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08.02.2010 10:58

The futsal coaching staff uncovered

Cristina Collado

How is the Barça futsal section organised? Who is involved in each training session, in each treatment and each match? Here we reveal the details of the people behind the FCB futsal team.

We all know the players and the head coach, Marc Carmona. But there are many more people involved in the day to day at this club. Events like the Cup are extra motivation for them and they all play a part in ensuring that the cogs of this machine click into place.

Marc Carmona and Santi Gea: Planning and analysis

2009-08-10_MARC_CARMAONAx_SANTI_GEAx_JAVI_FERNANDEZ_01.jpgMarc Carmona and Santiago Gea have spent six years together as head and assistant coach. Communication between them is essential for putting together the right training programme and approaching each game properly: "Before the first training session of the week, the coaching and fitness staff get together to put the week together on the basis of three aspects: fitness work, working on certain aspects we want to fine-tune such as shooting and tactical positions, and specific work adapted to the next opponent, such as strategy and dealing with positions of superiority. Then, also on the basis on the number of sessions available to us, we put together the schedule for the week", explains Marc Carmona.

In order to know what we are going to do, we have to analyse the opponent. That work starts with Santi Gea, and is then complemented with Marc: "A week beforehand, we analyse our opponent. Before the start of the week we send a short message to Marc, with filtered information on the team: the make-up of the squad, the five usual starters, the scorers, how they work in attack and defence."

Txus Lahoz: Between the office and the Palau

Txus_Lahoz.jpgTxus Lahoz is the chief first team delegate and coordinator of youth futsal. "I coordinate the away trips, accommodations, travel, and communicate with the league regarding players and so on", he explains. “I normally spend the morning in my office and in the afternoon I usually go to the training session in case Marc needs anything from me”.

Public relations make up much of his work: "On the match day, I welcome the visiting team, speak to the referees and present the line-ups. When the game is on, I have to keep an eye on the substitutions, timeouts and anything else that happens."

Juanma Ruiz: Team maintenance

Juanma_Ruiz.jpgJuanma Ruiz has been the fitness coach for five seasons: "My work involves keeping the team fully fit. We normally arrive an hour before, depending on what kind of training is planned. If it’s physical, we have to get the materials ready and put together the circuit." Juanma runs the start and finish of the sessions: "The sessions are getting more and more all-inclusive and the fitness and skills sections are increasingly united. I supervise the warm-up and warm-down." He also puts together videos of the opposition.

Xavi Fernández: The most veteran

Xavi_Fernandez.jpgThe oldest member of the staff is kitman Xavi Fernández: "I have been at the club for 17 years, mainly in futsal, but also in handball and basketball." He looks after all the materials needed for training or matches: "I get here two or three hours before each training session, incase something has gone wrong, like the laundry not arriving on time. I prefer to get here early to be sure that everything is ready."
Shorts, socks … they all have to be ready before training. And also the drinks for the players and staff: "Some of them only like lemon Isostar, others like orange, others water … each player is different". At the end of session Xavi continues. "I always have an hour at the end to collect everything."
The futsal coaching staff uncovered

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The medical team
Daniel Florit: Diagnostic analyst

Daniel Florit has been first team doctor for two years, and also works with the youth futsal teams. He has to analyse every injury and decide what the recovery plan will be like: "I provide the guidelines to ensure that each player performs as they should. I make a diagnosis and propose the protocol for every recovery programme."

On match days, it can be quiet day for Florit if there are no problems: "Match days tend to be the quietest days because the players are usually in condition to play futsal."

It is vital for there to be decent conversation between the members of the medical teams. After games, the doctor, physio and recovery specialist meet to plan the week. The GEM is the internal control system that is followed by all the first team players, as well as the youth team players that play with them sometimes as well.

Jordi Parés: Treatment

Physiotherapist Jordi Parés worked for four years with the youth football players before joining the futsal section two years ago. Since then, he has been working almost 24/7 with the side. "We spend a lot of time with the players and coaches. We practically live with them in the Palau. On match days we arrive two and half hours early to give treatment to any players that need it and stay after the game for as long as we are needed."

On away trips, days are longer for Jordi: "As we travel, we are always on call, both the doctor and I, because we may have to care for somebody. Sometimes we have to work on the train itself. When we get to our hotel on Friday night, normally around 11.00 pm to 1.00 am, we are still working. My hotel room becomes the physiotherapy room."

Carles Tur: The final stage

The futal section has had a recovery specialist for two years, and that’s Carles Tur: "The recovery specialist looks after the final stage of recovery from any injury. My work is a hybrid between fitness training and physiotherapy. Jordi works in the clinic and I work in the gym, organising whatever exercises are right."

Carlos is a bit like a personal trainer. "Each player has a specific protocol. We put together a general plan and then an individual one for each player. In the build-up to the game we arrange the right warm-up before the match and after the game we still have things to do like supplying water, ice and overseeing stretching exercises.”

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