Blues Coach Ready For Challenge As Champions Begin Pre-Season On Monday
Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC Head Coach Albert Roca said his stint with the champions of India would be a big challenge but one that he was confident of working hard towards and succeeding at, as the Spaniard interacted with the media for the first time since landing in the city, on Thursday.
The club also unveiled Carles Cuadrat who will serve as Roca’s assistant and has worked with the Head Coach at Barcelona, Galatasaray, Saudi Arabia and El Salvador (both national teams).
“I am proud to have signed for Bengaluru FC. We have arrived at a champion team so the challenge is big but we look forward to do our best and succeed which is the sole reason we’re here,” said Roca.
Roca’s first assignment will be the AFC Cup quarterfinal tie against Singapore side Tampines Rovers in September. “We have a difficult challenge first up with the AFC Cup game and we will do our best to progress.”
The coach arrived in Bengaluru on Tuesday before meeting the team and staff on Wednesday and seemed pleased with the little he has got to see. “The management at BFC are thorough professionals which is important for us. The facilities are enough for us to work hard with and we aren’t here to complain about situations. Everyone here has opened their arms to us in a bid to help us achieve what we want to from now till the end of the season. We’ve started as one big family and that’s important,” he said.
Serving as an assistant to Frank Rijkaard for five seasons at Barcelona, one season at Galatasaray and two seasons at the Saudi Arabian national team before being appointed head coach of the El Salvador national team, Roca believes his travels through the leagues and countries will help him adapt to Indian football faster. “I believe the experiences we’ve had, not only at Barcelona but other places as well, have helped us prepare for India which is not easy but at the same time, won’t be too difficult because we are used to different cultures and travel,”
Roca admits he’s taken over the reins at a club where the bar has been raised high with the Blues having won a trophy every season since its existence in 2013 but maintains that developing football at the club and in the country remains a priority. “About the results and success, we cannot tell now. But we’re not here just for the results. We are here to improve football in Bengaluru and India and let’s see if we can make the fans happy at the end of the season. If we work hard, things will fall in place,” said.
The Blues begin their first session of pre-season on Monday.