18 Aug 2020
Fran conceded an interview to newspaper La Opiniůn A CoruŮa. The new director of the academy talks of his arrival to Deportivo and the work he is doing.

Q: You played for eighteen years at Depor and then fifteen years passed until your return, why so long?
A: I donít know. I was about to come five or six years ago, and five or six years later I realize that, maybe, I wasnít prepared for such a great responsibility. Perhaps my formative stage hadnít finished yet. That experience that I lived outside of Galicia was fundamental to know a little of what I know today, first a stage in Barcelona and then a definitive stage at Manchester City. It was a unique and very enriching experience. There were two years of constant daily work there. I think it has helped me a lot.

Q: Is something applicable to Depor?
A: Totally. That will depend a bit on the people who are chosen in each of the positions and the hope of each one of us. You need to have dedication and discipline. Itís true that nowadays thereís a lot of money that they invest out there in grassroots football, but I think that things can be done very well here. The only thing is that you need to be patient, because this isnít going to happen overnight and more now with the virus issue, which is a small brake on what would be a normal season. I have signed here for three years. The day I have to go I hope to leave something very important that other people can benefit, and leave it in the best possible condition so that very soon there can be people [youth players] at the first team. When you see them at the elite, that feeling is unique and I would like that, tomorrow, that feeling could happen with Deporís players, and see them there.

Q: That message of a commitment to the academy is not new at Deportivo, why should we now believe that itís for real?
A: One of the first reasons is because the president, Fernando Vidal in this case, is the first to say that he believes in the academy, and if the president believes and the directors believe, we are already taking a very important step. First those responsible, then the staff, etc. The most important thing is to believe. I am convinced that, in Galicia and A CoruŮa, there are very good players. It was my turn to land now and do a good analysis of what happens and later make those changes that are necessary so that, in the not too distant future, we can enjoy those lads. In the end, if we do a good job and a good recruitment, which is where I think the key is a bit, it will be a source of pride for all of us who are part of that chain and we will all feel very happy that this goes ahead. Why do we have to believe? This is everyone's job. Let's not think that Fran is going to work miracles alone. We all have to be help. A very important issue is the entry of Valerůn. He also comes from a very important academy in Las Palmas. Thatís also a very important point for the children of the academy, what people like us can transmit to the lads, who are a bit of the house. When the lads see these examples, they see a reflection and they will surely work with more enthusiasm from now on, and those lads also have to realize that nothing is achieved if there is no work or effort on their part.

Q: What is your first diagnosis? Big changes needed?
A: I donít know. These are days of a lot of information. Now I don't want to mark a lot of things. I meet coaches, physical trainers. You need to talk to everyone so that there is a bit of consensus, to know in the direction we have to go and for the next year, or in six months or eight, I will have a good diagnosis, there will be a criterion and we will see where to go. Right now, it's too early. Iím quite clear about what I want, but I also want to see how you work, what you do, and I like that the coach also has his freedom.

Q: Are the results going to be secondary? Is it about training and promoting players to reach the first team?
A: Neither is about promoting players. You have to be very careful. Sometimes if you do a break-in, so to speak, the player still accommodates and reach the moment of truth and it was believed that this was easier. Training is ahead of everything but, if you do a good training, in the end the results will come. I believe a lot that the footballer also has to get used to winning. Itís very nice to talk of training, training and training, but in the end we must not forget that we are Deportivo and that we have to feel it in a way. We are a reference team and [the youth players] have to realize that not winning means suffering and feeling a little bad. The more they feel it, the better. They need to have, I donít say the obligation, far from it, because it is not the right word, but they do have to feel that they have to win, because thatís part of the training. They have to feel that responsibility, that we are Deportivo, that this team has been very great. People say you have to compete on the weekend. No. You have to compete on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, in each training session you have to compete, and when you compete you want to win, and when you want to win is when you are competing, everything is related. In the end, the best players are those who playing marbles or any little game are going to get pissed off, they are going to feel screwed, and that point of anger is what is going to make them improve. Everything has to go together but, obviously, training is the most important thing. If five lads make it to the first team? I will sign it tomorrow, five or ten players at the first team and not having won anything at all, that would mean that the job at the academy is well done.

Q: Is recruitment as important as training?
A: Yes. Itís very important. That's where the great success of the academy begins. If there isnít a good uptake, then itís very difficult, no matter how good work you do.

Q: Should we improve that section? Does the club have the resources for it?
A: I suppose that it will be necessary to improve. I have been talking, they are giving me information and, from what I am perceiving, we must improve. I guess everything will have to improve. A lot is being demanded of Fran and, from there, Fran will also demand a lot from everyone, and we all have to improve. This is a chain, because from above they demand me, I am there and I will also have to demand. Here's a way to do uptake, a way to train, a way of physical preparation. I think I have to do my bit, just like the coaches. I also want to learn from them, and that they tell me. This is everyone's job. We will see. The budget and resources are also very important to be able to make a better fundraising, because in the end, I think money is important. And if there is no money, then we have to look, one way or another, and start competing, first have A CoruŮa and its surroundings very well controlled, then Santiago, Ourense, to cover everything and try to sign the best.

Q: How do you feel that Deportivismo has reacted to your return?
A: I always feel a lot of affection around there, when I'm on the street. I really can't say about social networks, because I'm not a user. I am delighted with this job. I have to thank the president and the advisors for this opportunity. I hope I donít disappoint them or the entire family of Deportivo thatís behind. I hope not to disappoint anyone and take a very important step at the academy. From there, probably there will be some criticism and there will be a bit of everything. I have suffered them as a player and I know how demanding people are in A CoruŮa. I have to row and to contribute everything thatís necessary on my part to do my best.



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