Spanish Head Coach Aims to Guide Kitchee to Bigger

Climbing through the coaching ranks of Spanish football giants Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid in more than a decade will instill certain elements to any aspiring football coach – a healthy winning mentality and strong characters both on and off the pitch. Despite suffering a setback in his first official game in charge of Kitchee in the AFC Cup 2015 quarter-final, Spanish tactician Abraham Garcia seems to be putting all those characters into good use, hoping to lead Kitchee to bigger and better things in the future. Having coached in the youth systems of distinguished football sides such as Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid back in his homeland, Garcia has wasted no time settling into the Kitchee family, albeit with a short stop in mainland China. “Kitchee is a big club and has incredible people inside the organization. The club is very well-organized with great facilities and cares about its staffers incredibly. Although I have only been here for a month, I already feel like I have been here for more than a year,” Garcia noted. “Off the pitch, I know Hong Kong is one of the better cities to live in and offers people many possibilities. I am currently staying in Ma On Shan and it is calm, safe and close to where I work. I can honestly say that I do not miss Spain one bit.” Garcia’s extensive football experience and leadership were immediately called into play early in his Kitchee coaching career, as the Spanish tactician saw his troops succumb to Kuwait SC in the away leg of the AFC Cup 2015 quarter-final. “It is not a result that we want but I am a firm believer in being pro-active instead of acting passively. We came across a top team in Kuwait SC and we went ahead and competed against them,” the Spaniard assessed. “It is true that Kuwait SC might not be the best dance partner for us to start the season but in certain ways, this can also be a good thing, as it shows what we need to improve in order to catch up to the other West Asian teams.” A hard-working football coach who likes to spend his time away from the training ground watching even more football, Garcia openly talks about some of the principles that he believes in. “I think research and preparation are both important elements in coaching. I like to think I am a keen observer so I learn about my players quite quickly through training. I will tell the players what I want on the pitch and they will go out, work hard and try to execute,” said the former mentor of Spanish international Fernando Torres. “Sure, there will be some good days and some bad days during the process but players just need to remember to work hard on the good days and work double-hard on the not-so-good-days. At the end of the day, we all need to realize that we are representing Kitchee and the club demands certain standards on results, attitude and behaviour.” Garcia understands taking over any treble-winning side will lead to high expectations but does not seem to be fazed by the pressure one bit. “As a proud fighter, I enjoy coaching big clubs and competing in big games. Therefore I am very positive about the new premier league season because I definitely see things within the team that I like. I believe we have all the ingredients in the squad to achieve good things but at the same time, I understand this is the time for us to go out and show it to the fans. We have good players who are hungry and it is now time for us to play the games and pick up the points,” the Kitchee supremo stated in a matter-of-fact fashion. “At the same time, I am also aware that there might be an opportunity for the premier league champion to go directly to the AFC Champions League group stage. I definitely want to guide Kitchee towards that stage because appearing in the group stage of such a prestigious tournament will ensure we have the chance to compete in six quality group matches, which is undoubtedly a great opportunity for us if we want to keep improving as a football club.”