ANDHe is the fashionable coach in Spanish futsal. Religion teacher in the mornings and coach of the revelation team of the 21-22 season. José Antonio Borrego, better known as Tete, sits down with MARCA to review the best season in the history of the university club. The first of him on the bench of the Malaga team that this week announced its renewal for one more season at the helm of the current champion of the Copa del Rey and brand new team of the First RFEF Futsal.
Ask. Wow… I can’t start with another sentence.
Response. Incredible, speechless. You look back and August was an exciting season. But I can assure you that I would have bet anything that what has happened was impossible. We started with the objective of trying to ascend to First Division and with the objective of doing so in two or three years. Moving up was very difficult with the change of coach and all the changes. It has been achieved and also winning a title. Having put UMA in the palm of a trophy like the Cup leaves me speechless.
Q. How many sleepless nights?
A. Many. You are not aware of what it is to be a coach until you take charge. I had been an assistant coach before, but it’s totally different. All the adversities that there have been. In the first training session we were left without Rabbit due to a header in training and I am left without the starting goalkeeper in my debut and you think… dammit (laughs). Important injuries such as those of Quique or Ral that broke the cruciate. We planted ourselves in the Final Four with seven players. And all of that leaves you sleepless. People see me with the jacket on the bench and everything is great, but behind that there is a lot of work, many hours…
If this team achieves permanence there will be UMA Antequera for many years in the First Division
Q. How many hours a week are there behind a season like this?
R. We are talking about three extra hours apart from pure and hard training. The players do not believe that in a small video of 10 minutes of scouting there are six hours of game viewing. Obviously one has a family and it takes time. And when you don’t want to take it away from the family, you take it away to sleep, to sleep. When everyone goes to bed to sleep, you stay there working until two or three in the morning. And the next day to work, because here we are semi-professionals. In the end it has been rewarded, but when it does not come out, one also gladly does so.
Q. Any team in the world dreams of a sweet transition like the one from Moli to Tete…
R. I had my doubts. We came from an institution of this sport such as Moli and also my main supporter. For me he is not my sports director, we are united by a great friendship and I consider him like a father. he l he has always looked after a locker room that is a family. And that is one of the things that I have always tried to make happen. That he inculcated. That the players feel happy, that they feel supported, that it be a healthy locker room, always maintain the unity and commitment of the team.
Q. Has the union been the secret of success?
R. It is one of the secrets of the UMA. The player feels very supported. Here we don’t just look at the performance on the track, we look at it because it’s logical, but we also look at the person. May the player be happy. When a player is happy he performs much more, if I were always with the whip I’m sure they would perform worse.
P. The two photos of the course are the promotion and the Cup… But what other moment has been key?
R. In the first round we went five days without winning. I think it was key that the players believed in me. We met, we saw the failures we were having and I told them not to worry, that the results would come. They believed in me, in Crispi, in the technical staff. That was a key moment. Each classification against a Primera in the Cup was also special. Each of those games made the team believe that it was not a Second squad.
Q. Ambition has also been key…
R. My message before the final was that nobody remembers the second. It has been another key. Believing that we were no worse than anyone. The phrase is a cliché, but I know it’s true. I won the Cup with Valencia Vijusa, but nobody remembers who lost that final. It’s sad but that’s how it is.
I’m still very hungry as a coach
Q. Whatsapp will have broken this month, right?
R. With the Cup I only had 500 unanswered messages. Not counting Instagram, Twitter, Facebook… With the promotion there have also been many messages, but it is true that like that day. I do not prefer any in particular, perhaps the message from the Royal House for the UMA Antequera. I feel Spanish, I was international and it is a pride.
Q. Did you suffer more with the promotion or with the Cup?
R. Well, I tell you the truth. With the promotion and I have confessed it to my close friends. I think it was because of the pressure to win. I went to the Cup to enjoy. It was a prize. Suffer with the results, but it was different. In the ascent phase there was much more responsibility.
Q. Now what?
R. Well, rest a bit. Although you already know that a coach never can. Since Monday, representatives were already calling me to offer us players, renewals, including my… It’s a dirty job that is not so pleasant. But now to prepare the challenge of permanence that we have never achieved. The team has the base and we are very happy to try to get into the mission to save the team. If we are able to stay in the First Division for a year, there will be UMA Antequera for a while.
Q. Permanence is the last barrier?
R. Well, we can win the League, the Spanish Cup (laughs). Permanence is what this club lacks to establish itself in Spanish futsal. We have more than shown that we are there. We have gone up four times, and the club needs this permanence and to settle down. From there we will see what the future holds for us. But if these players are in the First Division for two years in a row, I wouldn’t rule out fighting for bigger things. We can dream of many things with this template.
P. What a more ambitious speech, anyone would say that it comes from devastating.
A. I’ve only been here a year, I really want to. If I had more then I could think about resting for a year or something. It’s my first year, I know I have a lot to learn and I haven’t done anything yet. Now I am very hungry. I also want to enjoy and learn from the bad times that will surely come.
The secret of the UMA is that we are a family
Q. What is going to be the end of course message for this template?
R. We have a pending meal to say goodbye to the year. I would like each one personally because they deserve it. Above all, thank you for having trusted me during the course, for having been honest as I have been with them. Whatever happened in the final or in the promotion, I always told them that it would be difficult to find a better human group than this in the race that I could have as a coach.
Q. The squad and the coaching staff…
R. I alone in command would have descended to the team. So of course. Crispi is more than a friend, and we have done many things together. He is my right hand and my squire. José Carlos, the physio, who is capable of giving a tactical talk on futsal. Claudio the delegate who is for everything. Kike, the physical trainer, and the call on Sundays to prepare for the week. Abel the doctor, Andrs the physio and Nacho who was collecting the balls and bibs while we celebrated the promotion. Edu, in the communication plot. They are as important as Cobarro’s 35 goals.
Q. I guess I was a hero at school…
A. At school they couldn’t believe it. Some of the teachers didn’t know that the religion teacher was the coach of the team (laughs). Religion teaches many values that are found in sports. Sharing, not being selfish… these are values that are useful for sport. In my religion classes I give examples from sport and in sport from religion. In the classes they waited for me with the ‘We are the champions’.
Q. A message to the UMA fans…
R. It has been hard, they have supported us to the fullest. There have been times when there were 150 people in the pavilion. But at the moment of truth they have been at the top with the team in the promotion phase. I think that what has been experienced is going to get people to come back next season.