Novillo: I love beautiful soccer; that's why I signed with Montreal

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Harry Novillo has been a bit of a globetrotter is his professional career. 

As a youth player, he graduated from the famed Olympique Lyonnais academy, but only made two appearances for the senior club in France. He spent time on loan in the country of his birth before scaling the world. 

At 26-years-old, Novillo has just signed with the Montreal Impact, making Canada the 7th country he’s played in. He’s previously played in France, Belgium, Australia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Malaysia, as well as for the Martinique national team along the way. So, why Montreal now?

“I’m a believer in ‘modern football,'” Novillo explained after he signed. “I have one thing on my mind and that’s to attack. To put it simply, I love beautiful soccer. I think that with the quality I saw in Montreal, it’s the perfect team to integrate into.”

After a few loans from Lyon to other French clubs, Novillo left the nest in 2013, signing with Mons in Belgium. His spell didn’t turn out as he hoped, and he returned to France for a quick sojourn with Clermont. He then went to play for Melbourne City, a year after David Villa left, and scored more goals than he had for any other club in his career, with 13 in 31 games. His success earned him a move back to Europe, with Turkish side Manisaspor.

But he didn’t stick around long there, and spent the next year in Abu Dhabi with Baniyas, then the following seasons with Johor Darul Ta’zim, a Malaysian club. 

“I’m extremely happy,” Novillo said of signing with Montreal. “As you know, I’ve spent a lot of time in Asia and lived a lot of great moments. I wanted to come to a league that was becoming a major championship. To find myself here makes me very happy, not to mention getting to play with players like Bacary Sagna (who is in discussions about a return to the club) and Saphir Taïder and the staff from Olympique Lyonnais that I got to know from my time there. The staff knows me already, they know my qualities and what I can bring to the team. I’m sure they’ll give me the ability to play my best football as fast as possible.”

As Novillo said, he just wants to attack. A player adept at forward and winger, does he have a preferred position?

“I’m here to do whatever the coach needs of me,” Novillo said. “No matter what position I play, I want to give everything to the Impact. I tend to prefer playing on the left wing, because I’m right-footed and it allows me to cut in and shoot. I will try to give my best efforts at training to try and break in to the starting XI. No matter which position the coach wants me in, I’ll give everything for the jersey.”

Novillo has big plans for his new club. 

“I know what I want to do, and I know why I’m at the Impact,” Novillo said. “I have ambitions and objectives, and I’m here to achieve them.”


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