“When you reach the end of preseason, you’re raring to go. We can’t wait to board that plane and fly to Las Palmas”. Full of optimism and willing to tackle the challenge which lies ahead, Pablo Alfaro fronted a pre-match press conference this morning to give his views ahead of the opening match of the new season.
Ibiza’s head coach gave an assessment of his squad with just two days remaining before the start of season 2019/2020 with a visit to Las Palmas Atlético this Sunday. “The team is in good shape, obviously not in a perfect and ideal shape as you can always improve things, but after 40 odd days of preseason, I believe that we are in a good position to take on the challenge of facing the reserve squad of Unión Deportiva Las Palmas, a club that is in a bit of an unusual situation“, explained the sky blue coach, alluding to the financial struggles faced by the Canary island club, as it faces difficulties to sign new players after exceeding salary expenditures stipulated by the league body LFP (Liga de Fútbol Profesional). This issue forced coach Pepe Mel, to call up several players from the reserve squad to join the first team in its league opening fixture.
Alfaro wants the Ibiza side of 2019/2020 to reap the rewards of successful work put on show for everyone to see during the closing stages of last season . “Our primary objective is to go to Las Palmas to win. The competition will eventually put us in our destined position. We’ve set the bar high. The team had a very strong finish to last season, putting on a string of positive results which are hard to match”.
The coach believes that the squad’s balance and even make up of qualities will allow it to compete at the maximum level in a league that is sure to be very complicated and difficult. “Last year, from group III, which was very strong, none of the teams got promoted; in contrast, from group I two teams went up. Maybe, the Ibizan fan may see certain teams as being less attractive due to a perceived lack of fame or name; but I am sure that this group will be very formidable and strong. There are several strong reserve teams of big clubs, then there are some teams who have a long history of playing in Second Division B… I foresee a group that will be more balanced and competitive than it may be perceived at first glance. The season will undoubtedly put us all in our just places in the standings”.
For the opening match of the season, the head coach has to deal with the absence of Sibo (due to pending paperwork), Albizua and Machuca (both suffering from physical problems).
Watch Pablo Alfaro’s pre-match press conference ahead of our trip to Las Palmas (with English subtitles) below: