Just after joining Betis Sevilla on a lovely 3th of July 2017, one of my first actions, after the mandatory introduction by the president, was to meet up with my Assistant Manager Eder Sarabia. I was shocked when he introduced me to the first team staff at the club, it was so tiny. There were only an Assistant Manager, a Head of Youth Development, a Goalkeeping Coach, a normal coach and three Fitness Coaches currently at the club.
I went straight back to presidents office to talk about increasing the backroom staff. I was told that the club couldn't afford big numbers of first team coaches currently, a maximum of 6 coaches had been granted. This was bloody disappointing, 6 coaches plus me to work with over 20 players was just not enough to see everyone developing well at the first team.
Having 3 additonal coaches with a wage of 3k/w would cost roughly around (3 * 3000 * 4 * 12) 0.5M per year. It's quite an investment but it could offer us so much: Thanks to more coaches our player will get better and better players mean better results. Better result will conclude in more tickets sold and more prize money won. Having a successfull side would also improve our chances to implement a buy-low-sell-high approach for the first few seasons. It's just logical that better performances on the pitch will increase the amount of clubs interested in our players. So the Return of Investment (ROI) of this half millions would be pretty high:
To invest efficient will be really important when managing at a club like Betis Sevilla. Small investments that provide high benefits are needed. This investments can be of any kind: siging players, signing coaches or investing into the facilities.
A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investments. ROI measures the amount of return on an investment relative to the investment’s cost. To calculate ROI, the benefit (or return) of an investment is divided by the cost of the investment, and the result is expressed as a percentage or a ratio.
So we couldn't spend all the time on working with the players yet and needed to do some changes on the coaches. After having Paella for lunch I sat together with Eder Sarabia and analyzed every staff member at the club, as we wanted to make sure we have the best available choices at the club. We cannot afford to have one not ideal coach with that tight coaching budget.
(Thanks to FMPressure for the Custom Views)
Our first conclusion was that we needed to offload at least one of the Fitness Coaches, it's just too much to have 50% of first team coaching spots on getting the players fit. So Fran Soto needed to leave the club as he's the one having the lowest fitness ratings and luckily his contract was just running for another 12 month.
Besides Soto we also had to part away with the current Goalkeeping Coach Jon Pascua as his attributes (11 on every GK training) where just not good enough. The missing quality in training on the goalkeeping area can easily be visualized:
Besides a better GK coach we now had the budget to sign two additional first team coaches. With the low amount of coaches we cannot focus on specialization regarding coaches I went for two spanish allrounders: Rafilla and Joan Salvans.
Besides the Director of Football the scouting team's completely empty. As first action the two former scouts Jakob Friis-Hansen and Vasiliki Pappa rejoined the club. Both were signed by former DoF Eduardo Macia in 2016, with whom they worked together at Firenze and Liverpool.
Releasing a 45y old scout with only having 12 points to judge current and potential ability (and only having knowledge in Spain) to allow to add a more gifted scout wouldn't be a bad idea, right?
Yeah, that was my thought as well, but then I realized I just have released one of the greatest Icons of the club from the club he loved. Joan Cañas career was intimately connected with Betis, with whom he played in nearly 400 official games over the course of 15 seasons between 1991 and 2006 - What a first day in the office that's been!
Just the next day I made some calls to sign some scouts, besides others we could confirm the signings of the former Albiceleste-Heroes Roberto Ayala and Diego Caniggia.
Surprisingly I was granted a decent transfer budget for the start of the season 2017/2018, we had over 2.5M to spend. I decided to spend 1.1M on deep lying playmaker Danilo. Why him? It's quite simple, he was the player with a highest recommendation score that my scouts have brought up and Braga was asking for a more than fair price.
Besides that my DoF decided to sign enormous talented and only 18y old Pol Lozano from Espanyol Barcelona. A potential future key midfielder.
Cantera? Cantera, literally means "quarry" in Spanish, is a term used in Spain to refer to youth academies and farm teams organized by sports clubs. Notable canteras include those of Athletic Bilbao, Real Sociedad, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atlético Madrid, Espanyol, Sporting de Gijón, Celta de Vigo and Valencia. Betis Sevilla wasn't known for having a successful cantera - not yet.
The plan will be step up our youth recruitment to the level of the best in Spain and have lots of talented youngsters. But currently that's not the case. So need we to focus on the very few talents we got and try the best to make sure they reach their potential. If the budget allows it we will sign one or two promising youngster from other clubs like it has happened with Pol Lozano.
In order to get everything of the most promising youngster I decided to create list with ones that will be followed most closely by me. The list contains (currently) three players. All of them have a potential rating of at least four stars. Newly acquired Pol Lozano is one of them. The two other players are promising winger Rober and young midfielder Julio, both have been at the club since day one.
So how does this "cantera watch" work? I'll be checking their progress on a monthly basis, make sure they have a suitable tutor. I will try to make sure they get enough game time on a suitable level and check a game of them from time to time.
As a first action I decided to move (or promote) them to the reserves from now on. I felt the game time in the Segunda B4 was much more suited for them. Pol Lozano could have been training with the first team, but I don't like the idea to train with one team and play with another. How could a player get to know his team mates on that way? Or would the experiences in first team training be a bigger benefit from him?