Jara Cuenca, Leganés kitwoman, to make history at the Bernabéu
Cuenca will become the first ever kitwoman in the Spanish top flight, when Real Madrid host Leganés in the second leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-final.
Jara Cuenca's Whatsapp is on fire. Everybody's got a question for her. Her replies can be summed up as follows: "What are you going to write? I'm not newsworthy". But this journalism and physical education graduate is wrong. She is news. Great news in fact. In the world of football, dominated by men, the presence of women at the very top is always important. But the embarrassment at being the centre of attention has made her forget her journalistic knowledge. "No, no, I'm not newsworthy", she repeats.
Jara Cuenca becomes first kitwoman in Spanish top flight
Today Jara will make history. The only kitwoman in the Spanish top flight will be carrying out her duties at the Bernabéu when Real Madrid host Leganés in the second leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final. She is a pioneer.
The sending off of Leganés' head kitman Juan Dominguez in the first leg (with an eight game suspension) means Jara Cuenca gets her chance to shine. Although she won't be able to sit in the dugout, as she doesn't have the full authorisation. So she'll be watching from the tunnel in case any of the players need something urgently.
Organising the dressing-room at the Bernabéu
Before the game she'll be working with Juan to put out the kit and set up the dressing room, a place where she feels entirely at home. The Leganés footballers adore her and there's mutual trust. "At first I found it difficult going in, but it was the footballers themselves who told me to act naturally", she says. Garitano signed her for the first team in 2014-15, after seeing her in the third division, looking after Juan. But she'd be at the club even before that, having joined in 2011 as a physical trainer before going on to be a coach. She's currently in charge of the Under-12s, where she's also helping to normalise the presence of women in football. Something that also makes her newsworthy. Although she'd deny it.
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