AS VISITS LEÓN
"León and Cultural deserve to be higher than in Segunda B"
AS brought together more than 200 followers of León club Cultural along with the paper's leading journalists. The club explained its plan for promotion.
Everyone’s talking about Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa, the main football club in León. The arrival of the Aspire Academy has meant this side has become one of the most talked about in non-professional football, and one where the excitement about the future is palpable. The aim of the current owners is to get the club into the Segunda Division A as soon as possible. (They currently play in Segunda Division B, Spain’s third tier of football).
The interest in Cultural was fully confirmed in the Encuentro de los Ases (Meeting of the Aces) held in León, where the León City Hall assembly room struggled to hold all the people in attendance. The line-up was star-studded. Alfredo Relaño was conductor of the orchestra, together with Mayor of León, Antonio Silvan. Backing them up were Felipe Llamazares, sports director of Cultural, Rubén de la Barrera, coach of the team and Regional Councillor Emilio Orejas. For the closing section: Tomás Rancero, Javier Matallanes, Manolete, with the experience being brought by legendary Marianín, who took the ‘whites’ to glory in the 70s.
“Cultural y Deportivo Leonesa is can't wait for promotion"
First up was the editor-in-chief of Diario AS, who made clear his belief that Cultural y Deportivo Leonesa deserves to be in a higher league: “When I was a boy I saw Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa playing in the Primera, the first division. León as a city deserves a team in a league higher than Segunda División B. Moreover, the city of León is well-known, with a certain cachet”. Mayor of León, Antonio Silvan, spoke in a similar vein: “Cultural y Deportivo Leonesa can't wait for promotion. Things at the club have been turned around. Where before numbers were everything, now this is a project for the city and the region”.
At that point Sports Director of Cultural, Felipe Llamazares and new coach Rubén de la Barrera took centre stage. Any doubts over the present or future of the project, either on the sports or administrative side, were put to rest. Felipe Llamazres made reference to the guarantee that comes from the backing of the Aspire Academy: “In Qatar they want to take Cultural y Deportivo Leonesa as far as possible. There’s a solid future here. The only risk is that we don’t see it and we don’t dare to dream”. Meanwhile Rubén de la Barrera analysed what he wants from “his” Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa: “We’re going to have a good time this year. I want Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa to be dominant, highly competitive. The Reino de León [the club’s ground] has to be our sanctuary, where we’re invincible”.
It’s clear, as he demonstrated in his time at Real Valladolid B and Guijuelo CF, that Cultural’s new coach likes his teams to control the ball. However the Galician preferred to avoid any direct comparisons to Cholo Simeone or Paco Jémez: “Sometimes I’ll be more ‘cholista’ and others I’ll be closer to Paco Jemez’ style. But the main thing is the performance of the players”.
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