Albert Roca's first press conference as Bengaluru FC manager
New Bengaluru FC manager Albert Roca addressed the media for the first time in Bangalore along with CTO Mandar Tamhane and assistant manager Carlos Cuadray. Former Barcelona assistant, Roca, announced his plans for the future of the club and the state of Indian football.
Mandar Tamhane began by welcoming Albert and assistant Carlos Cuadray to the club, stating that he was confident they were going to take the club forward with their vast experience.
“We are very confident that the reason they are here is to take the club forward from what they have achieved so far”, said the CTO of BFC. According to Mandar, their experience would be a great help to everyone involved including the coaching staff, players and the support staff.
Mandar then stated the importance of team effort in order to improve team’s progress, “To continue to function as a club it is always a team effort, whether it is the management, technical staff, off the field staff or the players, it was always team effort and with Albert and Carlos I am pretty sure we will continue in this manner.”
Albert then spoke about how he was delighted to be in India and happy and proud to have joined Bengaluru FC. He went on to comment on the challenge of taking up a role at the best club in the I-League, stating that he looks forward to the challenge and aims to do his best to help the team succeed. He intends to be ready and make the players ready for the difficult road ahead.
It was Carlos Cuadray’s turn next to answer questions from the media. Carlos said that he was happy with the opportunity to work for the club. He stated that he was delighted with the first impressions of the club and that he would do his best in order to bring more titles to Bengaluru.
Asked for the reasons behind his acceptance of the job, Roca replied, “I saw a very serious offer from the Bangalore board and I have to take it. It was a challenge for me, something new.” He also said that although India aren’t a great footballing nation, he felt that in a few years they could be a force to be reckoned with, claiming that the dream would be to see India at the World Cup one day.
Presented with the fact that India might just have 7 teams in next year’s ISL, Roca responded by talking about the merger between the I-League and ISL. “We know that the Indian Super League and I-league wants to mix for the next season, not now. But it could be a good thing for the country, for football because we know that if they mix, the competition would be much better. Roca has assured BFC fans that he would stay at the club for at least 2 years and would have to be ready for any possibilities that might arise. He also reiterated the fact that his primary focus would be on the AFC Cup.
Roca was then asked about his expectations regarding the club’s setup. Roca stated that he knew that it wasn’t easy for Europeans coming to India, but he was prepared beforehand. Impressed with the professionalism of the board, Roca emphasised the need to focus on things ahead and not to complain about the drawbacks of the country.
Roca was then questioned about the task of maintaining Westwood’s legacy. Westwood had produced an array of international players as well as leading BFC to 3 trophies. Roca fired back by saying that he knew how high expectations were and he would wait and see how happy the fans would be at the end of the season.
Roca then spoke about the different playing styles of various coaches across the globe and that he intends to use his vast experience at Barcelona to good use at Bengaluru, and to take advantage of every training session. Roca went on to talk about the experience he had obtained not only in Spain, but also at international level and so was ready to take on the challenge and adapt to a new country.
About the difficulties taking charge of a team in transition, Roca said, “For sure, it’s not going to be easy. Only 6 weeks to let the players see what is our philosophy. But we know the calendar, I’ve come here and in 6 weeks we have to adjust to the performance we want to get.”
Carlos was then asked about his association with Roca. He spoke about them both working at Barcelona, he with the youth team at Barcelona, while Roca was involved with the first team, and they later moved together to Galatasaray. Speaking about the similarities in their ideas, Carlos said, “We have the same philosophy, same way to training and way to work tactical aspects so we decided to keep working together.”
Mandar was finally asked the reason behind hiring Roca to which he said that it was an extremely easy decision. Mandar emphasised on the fact that Albert was available at the time, had vast experience and could take the club forward.
The first impressions seem great. Albert seems to be a man with a vision and that vision is to take Bangalore forward and develop Indian football to a great extent. Whether or not he can fulfill his ambitions remains to be seen.