Luis Vicente Mateo, Espanyol youth football coordinator, has been in charge of leading this Friday the press conference to present the Louis white, coach of Espanyol B, and of Xavi Corominas, Youth A parakeet technician.
Vicente, who arrived just a year ago to the perico club, he explained that the great objective of the so-called ‘Elite Group’ (the fundamental pillars of grassroots football) is “to train players beyond winning and competing, which I also like. They must be prepared to solve situations in the category in which they are. The elite group will be given a series of tools so that, as soon as possible, those of Juvenil A can compete in the subsidiary and those of Espanyol B in the first team. It’s about speeding up processes. We have one of the best quarries and you have to retain talent so they don’t go to other teams. The objective is not that they reach the first team, but that they consolidate ”.
Questioned by the ‘flight’ of talents to other clubs, especially to FCBarcelona, exemplified this same summer with the departure of the ‘B’ captain Ferran Jutglà, it was forceful. “We are the best recruitment area that Barça has. We must try that the project with which we continue in the quarry arrives as soon as possible to the players, to their families and to their surroundings, so that they want to stay here in the face of Barça’s attempts, which there will always be ”.
In line, he justified how to retain the players, remembering that “in the Espanyol, they are proper names. In other clubs, sometimes, they are numbers, and that sometimes has to be explained to the families, because Barcelona will continue to be Barcelona ”.
Luis Vicente Mateo has dared to put a figure to the number of grassroots players who he hopes have established themselves in the parakeet first team: “I like to get wet. In three years, I would say four or five footballers would be a success for a youth club like Espanyol. We already have some on the way and others from the elite group are arriving ”.