Javi Gracia was presented as Málaga Club de Fútbol’s new coach for the next two seasons. In the presence of vice president, Moayad Shatat and sporting director, Mario Armando Husillos, Gracia is eager to get started at the Martiricos Club: “I’m so grateful for this opportunity to work with this Club, and I want to return the confidence placed in me. I hope the fans will be proud watching their team play,” comments the new Blue and Whites’ manager.
Accompanied by Club advisers, Antonio Benítez and Ben Barek; director general, Vicente Casado; assistant director general, Manuel Novo; vice president, Moayad Shatat; and sporting director, Mario Armando Husillos, Javi Gracia was officially presented as the new ‘Malaguista’ coach: “I would like to wish Javi Gracia the best of luck and offer him a message of reassurance. The Club is still working towards a stable project for the future. Thank you all for coming,” says Shatat.
Mario Husillos talks about the arrival of the new coach: “We were looking for a coach with the ‘Malaga style’, someone who knows the Spanish League and has a certain line of play. Relegation is not a conditioning factor for us, and Gracia has the full support of the Club. This is why we chose Javi Gracia to take the reins, and I’m very happy he’s here.”
Javi Gracia is pleased during his official presentation: “Before I start, I’d like to say how grateful I am to be given this opportunity with this Club. I want to convey my determination to take the Club to the level it deserves. We are laying the foundations to move forward step by step, get off to the best start possible and aim for the top. Little by little we want to make sure we do things right. I’m grateful for the Club’s brave decision, and I want to return their faith in me. I hope that the team responds in the same way. The past season was difficult and upsetting for me, but it has also made me stronger. I would like to wish Osasuna all the best for next season, and hope they return to the First Division as soon as possible. We’re extremely excited about the future. We’ve got 14,000 season ticket holders already, and hope to reach 20,000 very soon. I hope the fans will be very proud of their team. I want to grow alongside the Club within this project. My experiences in Andalucía have been good and I hope the future is full of positivity. Our main objectives are to focus on exciting and ambitious play.”
With regards to the players, methods of work, game play and youth teams, the Navaran-born coach is fully immersed in the plans for next season: “There are very few teams that are not in an uncertain situation with regards to players. We’re working towards forming a competitive squad. I want to get to know the grassroots football here, the reserve team and ‘juveniles’ so I’m aware of the present and future of the Club, but above all I want the team to be competitive. The only way to achieve great things is to work hard. The most important thing is to instil a method of work, ensure the team plays well with a strong combinative display and with the right balance. With regards to the youth players, we’ve got some promising stars of the future, and some of them will be included in our pre-season training.”
Javi Gracia confirms his team who will be working with him at Málaga Club de Fútbol. “I’m bringing goalkeeping coach, Íñigo Arteaga with me; physical trainer, Juan Solla; assistant coach, Iban Andrés; and ‘Gato’ Romero, who I know well and who has great knowledge and experience. He’ll help us a great deal.”