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La perspectiva de Extremadura - with Juan Diego Rodríguez (4th September, 2017)

Huge thanks to Juan Rodríguez for his time! You can follow him on Twitter: @Andy_rodri83

A bit about yourself and your background

I am a cheerful, athletic, sociable, sporty guy and I like football a lot - I'm a fan of soccer!

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

I have been a fan since I was a kid, when Extremadura was a first division team from Spain until today in the Segunda B division. For more than 20 years I have been following the team in my city and so I support them day by day.

Describe your first experience of watching Extremadura play?

My experience began from when I was very small, seeing teams in the Estadio Francisco de la Hera like the Barcelona of Bobby Robson, Betis, Real Madrid. Seeing players - the superstars of world soccer - like Ronaldo Nazário, Ivan de la Peña and many stars of first division teams was an unforgettable experience.

To an outsider - how would you describe Extremadura's playing style, what it means to be a fan of the club, and what it means to be a player of the club?

The game of Extremadura, today, can be characterized by being a compact team, strong with the ball, "overflowing" in the rival area.

The theme of being a fanatic is quite unique here - we have several penyas and I am part of one of them, called peña Los 4 UD, but there are many more, and in all the stadiums we are characterized by being cordial - we want zero violence, we are not ultras, and that's why we are welcomed in opposition stadiums and are known for being so respectful in the stadiums.

Describe the importance and significance of a game against a rival? What do you think would be the key differences between a Extremadura fan and a fan of those clubs?

The importance of a game against a rival is based on taking the 3 points, getting victory at all costs, this year is very important for the mere fact that our squad is geared to climb and ascend to the Segunda and professionalize the club.

The difference? Our fans number more than 5000 - more than a third of the population difference with fans of other teams. But as I said before that we do not have radical people, nor ultras, we are clean and good fans see, and we are recognized for being a fan of a first division club.

There was a time when Extremadura were in the Tercera. However, it has since won promotion and lies in the Segunda B. How would you describe the last few seasons for Extremadura fans?

We were in the Tercera and ascended to the Segunda B after being champions in our group. We assembled a great squad but things did not go to plan and we were in the relegation zone. But thanks to our president Manuel Franganillo, who always makes a huge effort for the club, who looked for an investor group, and who brought other players making up more than half a team in the winter market, we were able to save ourselves thanks to the fact that we were the second best team in the second half of the season. Many victories later we climbed up the table - it has been a roller coaster but in the end everything went well.

What is your opinion on the utilization of the youth teams? How would you rate the opportunities that youth players get in the first team?

The use of youth teams is quite good! We have a B team in a lower category (Third division) and we rely heavily on our subsidiaries to incorporate players and try them in our first team in the Segunda B.

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

Of the management of the club - I appreciate what they're doing the new grass on the pitch, a squad with good players and good background, there are many facilities for going to other stadiums, there are only good words for the club I have nothing bad to say because they are doing things very well. This year, we are very excited about the fact that we have more than 5000 members because this season people are very excited too.

What is the most famous ultra group at Extremadura? How would you describe them and their political affiliations?

Don't have any - we do not generate violence in football, and more clubs should learn from us!

Any other notable ultras or fan groups that are worth mentioning?

We have several groups of fans - I'm in the Peña Los 4 UD, there are others like El Norte UD, Frente Vokeron, Brigadas Belloteras, Efecto Azulgrana, Peña Los Sinco, Peña Los Niños, Peña El barco, Peña Javi Perez - if I've missed any I apologize for not mentioning them.

How would you contrast the "Extremadura fan experience" under the current board?

The experience is quite good I give it an outstanding - we are an exemplary fan base!

Is there something that the media doesn't (or maybe doesn't want to) talk about Extremadura that you think is worth mentioning?

The truth that there is nothing to mention that is not already said either on radio or television. We have several sources - one of them is Radiogolex that has us up to date on the information of the club day after day.

Your thoughts on the season ahead?

My thoughts for the next season are very positive, we have a great project and we are very excited, it will not be easy but we want to be and play the next season in the Segunda, and be a professional team.

Anything I haven't covered and you'd like me to put in?

It has been a pleasure to answer your questions, thank you very much! Ale Extremadura ale, ale!

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