Continued from Part-1 ..
After much needed rest, it was the time to explore. Out of excitement, I wanted to visit all the places at once but I rested my thoughts upon realising that my stay in Spain was for 40 days. Soon after, I made my way to FC Cubillas training facility/Stadium in Albolote. FC Cubillas stadium was surrounded by beautiful landscapes, mountains which was a treat for eyes.
Training Facility @ FC Cubillas
The training facility was a Full-size artificial turf with a futsal pitch, Goalkeeping Practice pitches and also running track. Inside the training facility there was a fully equipped gym and swimming pool too. Luckily, FC Cubillas training session started as soon as we reached the Stadium. Firstly, reserve team got trained followed by the First team. Both the session were conducted by UEFA (Pro) coach and it was a great learning experience for both me and my colleague Abhinav (MSA coach). Training sessions were fast, intense, grueling but in the end players came out smiling. I guess that’s what football is all about, you learn, improve and enjoy.
Training camp cum Trials
Training camp cum Trials for MSA players started on the day 2 with a light training session. Camp was attended by 23 players in the age group of 18-23 years. I was surprised to find players from Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay and Argentina attending the camp. All 23 players have come for a chance to get selected in the second team of FC Cubillas. Players were evaluated on a daily basis by the Head coach and assistant coach on criteria based upon Technical & tactical skills, psychological and physical aspects.
Keeping up with the Pace
Initially, MSA players found it bit difficult to keep the pace with the training sessions and to match up other visiting players. Soon they realised that the aim of the camp is learning, improving, enhancing skills while getting International exposure. A week later, we started seeing formidable improvement in our players, although Yo-yo test remained difficult task for them. As a coach, I was getting to learn new methodology, planning, drills, techniques and hence started getting myself involved more in the sessions.
Time flies in Spain
Days went by fast. I started communicating in Spanish (without using Google translate) and that’s when I realised that we all have been in Spain for more than three weeks. During my stay so far, I have attended all the training sessions and practice matches with the FC Cubillas, attended gym sessions, made numerous friends, explored half of the city by walking and also got used to Spanish coffee & food.
Few days later, me and Abhinav went to watch a match between 2 local football teams from Granada. Although the friendly match was between 4th division football teams but unlike India the stadium was full to its capacity. It was a wonderful sight, seeing the support Spain has got for football. The match was exciting, intriguing, intense and fast. I always dreamt about such a performance by Indian National team and also such a support from spectators in India but it has not yet come true.
Well, I have more left to share. Probably i will end it in my third blog.
Thanks for reading though.