Osasuna Coach Javi Gracia admits that facing Almeria this Friday will be ‘special’ for him, as he explains calling up 16-year-old talent Jose Garcia.
Gracia coached Almeria last season, leading them to promotion to the Primera Division, but will be on the opposition bench in Pamplona tomorrow night when they come to town.
“It’s a special game. I am going to face my team against an opponent that not long ago we were together in a period of ascent, in an historic season for the club,” mused Gracia to reporters today.
“I’m excited to see people with whom I experienced an intense moment. But now we have changed the situation and we have two teams facing each other at the lower end of the table with points at stake.
“Let’s focus on the game and then it will be time to say to the friends that we have there.”
The technician has notably included 16-year-old Jose Garcia in his matchday squad, on from promising reports at youth level and the youngster’s training sessions so far with the senior side.
“He is midfield player who can push forward that we don’t have, except for Ariel and Manu. He is daring, technically good with both feet, he knows when to pass, he can shoot, finish well…he is a player who has being doing well in the lower categories and deserves to have a chance.
“It is true that he is 16 and still very young, but the requirement at the moment is for us to look down and we have him there.
“Whilst we have a full squad, on occasion we will give a chance to those with promise or from the youth academy.
“If we have players absent, I’d like that, apart from the need that we have, we value our virtues and the good performances that we have seen from Jose in other levels of the team, so that when the time comes, they will have their chance.”