MADRID, 29 Sep. (EUROPA PRESS) –
The Royal Spanish Field Hockey Federation (RFEF) confirmed this Friday that Carlos García Cuenca will be the new women’s national coach, a position where he will replace Adrian Lock and in which he will work alongside Eduardo Aguilar with the main objective of facing the Valencia Pre-Olympic in January and in which the ‘Red Sticks’ will play for their ticket to Paris 2024.
According to the RFEF, the two coaches “start with the advantage of knowing national and international women’s hockey perfectly given that both have competed at the highest level in these competitions.” In addition, the organization noted that it is in talks with Santi Freixa, currently an assistant at Dutch side Bloemendaal, to collaborate with this technical team.
García Cuenca has the highest qualification in the world of hockey and will combine the new position with that of coach of the men’s RC Polo.
For the federation, the new coach is a “top-level coach who will contribute his recognized experience, work methods and winning character that he has already demonstrated in his extensive career.” In fact, his record includes 4 Honor Division Leagues or 5 King’s Cups.
At his side, Eduardo Aguilar, who is the first coach of the women’s Country Club and who was named ‘Best coach’ of the Iberdrola League in 2020-21 and 2022-23. In addition, the former player, Olympian in Athens 2004, was an assistant to Fred Soyez in Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.
“A position like this is the objective, the dream, the illusion of any professional in our sport and this is how I live it. I have always had the goal of getting here and I am happy, although it is true that I have mixed feelings, since it comes after the change of a staff led by Adrian Lock, who has been a good colleague and friend,” confessed the new coach.
He is going to design concentrations “working on all types of content” and where they will spend “many days together, something that is tremendously positive.” “We want a large group, between 32 to 35 players. This generates organizational complexity, but provides a high
work environment and competitiveness. It is good for the group that there are new colleagues and that this increases the competition between them,” he remarked.
“As for the objective, we are very clear that it is to be focused on the Pre-Olympic, it is the only thing that matters to us today. Later, we will talk about the great event of the Games, but it is something that does not concern us now. Now our objective is get the place, all efforts are going to go in this direction and we want Spanish hockey to focus on
this,” García Cuesta added.
The coach considered that “a great job has been done so far” and that they want to “take advantage of everything that has been done well and improve some aspects to be more competitive.” “This is a very professional group and we are convinced that the players will be in Paris. I trust one hundred percent in all the players who are going to be part of this process, I know them and I know that they will accept the changes and take advantage of them to increase their performance “, he stated.
For his part, Eduardo Aguilar was “very happy to continue working with the women’s team” and to be able to “contribute” to achieving Olympic qualification. “I think Carlos is a good candidate to face this challenge, with a lot of experience and very respected by all the players,” he confessed, while also making it clear that it would be “very important” for Santi Freixa to join the staff.
Finally, Santi Deó, federation president, thanked that García Cuenca and Aguilar “have accepted one of the greatest challenges of Spanish hockey in recent years” which is to qualify for Paris. “The two, who know the players and how the Federation works, are renowned technicians who will contribute their experience and knowledge to meet our objectives,” he hoped.
At the moment, starting next October 16, four concentrations have been planned – from Monday to Wednesday – during the months of October and November, which will be complemented with sessions at the High Performance Center for the two weeks that there is no concentration. With the league winter break, the national team will gather in Valencia from November 27 to December 3, from December 11 to 22, when a preparatory tournament will be played, and from December 26 to 30, to meet again on the 7th. of January to compete in the Pre-Olympic in Valencia from January 13 to 21.