Skip to main content

Ramón Folch - the remarkable rise of a midfield metronome (23nd August, 2017)

The ball arrives at his feet. For a split second - a second that is easily missed to the naked eye, every single player slows down. Time slows down. His eyes don't need to look around - the snapshots are firmly ingrained in his mind. He knows what to do. And once he does, the play keeps ticking.

He dribbles, or passes, or holds on to the ball. But whatever he does, whatever decision he makes, that split second changes everything. Strikers start make runs. Teammates start create passing lanes. Wingers run into space.

If the opponent is not careful, that single split moment can destroy them. 



Folch made his senior debut with local CA Roda de Barà in the Primera Catalana in 2007. In 2008 he signed for fellow league team FC Vilafranca, and represented Cambrils UCF the following campaign.

In July 2010, he signed for Tercera División side CF Amposta - however, his signing (and that of Marc Vernet from Tortosa) were overshadowed by the acquisition of Antonio Domínguez from Morell. Why? Because Vernet and Folch were two of the eight on trial at the club - the six others never got the contract they sought. And yet, out of the three midfielders, it was Folch who shined, and two seasons later he landed at UB Conquense in July 2012, and achieved promotion to the Segunda División B at the end of the season.

Finally, Reus Deportiu, his boyhood club, the club that his family were closely involved with from a basketball perspective (his father was a coach for several years and his two brothers were players there), came calling. They had a history of not being able to retain him - Folch had played youth football for Santes Creus, La Salle, Reus and Nàstic - Reus lost him twice. Then, when Folch left Amposta to play a summer in the third tier of Finnish football (PKKU), Reus offered him a place in their B team - a paltry offer.

This time, they got him, and the story ended happily. Four seasons later, including a historic promotion and a season in the Segunda, where he was by far Reus' midfield metronome, Real Oviedo have a player whose ambition knows no bounds.

The fact that he was Oviedo's first signing, and that it was confirmed in April, says it all really.

Just think about that - he started in the fifth tier. It took three seasons at three clubs to reach the fourth. He reached the third tier three seasons later - just shy of his 24th birthday. And three seasons later, he became a professional Segunda player.

And yet - things could have gone so differently. What if Isaac Fernández didn't give him his chance at Roda de Barà? Or Del Roda didn't bring him for Vilafranca? Or Javi Robles hadn't fought pressure from senior management to give him a chance at Cambrils? Or Jordi Fabregat didn't mentor him at Amposta, or rescue him from a heat-less summer in Finland by bringing him along to Conquense? Or Sergi Parés, Reus' sporting director, didn't meet him at a party where Conquense were celebrating promotion?

So many ifs - so many possibilities. But what's important is that El Pulpo (the octopus, as he was known in Conquense) is in professional football, and we should celebrate that, right?

Not really though - what about those who coaches reject in trails? What about those who coaches don't give chances to? What about the players who the media can't reach, and we will never know about?

What if one of those many was a professional caliber footballer whose path had too many obstacles?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Hinchas y Jugadores - Gimnàstic with Marius Helgå (14th May, 2017)

Marius Helgå is a 40 year old Gimnàstic fan who lives in Oslo. He is originally from Mo i Rana, Norway (1000 km north from Oslo). He has two hobbies: "playing bass trombone and watching football." 

He runs the Twitter account @nasticnoruega for Gimnàstic fans in Norway. As if he wasn't hipster enough, he also supports Stålkameratene who are in the fifth level of Norwegian football. Not to mention Tromsø (Norwegian top level), Manchester United, Juventus and Eintracht Frankfurt.

Follow him on Twitter here.



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

I visited Tarragona on a trip to Spain in 2006, and immediately fell in love with the city. As I didn’t have a club I supported in Spain then, it was an easy choice to start supporting the club.

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

After a great 2015-16 season, I was really expecting more of Nàs…

Hinchas y Jugadores - An exclusive interview with Román Golobart (1st May, 2017)

When did you make the decision to pursue football and what motivated you to do so?

I never realized I took a decision, since a very young age I knew that would be my life so I took it for granted that I was going to become a footballer.

The motivation was nothing other than enjoying it a lot!

What were your initial thoughts when you were at Espanyol and Wigan became interested in you, and what motivated you to move to England?

Both moments were very satisfactory. I went to a summer camp that Espanyol organizes and after it I got a letter from the club. I was excited, willing to do it - I was nervous, but the kind of nervous that one gets when you know you have a nice challenge ahead.

With Wigan it was a call, but still a very similar reaction. The thing with Wigan was that even though I was bad in English class, I knew I would end up going to England to play football so I didn't bother paying attention as I knew I would learn it there. And so it happened.

Did you find it difficult t…

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…