TROIS-RIVIÈRES — Montreal receiver Hergy Mayala did not need to be persuaded to leave the Calgary Stampeders. After a frustrating season in 2021, he wants to show that he is nothing less than the best receiver in the CFL.
Very friendly and just as confident, Mayala is delighted to wear the city team colors of his youth. For him, this is the perfect opportunity to prove his worth.
“My plan is to show that I feel like the best receiver in the CFL. So it’s to go out on the field every day and prove that I am that player. It doesn’t matter Canadian or American, I want to show that I am a complete player,” identified the 6-foot 208-pound athlete.
Just looking at his stats for 2021 (29 catches for 284 yards and no touchdowns), we wonder how Mayala can go off of this claim.
But the receiver was relegated to a minor role – to be polite – in the Stamps offense.
“Yeah, that would have been tough for any recipient who spends a lot of time training to excel. But it was a role a player had to play and it fell on me. I’m getting a fresh start with the Alouettes and I’m really ready for this challenge,” said Mayala.
This role, of course, was often given to a Canadian recipient. But that picture will change in 2022, as a rule change moves the hashlines closer to the center of the field. Forget the receiver who looked like he was on the other side of the world hoping to get targeted once or twice in a game.
Without even thinking about this change, Mayala plans to dive back into his 2019 success. In his rookie season on the Canadian circuit, he had a blast with 567 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Furthermore, as much as Montreal’s appeal played a part, he wouldn’t have accepted general manager Danny Maciocia’s offer without making sure to involve him offensively.
“That is of course one of the reasons I came back here. I was told they had a great opportunity for me to be part of an attack that needs me. And as a young person growing up in Montreal, it was clear that I had to accept,” the former Connecticut University said.
It is music to his ears for coach Khari Jones to hear that Mayala is very disappointed with the turn of his final season.
“We also want him to do more. I’m quite comfortable with this approach. We like him a lot and that’s why we hired him. I know his qualities as a receiver and we have plans for him, he will be part of get the balls,” agreed Jones.
With Mayala as the trump card, the management of the Alouettes could execute the plan to hire two Canadian trustees. Because, let’s specify, Mayala can fulfill the mission of starting near the quarterback.
When you hear him talk, it’s easy to understand that his face will light up with his big smile if he manages to contribute to the attack. But the personal aspect will also have a major influence on his happiness. It had become painful for him to be away from home.
“That’s one of the things I’ve struggled with in recent years. I played at UConn and Calgary. Now that I’m coming back to Montreal, my whole family can come to the games,” Mayala said.
“It’s very exciting, I grew up here and I saw the Alouettes in 2009 and 2010 when Anthony Calvillo was there and the team won every game. To have the chance to come back and put on the Alouettes jersey is an honor,” added the number 1 man.
At the moment his name is not the most well known in the Montreal community, but expect that he will also be deeply involved in this dimension.
“It’s very important to me. I grew up in the West Island and very few players came to us. I’ve already had the chance to participate in two or three events and I will do many more this season “I want to give hope to young people,” concluded Mayala, who was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo.