The midfielder hangs up her boots after 14 years representing the Yellows, but is still tied to the club as a coach
Ana Roig Pallarés (Borriol, 1996) has decided to leave her playing career behind after nearly 15 seasons wearing the yellow shirt in distinct teams for Villarreal. However, the midfielder will stay tied to the Submarine, with 2022 being her eighth season coaching the psychomotor skills programme, and her seventh coaching the team with intellectual disabilities.
“After so many years, I think now it’s time to rest and have new experiences not as a footballer,” explained Roig, talking about about why she decided to take such an important decision, although she added that she has not ruled out returning to the pitch one day.
Roig, who has been part of the club since she was eight years old, underlines “commitment, team work and great experiences” as the values that being part of the Yellows family have given her since she joined the club.
Both as a player and as a coach , Roig has spent more than a decade connected to the Villarreal CF methodology and women’s and girls’ football in the club. About how it is structured and how it has evolved, she explained: “Everyone brings something to the table. What’s more, the number of teams has increased, which gives more opportunities for the youngest players, as well as the older girls too, and that has meant there are more resources which has led to the first team and academy being what they are nowadays. There’s still a long way to go, and I hope it keeps on growing.”
Despite playing for the Women’s B team for the last few years, Ana Roig is one of the players behind Villarreal Women’s promotion to Reto Iberdrola a few years ago. A success that she says is her best success as a professional footballer, which she achieved among players like Bea Prades, Lara Mata and Sheila Guijarro, all are now in the first team.
Speaking about her former team-mates and their performance in Primera Iberdrola, she is honest: “They’re knowing how to grow and adapt to the level to stay there. I can see the team progressing, and I think they will end the season achieving their objectives.” She added: “I hope to continued enjoying football, not only as a coach, but also as a Villarreal Women fan.”
After officialising her retirement, Roig will experience different way of living from her time as a football, but with the same passion that characterises her. This 2021/22 season, it’s her eighth season coaching the psychomotor skills course, and her seventh as part of the coaching staff on the teams with intellectual disabilities.
When asked about the differences between coaching a team with intellectual disabilities or a team from the academy, Roig says. “The main difference is the heterogeneity of the group, as we have players who are of different ages and they are mixed-gender teams. I also think that it gives people who don’t normally have the chance of playing to be involved in the sport. All the experiences they have, and how they enjoy them, are something we all should learn from.”
The team with intellectual disabilities play in the LaLiga Genuine Santander, a competition that she hails because “As well as increasing visibility, it creates a spectacular atmosphere where the players feel the colours of their teams, and it creates a space where having fun is important, more important than winning. All of the values that this league has, such as team spirit, sportsmanship, good relations between teams and players, are values that are necessary for everyone.”
Roig leaves playing football after a whole life enjoying the sport, representing the team she loves. A love that will mean that she stays linked to the club to help forming players for the future, because Ana Roig will always be a yellow.