Interview with Getafe Internatinal Madrid Football Academy Head Coach
By Oliver, student at Aquinas American School
Today we’ve had the opportunity to interview Alvaro Fernández, currently the head coach of the U16 Getafe International team and director of the academy. Born in Albacete, he started his football career there in Albacete Balompie’s youth teams before being transferred to Atlético Madrid at the U18 level. From then on he continued his footballing career, continuing as a coach after a Masters degree in Physical Preparation for Football. Here, he obtained the prestigious UEFA-PRO coach diploma. He started training the Royal Spanish Federation of Football (RFEF) youth teams until eventually joining the Getafe International Academy.
O: Good Afternoon Alvaro, how are you?
A: I'm doing fine, thank you for having me.
O: Today we will be talking about the Getafe International Academy, how many years have you been here?
A: This is my fourth season here in the school of which two of those have been as a coach. Initially, I was the second coach to David Aznar and a physical trainer. I’ve spent the last two years here as head coach and director of the Academy.
O: How did you come across this job and what made you say yes?
A: I met David Aznar who was the director here at the time and he called me to come here, after seeing the school and I found all aspects of it spectacular. Not only regarding the athletic level, but in an educational sense too and I did not hesitate to say yes; I have been able to bring all of my football knowledge and education to the field. So there was little hesitation to join the Academy and School.
O: What differs this academy from others?
A: I think that the educational aspect is what sets it apart. All academies have an athletic side but this one is unique because of its education. Also, the morals that a player requires are different as this is an academy that comes from a school in comparison to other projects which are simply places where children go to play football.
O: You have a closer relationship with your players than most coaches. You are able to be with them in a school environment and especially with those at the residence you can see them in their “home”. What do you enjoy most about this and what have you been able to learn from it?
A: Exactly that, I’m a person that believes that in 10 years I think about a person not because of the goals they scored, the passes they made and how they played, but how he was as a person and how he behaved with his teammates, referees, and coaches. I have learned from the way the players open up in a different environment to their coaches.
O: Where would you like to see the academy in the near future?
A: I want to see it grow, we already expanded to having two teams when previously we had one. Since we only have one stage of school with us currently, we would like to expand all over the world that it be renowned not only for their high-level players but because from the academy players turn into doctors, teachers, engineersor they stay in the football career. I’d like to see all players leave here with a university degree.
O: Lastly, a bit of a less serious question, every team has the player that always forgets his shin-pads, the player that’s always late, the one that doesn’t take it seriously. Which of these do you get most annoyed by and which do you identify the most with?
A: I think my pet peeve is when I am explaining a drill and the players are talking and I cannot hear the silence that there should be when I’m explaining. In the end, it wastes time, and later on, I have to explain the drill again as they haven’t understood it. In response to the second question, I identify with a lot of these stereotypes, I think everyone is a world of their own and I identify with the tomfoolery Claudio can sometimes have or the seriousness and speed that Isaac has or the decision making Oliver has. It all depends on the appropriate behavior to have at the moment.
O: Thank you very much Alvaro for your time!
A: No problem, thank you for having me.