Moving on from the role of a professional athlete to the next stage of a career can be a tough transition, but in the case of the recently retired Montreal Alouette Seydou Junior Haidara, the former pro has moved into the next phase quite nicely. The Laval Rouge et Or standout who won Vanier Cups in 2010 and 2012, has joined the Concordia Stingers football coaching staff and the Concordia summer camp staff. Haidara will coach the Stingers’ receivers and serve as the Flag Football Camp Co-ordinator during the summer sessions but has an eye towards establishing the flag program at the elementary school level. “To me it’s like the perfect world,” Seydou Junior Haidara said. “I get to teach youths and show them the passion of football or any sport as well as teaching high-level athletes it’s both ends of the spectrum.” The opportunity came about following Haidara’s stepping away from the game. “After I stopped playing for the Als I took a couple of weeks to reflect if I wanted to go somewhere else or not,” Haidara said. “It was during that time that Brad Collinson (Stingers’ head coach) contacted me about joining the staff. During the spring camp I knew I was where I wanted to be, working with the players and with others who had a great work ethic and passion for the game.” With the CFL season set to begin, it marked the first time in several years that Haidara wasn’t in camp as a player. “One thing my body won’t miss is the two-a-days (practices),” he said. “What I will miss is being with the guys, that camaraderie we all share.” The rookie coach is also looking forward to his first season with Concordia and the first meeting with his alma mater Laval. “We will approach and prepare for every game the same way,” he said. “But I am excited to face Laval because that was such an important part of my football and personal growth.” That opportunity will take place when the Stingers visit the Rouge et Or on Saturday, September 7. “I am grateful for the opportunity here and will cherish every challenge,” he said.

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