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Hinchas y Jugadores - Real Jaén with Toni Kraken (12th May, 2017)

Toni Kraken runs an unoffcial Real Jaén English news account. You can follow it here. On that note, check out the club website here.

Finally, you can follow Toni himself here.

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

First off, my name is Toni and I am from the Jaén province in Southern Spain, although currently living in China. I basically grew up watching football, so it's kind of difficult to determine the exact moment when I became a Real Jaén fan, as except for the biggest clubs in Spain, Real Jaén is the club that shows most influence and impact in the area. So let's say I support them because I consider them to be my home club.

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

Absolutely not, as we are struggling at the bottom of the table seeking for safety this season. These three last seasons have been equally disappointing and painful for the fans, especially this current season as the club is facing great difficulties that are putting its survival as an institution at stake.

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

You know, I wouldn't be able to really pick up one player because the team performance overall this year has been really poor, and I don't think it's the players fault, or at least not their exclusive fault, as our previous manager, Ramón Tejada, has proven to be clueless and completely useless. Now that he's gone the team is improving and we still have options to stay in the category next season, but honestly, I'm not sure of what particular player I should pick out of the new signings.

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

We concede chances too easily. Our defense is really too weak and it's been very hard for us to create chances and score goals. That's why we are where we are at the moment. As for stand out players, I'd say Sergio Molina, who has left the club recently, Óscar Quesada, Santi Villa and Felipe Ramos, our keeper.

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

The club has been really poorly run for so many years that now we are facing a very difficult situation in which the club's mere existence is at stake. Club ownership has changed but it won't be effective until next month I think, so we can't judge the new board, really. As for the previous board...all I can say they're a bunch of liars and rats. And I'm extremely happy that they're out!

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

Yes, we've all been sad, angry, disappointed and hopeless for the best part of the season. Seeing this team under-perform week after week as the club is in serious risk of bankrupt is painful and it's something that no fan can tolerate. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and there might have been some discrepancies on how to conduct protest but the fans have been united and I think the sentiment of anger is shared by everyone that's linked to the club on one way or another.

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

If there's something we can be proud of that's our academy. Young players at Jaén have always been very talented, and last time we got the promotion was indeed with a team full of youngsters from the academy and players from nearby or provincial clubs. Probably, Joserra is the academy player with most minutes, nut again, this hasn't been a good season for young players to be shown and develop in the first squad. I hope next year is different.

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

It all depends on whether we stay or we go down. In either case, I think we will have to design a squad relying heavily on homegrown players and players from other neighboring provincial clubs.

Finally, predicted finish for Real Jaén?

I hope we finish in the 15th position. That allows us to avoid relegation. But I think we will finish 16th and play the relegation play offs.

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