skip to content
Villarreal B start a new journey with Endavant Igualtat
Villarreal B start a new journey with Endavant Igualtat

The Mini Submarine shared their first matchday of the season with the Fundación Síndrome de Down

Villarreal B was one of the first Submarine teams to inaugurate the Endavant Igualtat for the 2023/24 season! The team coached by Miguel Álvarez, as was the case last season, continues to be involved in this particular branch of the club’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme just like any other team from the academy, despite having been promoted to professional football.

The Mini Submarine’s travelling companions throughout the season will be the users of the Fundación Síndrome de Down de Castellón, who last year spent time with the Women’s first team and shared a first day with their idols at the Ermita in Vila-real. “My favourite B team players are Jorge Pascual, who has already scored a goal for the first team, and Ontiveros. I like players who score a lot of goals”, says Paco Navarro, user of the Fundación and Villarreal EDI (team with intellectual disabilities) player.

As Paco himself explains, excited to meet Ontiveros, he already knew some of the talented players in the B team: “It’s the first time I’ve met Ontiveros, but I’ve met many of them, like Rodri, when they were in the U19s.” The midfielder from Castellón, Rodri Alonso, corroborates this: “We already met when I was with the U19s (Juvenil A), I know many of them and we already know how much fun we’re going to have-“

Some of the Villarreal B players have been taking part in the wonderful initiative of the Endavant project for many years, such as the forward from Granada, Diego Collado, who started at the age of 13 while living in the Miralcamp residence. “I’ve been doing this for 11 years and today we’ve come to get to know each other and meet in groups to get to know each other and what we do. It has been a contact point for what is to come throughout the year,” Collado said.

The Mini Submarine striker, who has already played some minutes with the first team in several matches, agrees with his teammate Rodri: “I know many of them from years ago when I worked with them. They are very outgoing. They are great people, they talk a lot and I’m happy for them.” There are many players from the different Yellows Academy teams who believe that these meetings are very useful to see other realities, as Iker Álvarez commented last season on a day with the users of CRIS La Vall, a rehabilitation and social integration centre. Something that Rodri Alonso also shares: “As every year, this is a process that makes us grow a lot as people, it enriches us and we are very grateful because we have a great time-“

And of course, they also help, and help a lot, the members of the different foundations and associations of Endavant Igualtat, who enjoy their meetings with the young athletes and even go to watch the matches of the team they work with every season. “They have come to see us a lot. Many of them are Villarreal fans,” recalls Collado. The fact of interacting with them in a natural way excites them. “We’ve been talking to them and they’ve asked me what position I play in, but my coaches put me in various positions,” says Paco Navarro.

The Endavant Igualtat 23/24 project welcomed the associations on an opening day at the Estadio de la Cerámica on 28th September. The event began with a small aperitif at El Ceramista Restaurant, where old friends from teams and associations met up again. Later, the large group of players and users travelled to the remodelled press room, where Villarreal’s director of football, Miguel Ángel Tena, the goalkeeper of the B team, Iker Álvarez, the person in charge of the initiative, Paloma Masó, and Paco Navarro, a Down Castellón user and EDI player, presented the new features of the project. One of them is the inclusion of the Women’s B team and two U12s sides, bringing 8-a-side football teams into the project for the first time.