June 4, 2023

Landry: Playbook in hand, Plamondon enjoys time w/ Als


You know what they say about those times when you’re having fun. Sabrina Plamondon is enjoying her time with the Montreal Alouettes at training camp, and she is certainly experiencing the sense that the days are rocketing by like a wide receiver on a fly pattern.

Plamondon is in the final stretch of immersing herself in all things football with the Alouettes as a participant in the Women In Football Program, presented by KPMG, and she is enjoying the experience immensely.

“It’s been amazing,” said the 26-year-old native of Quebec City. “It’s almost the end already. I didn’t realize that time was moving so fast.”

The former University of Montreal Carabins rugby player joined the Alouettes in time for the CFL Draft in early May and has been with the team since, on hand to learn the front office ropes. She’s getting her crash course in that world, but not just it exclusively. That’s by design, she says. Afforded the chance to get inside at a pro football training camp, Plamondon has set out to cast her line in as many football ponds as she can.

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“I came in with the mindset that I wanted to learn as much as possible,” said Plamondon, who holds a degree in finance, and is nearing completion of her master’s in industrial engineering.

She’s bitten off all that she can chew while with the Als and is grateful for the chance to learn about a wide range of things over these last few weeks.

“We have a new president, a new coach, a new owner,” she says. “To be able to see first-hand how they were laying the foundation of this new era of football in Montreal was super interesting.

“For me it was a great learning opportunity,” she added. “I was trying to be a sponge with anyone I could meet with.”

And she’s met with plenty. Maybe everyone. Reporting to Éric Deslauriers, the team’s senior director of football operations as well as Allyson Sobol, the Alouettes’ football operations manager/coordinator, Plamondon has been learning about the team’s contract management principles and operational logistics while seeing, through Sobol, what possibilities might lie ahead.

“I report directly to Allyson Sobol, which has been great because it’s another woman in football,” said Plamondon. “So seeing a (role) model right in front of me is great.”

One of the great eye-openers, Plamondon says, has been gaining an understanding of how the finance and business aspects of a football team impact that team’s roster decisions.

The Alouettes have been very accommodating and that has made the organization a comfortable fit for Plamondon. “I ask a lot of questions and I’m a bit curious,” she said. “So for me, it’s a perfect mix.”

In her time with the Als, Sabrina Plamondon has worked in every facet of the organization that she could (MontrealAlouettes.com)

Beyond the front office lessons, Plamondon has been making the rounds into a few other areas, some that get her a little closer to the action. “I helped the video guys during the game,” she said of last week’s pre-season match-up in Ottawa, “and I was also able to help people in communications.”

She’s spent some time with the coaches, too, scoring a pretty good coup along the way. “I got the offensive playbook,” she says a bit triumphantly, “and from time to time I’m reading it.”

While Plamondon is excited about her future in football, she can’t say exactly what path she’ll take. It sounds, actually, like she is open to a number of possible directions, but her draft night experience with the Als might provide some insight as to where she ultimately ends up.

“I would like to work in a front office role,” she says, “but I don’t know which one yet. “Something I wish I could do, ultimately, is to be able to say I could make the decision on a player. I could draft for an organization.”

With her experiences at Montreal’s training camp soon coming to an end, Plamondon is reflective about what she loves about football, particularly the fusing of the talents and personalities of so many people from so many backgrounds in order to be successful. It’s only been cemented by her time with the Als.

“Football is 45 people and everyone has a specific role to play in a victory,” she said of the players on the field. “But there’s so many more parts in how to create a winning culture in football and that was one of the things that really interested me. A sport where there were so many combinations that were required to create a winning culture.”

Plamondon is one of nine women who’ve been taking part in the Women In Football Program, one assigned to each CFL team. As the program wraps up a successful second year, she says she can vouch for its value and she would encourage women to apply when the program hits year three, in 2024.

“I would tell them if they’re passionate, if they’re persistent, to just embrace the opportunity and try to learn as much as possible.” she said.

Immersing oneself in the experience at hand seems to be something that Sabrina Plamondon is pretty good at, and she has some simple advice for those who want to learn something, to explore something.

“Ask for it,” she says. “People are willing to share.”

Hey, that’s probably how she ended up with a playbook, right?

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