Skip to main content

Hinchas y Jugadores - Ponferradina with Juan Manuel Serrano (10th May, 2017)

Follow Juan on Twitter here.

How long have you been a fan of Ponferradina and what made you support them in the first place?

I've been following Ponferradina since I am 12-13 (now I am 26). What made me support Ponfe was proximity to my town. Even though Ponferrada (the city) is in another region, Castilla y León, as I live in the border between Galicia and Castilla, Ponferradina was my nearest football team apart from my local team that was in lower divisions at that time.

Given the transfer windows and the squad that was assembled at the start of the season, is Ponferradina where you want it to be?

Of course not. The goal this season was promotion, but knowing how is the promotion system from Segunda B to Segunda, that is quite difficult and everyone needs to be lucky in the playoffs. But being one of the biggest, if not the most, budget of all 80 teams in Segunda B, this team should be in the top 4 of Group 1 at least.

Of the signings made this season, which one worked out the best/had the most impact and why?

Menudo and Chavero were the best. They came from Segunda B group 4, Menudo from Cartagena and Chavero from UCAM Murcia. They were supposed to give as a good level and despite a settling in period, because going from group 4 to 1 is a big change, they did all right this season and I hope they stay for the next one.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of Ponferradina this season? Any standout players?

Strength. Player by player is the best team of Segunda B, with even some guys who had lots of minutes in Segunda last season and were important in their clubs, such as Núñez or Gonzalo in Albacete (also relegated). That also was the weakness. Having good individual players doesn't guarantee having the best team in the league, and the managers couldn't deal with all this quality players and struggled to make it work.  In addition, seems the team/managers/players couldn't manage the pressure of having to be the best contender for promotion and the pressure was 'in crescendo' throughout the season as the results weren't positive at all. For example...we were knocked out of the Cup by a Tercera side.

No standout players. There is noone that deserves to be mentioned as outstanding this season. In general it was disappointing because I had a big hype in most of them and in general their performances were below my expectations (Menudo and Chavero also were below but I think they can be good players in the near future for the club)

List some things you appreciate and some things you can’t stand about the club management. 

About the club management I think they did a great job. Ponferradina were in the best moment of the history for a few seasons, being in Segunda and even fighting too season to get into the top 6 and have the chance of going to Primera. Even though, realistically, for Ponferradina, being in Segunda, which means professional football, is a big achievement. Now that we are in Segunda B seems we are in the worst moment of the history but is not, as this club has grown a lot in the last decade.

Bad from them is the lack of patience with manager. This season we had 3 different and despite results are required, also continuity and time are needed for a project like this to be settled and being able to fight for promotion back to Segunda.

What has the mood among the fans been during the campaign? Do you generally agree/disagree with them?

The mood this season has been really pessimistic, mainly because the team didn't help. The games I could watch were a disaster and I understand the fans. But also, as I mentioned before, we must know the history of the team and being in Segunda is like a reward that I hope it happens again soon.

Are there any talented youngsters at the club that you expect to have a big future?

Adán Gurdiel was linked with Primera sides last season. He was usually an attacking midfielder or right winger but Manolo Díaz converted him to the right back. This season didn't do great and was injured often, but I hope he can be the star of the next project because he is also a local player and we've seen how players that were in the Academy left and are playing in a higher level now (eg. Valcarce's brothers at Numancia and Borja Valle at Deportivo on loan at Elche)

If you could make one realistic signing for Ponferradina this summer who would it be?

A realistic signing...good question. Ponferradina's policy is usually not spending money on a transfer and being in Segunda B I think that is obvious. But one player I would like to see with the blue and white kit is Joselu from Racing Ferrol. Great striker that rejected a couple of times offers from higher tiers to stay close to his family. Another option could be Rueda, a midfielder that is in his home Linares now in the group 4, but played for Ponferradina before and I think he could do a great job in Segunda B as a creative midfielder.

Finally, predicted finish for Ponferradina?

There are only 3 weeks left* and don't think we will be able to catch Pontevedra. It doesn't matter finishing 5th or 6th, but that position is needed to play the Cup next season. 7th could give the chance of being a cup team but it will depend if Valladolid B finishes better or not. Must be at least 6th but think that 5th will be our final position.

*At the time of interview.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

From Catalonia to Heybridge - the story of an eighth division club (19th October, 2017)

After spending his whole life at UDA Gramenet and a season at Europa, Guillem Ramón moved to Terrassa in the summer of 2014. It was just another Catalan player transferring between two clubs in the Catalan regional leagues - nothing extraordinary.

But it was consequential.

In March 2015, in a match against Sabadell, the full back suffered a complete meniscal rupture, and his season was over. So was his contract - and a big chunk of the 2015-16 season as well. He ended up signing for Cerdanyola, without pay (as he was recuperating), and the doctors said that January would be his return time. However, he debuted in November.

In hindsight, it was a mistake.

After two games, in a training session, on November 25th he got injured again - this time in the quadriceps in the same leg. After two months of recuperation, and still no guarantee of pay, Guillem left for new pastures in February 2016. A trial at Coplestonians FC followed; so did an opportunity at Needham Market FC, in the seventh t…

Non-league Incider: Dulwich Hamlet 2-1 East Thurrock United

When I was more young and foolish I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't visit a football stadium until I visited Vallekas. Frustrated by my inability to plan a trip, I broke that promise by watching a game in the sixth tier of English football.

This is that game. This is my story.

If I've learnt anything, it's this: never make promises to yourself. Promises to yourself are like bonds to an imaginary world - they're not attached to anything. Instead, they only serve to frustrate you, and sometimes those around you.

In 2016, I remember being outside Wembley and not going inside for a stadium tour. In 2014, I remember giving up the opportunity to watch Real Madrid play AC Milan in Dubai. For a year the stadiums of Chelsea and Fulham were on the same street as mine. For three years, every time my friend said he was going to watch Leyton Orient, every time my brother talked about his love for Arsenal, every time I looked at a map of London and saw how close I was to the …

Fuenlabrada - the mighty challengers: Part 2; aka Juan Quero - the roller-coaster (15th October, 2017)

In just a few months, Fuenlabrada have competed for promotion to the Segunda, signed a center-back from a La Liga side, and will now be playing Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey.

This is part 2 of a series about Fuenlabrada, the mighty challengers to Real Madrid, who they play in the cup on the 26th of October.

You can read part 1 here.



He was short. Very short. At 5'3", the left winger sometimes played in an over-sized shirt.

The ball never left his feet. His feet were tiny but they had magic. A dizzying array of body feints, close control, direction changes and sheer speed, often resembling a roller-coaster, left opposition defenders outwitted. And yes - sometimes, he frustrated. Sometimes, he was irregular.

But when he turned up, the world was at his feet.

If Juan Quero plays against Real Madrid he'll be playing against the club that let him go. The club that didn't think he had it in him to become a La Liga player.

The club that was wrong. Very, very wrong - he went fr…