you learn from your coaches and fellow players in England? 

“I learned everything about what it takes to be a footballer from my time in Manchester.

“I was fortunate to train alongside world-class players such as Sergio Ageuro and Yaya Toure who set very high standards every day.

“Working with players of that calibre is the best thing for any young player and I gained so much knowledge from them.

“Playing in England was a highlight in my career so far and one of the best moments in my life.”

You had a successful loan at NAC Breda in 2017/18. How important was that season for you in terms of raising your confidence in playing at first-team level?

“I had a bad knee injury prior to going on loan to the Eredivisie with NAC Breda so the move was important for me to be able to play regularly and prove that I was over the injury.

“I had the best goal-scoring season of my career to date in the Netherlands and I enjoyed my time at the club.

“It was a move that worked out for me and enabled me to play in men’s football for the first time rather than reserve team football so I am proud of my time with NAC Breda.”

You played in French football with Lens and Metz. How did your time in French football compare with Dutch football?

“I was on loan at Lens and I enjoyed my time at the club. We were playing in Ligue 2 at the time and I had a strong season which led to interest from Metz who were in Ligue 1.

“Metz was the first club that I joined permanently from Manchester City so it was a big move for me.

“I could have scored more goals for the club and that is a regret that I have but I am proud of my time in France because it was a dream of mine to play in French football.”

You are a Guadeloupe international and have a good scoring record for the national team. What does playing at international level mean to you? 

“Representing my country means so much to me, my parents and my wider family. It is an honour.

“Playing for your country is an incredible feeling. You can see how much it means to everyone in the country when you are travelling for the games and that is a special feeling.

“I love representing Guadeloupe and I hope to make my country proud every time that step out onto the pitch.”

Who are the best players that you have played with in your career so far? 

“I would pick out Angelino who was at Manchester City with me because we played regularly together and he has had a top career at clubs such as PSV Eindhoven and RB Leipzig in the Champions League.”

Who have your toughest opponents been in your career so far? 

“I played against Kylian Mbappe and Neymar during my time in France.

“Opponents do not come much harder than those two. They are phenomenally talented footballers.”

Which coaches have helped you in your journey in football so far? 

“I would have to say Patrick Vieira who I worked with at Manchester City in the youth system and Alexander Blessin who coached me at KV Oostende last season.

“Patrick was a legendary footballer who won the World Cup and many other major honours which commands your respect right away. If you cannot learn from someone like him then you are in the wrong game.

“I believe that a manager needs to have a strong tactical understanding and good human qualities to succeed in the game and Patrick has both.

“Alexander Blessin was also a good man manager and like a father to me and many of the players at the club. I enjoyed working under him.”

Last but not least, Thierry, what are your ambitions for the years ahead in your career? 

“First and foremost, I want to help keep KV Oostende in the Belgian Pro League this season. That is my main priority going forward because the club have given me so much and I want to repay their faith in me.

“Longer term, I loved my time playing in England and I would love to return there one day in the future at some point in my career.”