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From academy goalkeeper to coach
From academy goalkeeper to coach

Alberto García will continue in the world of football as a goalkeeping coach

‘At the end of the day, one player in a thousand makes it’. We have heard that phrase so many times in the world of youth football. More and more footballers are being developed at all clubs and, in particular, at Villarreal CF, thanks to the work of their coaches and tutors, who are preparing for this moment and have a plan B. Alberto García Casares (Granada, 2005) is one of them. The player who was named best goalkeeper in LaLiga Promises with Granada CF before joining Yellows Academy finished his Baccalaureate studies last year and is already training at Miralcamp to become a goalkeeping coach.

The goalkeeper, who last season competed in the highest division of youth football, División de Honor, is interning as a coach of the U14s (Infantil A) while he plays matches at weekends with the U19s B team (Juvenil C) and trains in the mornings with some of Villarreal’s top teams, such as the Mini Submarino, the C team and the U19s (Juvenil A).

Alberto has adapted perfectly to his new situation since he decided to take this step a few months ago: “I’ve been coaching here all my life and I’ve always seen the role of goalkeeping coach as a job I’d like to do if I couldn’t be a footballer, but I’d never really thought about it. As I got to the U17 stage I would talk about it informally with the team psychologist. Last year, my agent, my family and I talked to the club and this opportunity came up. As I’ve always been so comfortable here, I decided to take this step forward instead of looking for my future elsewhere,” explains Alberto with complete naturalness.

24/7 at Miralcamp

Since last August, the day-to-day life of this young man with various roles in the Submarine is full of chores and all of them take place at Miralcamp, as he says in first person: “When I get up, I come to the Training Ground and train with the U19s (Juvenil A) or Villarreal C and sometimes with Villarreal B. I take a shower, put on my coaching clothes, eat and then I go to the office to prepare for the kids. At around 7pm, we have training and, depending on the day, they also have a gym session or video analysis.” So Alberto spends about 10 hours a day at the José Manuel Llaneza Training Ground.

A strong mentality for this transition

The dream of every child who arrives at a top-level youth academy is always to become a footballer, but many of them fall by the wayside. Alberto managed to have a stoic mentality and adapt perfectly: “Suddenly, Villarreal gave me this opportunity and I am very grateful. My dream was to be a professional goalkeeper, but what was clearest to me was that I wanted to make a living from football and the easiest way and the one I was going to like the most was to be a coach here”.

All of this, assimilating beforehand that his day to day life was going to change, but that he was going to be able to continue to be linked to his passion, as he makes known in a sincere way: “Obviously, the first moment you have to deal with it because all your life you have wanted to be a footballer and when you realise that you don’t have it or that you don’t have enough skills, at first, you have to assimilate it, but your attitude is very important to turn the situation around and see that you are being given the opportunity to coach in one of the best academies in Spain and in the world. If they had told me that when I was a kid, I would have signed it with my eyes closed.”

Now, Alberto’s dreams are different. Although more than dreams, they are aspirations, as they are very realistic. “I would like to reach the top. Starting so young can give me more options. All the coaches at the club are helping me and giving me advice, because I’m a rookie, to be a very good goalkeeping coach in the future”, emphasises the young man in training as a coach.

With all this experience behind him, Alberto García is in a position to advise the youngest youth players to get involved in their dual career, combining sport and training: “They should try to combine studies and football hand in hand. At an early age, they tend to go hand in hand and if studies go well, football goes well. When they are older, they should continue studying because life can take a 180º turn and you have to keep going.”

This is the story of a youth player who, thanks to his strong mentality, his ability to adapt and the environment that accompanied him, was able to carve out a different path in the world of football.