Interviews

Q&A WITH STEPHANNIE BLANCO

14 Nov 2020
Depor Ladies defender Stephannie Blanco conceded an interview to Deporte Campeón. The centre-back talked of her career and the bad moment of the team at Liga Iberdrola.

Q: Last Sunday you scored your first goal, but finally it didn’t serve to add points. How did you feel about Sevilla's goal in added time?
A: Personally, I'm happy for the goal, but I’ve a bitter feeling about the result, because I had the feeling that we could come back from the game. But this is football and we have to keep working, we can't get overwhelmed.

Q: It was the sixth loss. What is happening to Depor?
A: We are going through results that aren’t good, but I continue to trust and believe in the team. Bad moments aren’t forever and we can only keep working with enthusiasm. Maybe we lack a bit of attitude, attitude is essential. Even so, I know that there are very good players and I have no doubts about the team. We cannot lower our arms because there are many games to play.

Q: The output of the ball is being one of the problems at the team. Why are you not managing to connect the defenders with the midfielders?
A: Sometimes, in the defensive part, it’s essential that our midfield is moving to give options because it is useless to pass between centre-backs. But I am not the only one who has realized that, my colleagues too, and we are looking for a way to correct it.

Q: Were you used to playing this way? Trying to get the ball played from behind?
A: Yes. I've always played like this. Both in the national team and in my previous club [Alajuelense].

Q: The rivals are hurting you with the speed of their attackers and with passes behind the defense. How can that be fixed?
A: I think that’s very personal to each one. I am aware that I have to improve my reaction, but we must also be aware that there are players in the league who are fast and that each one has their potential. Personally, I always look for an extra to improve and grow.

Q: Against Sevilla there was some precipitation in the team. How is the changing room? Is there anxiety?
A: Maybe we want to do things too fast. We need more tranquility, both behind and in the offensive zone.

Q: On Saturday you face Levante, one of the powerful teams in the league. Can you add points in Valencia?
A: I always think positive and I still believe in the team. Both my colleagues and I hope to give one hundred percent and contribute our grain of sand. I never think of anything negative, whatever the opposing team is.

Q: What differences have you noticed between football in Costa Rica and in Spain?
A: It's totally different. The intensity, the training sessions, the games, everything. The pace of competition is quite high.

Q: How was your signing for Deportivo managed?
A: It was very quick. At that time, I was in the Costa Rican club [LDA] and I learned through a representative that the signing was a possibility. Later Pablo [Pereiro] wrote to me and when I made a decision, coach Manu wrote me. I made the decision quickly because it was a new experience and also I wasn’t going to come alone, I would be accompanied by Noe [Bermúdez].

Q: Was it the right decision?
Yes. I am happy despite the results.

Q: Is the hardest thing being away from your family?
A: Since I was 14, I have always been away from my family. It’s true that before the distance was less, but I always have them in mind. My mom and my family are my great supporters. This year with the COVID issue it has been quite difficult at times, but having Noe here has helped me.

Q: In the men's team there is also a "Tico" like Borges. Are you related to him?
A: When I was coming here, he wrote to me and I had a little video with him and his dad. We have a good relationship.

Q: Do you miss Costa Rica and Talamanca?
A: Yes, most of all Talamanca, it’s for me a place of peace, of tranquility.

Q: Talamanca and A Coruña are two very different places. Are you already adapted to the city?
A: Yes. I came here with a friend and partner and that has made it easier for us. Talamanca and Coruña are totally different but I feel that Coruña also has beautiful places.

Q: Do you already have a favorite place in A Coruña?
A: When we arrived, we went to some places, but the COVIDA issue made it more difficult for us to get to know the city. We have been to the Tower of Hercules.

Q: And what do you usually do when you are not training?
A: At home I watch a series on Netflix, read or play Fortnite and Fifa Play.

Q: How has the fact of dedicating yourself to football since the age of 14 marked you as a footballer and as a person, especially for leaving your family so soon?
A: This journey has become difficult at times because, from the beginning, I was aware of having to get away from my family at a young age. But this is one of my dreams and now that it is happening, I don’t regret anything. I thank my mother for letting me go out to fulfill my dreams. In all these years I have changed a lot both personally and professionally. Before I was very shy, and it was difficult for me to speak and express myself, because also the culture from which I come is totally different. I am happy with who I am now, but I am clear that I have a lot to work on and grow.

Q: What do your indigenous roots mean to you?
A: I will always be proud of my indigenous roots and where I come from. I am also interested in being an inspiration to many people and I hope that is the case. I think that if you have a dream, you have to go for it.

Q: You are the only Depor player who has played every minute so far. Did you expect to become such an important player for the team so soon?
A: I am taking advantage of every opportunity the coach gives me, but I am not the only one who makes an effort during the training sessions. I came here to think as a team and to contribute with what I know. Wherever I am, I like to grow both personally and professionally.

Q: Do you feel the confidence of Manu Sánchez?
A: Yes. At some point he tells us that mistakes have been made, but he has had confidence in me and I want to give that back to him, make him feel comfortable with my game and adapt to the idea of the game.

Q: What does the coach ask from you?
A: Above all, to come out playing from behind and be aggressive, both in the air and in the cut trying to anticipate. I am aware that I have many things to improve and I continue to work with great enthusiasm. That’s going to help me in order to grow.

Q: What are those areas where you can improve?
A: My ambition to grow has always been great and I know that I can give more, because I know myself. For example, in the aerial part sometimes I'm not heading the ball well, I just don't know what I'm hitting. I know I can give more.

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