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My Journey: Mamadou Doumbia

Updated: Jul 4

Tuesday, July 2, 2024 - 1:10 PM

Mamadou Doumbia is getting ready for his second season as a midfielder with Malahide United in Ireland. His journey has taken him across different continents and various levels of competitive soccer. Mamadou, born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, has shown great dedication and love for the game on his journey toward achieving his dream of becoming a professional soccer player.

Early Life and Beginnings

Mamadou was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and moved to Vancouver with his family when he was just a toddler. His father, Amara, is originally from the Ivory Coast, and his mother is originally from Germany, and they were both fundamental in shaping his childhood. His father, a dedicated soccer enthusiast, made sure that Mamadou grew up rooting for Manchester United and taught him the game from a young age. Mamadou began playing soccer when he was only 4 years old, a choice that would have a lasting impact on his future soccer career.

Coastal FC: The Early Years

Mamadou decided to join Coastal FC, as CFC was the only local club in their community at the time. From ages 6 to 9, he played for Coastal FC and has great memories of making friends and enjoying soccer tournaments with his team, the Coastal FC Piranhas. During his time there, he was coached by Alan Campbell and the current Technical Director, Mark McQueen. Reflecting on his time at Coastal FC, Mamadou recalls, "It was a fun time where I made lots of friends and had a lot of fun travelling and playing in soccer tournaments with my team." Mark McQueen, now the Technical Director at Coastal FC, remembers Mamadou as a dedicated and passionate young player. "As a young player, it was obvious that he loved the game. He was very coachable, approached every training session with a smile on his face and also demonstrated a strong will to win. He played with enthusiasm and passion, and you could just tell the game meant everything to him.” McQueen said.

The Move to Germany and Development

In 2011, Mamadou's family moved overseas to Germany, significantly impacting his soccer career for the positive. He initially joined LSK Lüneburg, a local club south of Hamburg and played there from ages 9 to 12. As he progressed, he moved to the more competitive club, MTV Lüneburg, from ages 12 to 14.

Scouts from St. Pauli Academy noticed his talent, and he played at St. Pauli Academy from ages 14 to 16. This period was crucial for honing his skills and understanding of the game. While at FC St. Pauli Academy, Mamadou remembers living on campus and being surrounded by soccer every single day. He said that this environment was very different from his time in Canada, where soccer was seen more as a hobby and a fun activity, whereas, in Germany, soccer was a top priority. All his classmates were involved in soccer in Germany, and the competition was very high. The training sessions at St. Pauli Academy were intense, highly structured, and focused on tactical development. Mamadou said, "At St. Pauli Academy, everyone wants your position. You are now in the elite player group; you never know if you’ll get to stay in the elite group, so you must maintain a high level of play." 

After his stint at St. Pauli, Mamadou returned to his local club, VFL Lüneburg, to join their academy program. He played from ages 16 to 18. He then spent a year at MTV Lüneburg in what he calls his senior year, playing from ages 18 to 19.

The Journey to Ireland

When Mamadou turned 19, he relocated to Ireland to further his soccer career. His move to Ireland marked the beginning of his amateur journey, and he has been playing there for the past two years. Joining Malahide United was a significant step for him, and he is now entering his second season with the club. The adjustment was initially challenging as Mamadou found Irish Football much more physical than German football. German football is known for being more tactical and strategic, whereas Irish football is characterized by its physicality. 

Mamadou Doumbia was part of the full-time Academy program of the FAI, which helped him transition into the Republic of Ireland football scene and secure a spot at the university. The FAI, in partnership with Education and Training Boards and supported by the European Social Fund, offers Local Training Initiatives that combine education and football development for young players. The FAI-ETB Player Development program allows participants to train full-time while also engaging in a sports-themed education program, preparing them for careers in professional football and the sports and leisure industry. Gerry Coughlan recruited him at Malahide after a trial and advised him to trial at the FAI-ETB Player Development program, where he is an assistant Academy Director.

During his time at Malahide United, Mamadou achieved his first victory in 2024 when his team won the Metropolitan Cup, competing against Inchicore Athletic FC, with the final score being 3-1. Reflecting on this achievement, Mamadou said, "It was an incredible experience to win something with a team and to share that memory with all the lads." Alongside playing soccer, Mamadou is also pursuing a Business Management in Sports & Football degree at South East Technological University in Ireland. Looking ahead, Mamadou's focus is on striving to become the best player he can be. His goal for the 2024/25 season is to earn from tryouts to progress to the professional league.

Lessons and Reflections

Throughout his journey, Mamadou has learned valuable lessons from soccer. He says the biggest lesson the game has taught him is to always believe in himself and chase his dreams. He has also learned the importance of teamwork and made lifelong friends. As Mamadou Doumbia continues his career with Malahide United, his story is a testament to the power of perseverance, the support of family, and the love for the beautiful game. From his early days at Coastal FC to his current amateur career in Ireland, Mamadou’s journey is an inspiration to young players everywhere.



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