Monday, 29 May 2023, 07:28
Great uncertainty surrounds Malaga CF as the club prepares for life in Spain’s third tier for the first time in 25 years. With the majority of the squad’s contracts coming to an end this summer, the task of rebuilding the team is the job of new sporting director Loren Juarros, who was formally unveiled in the role last Thursday.
Facing the media for the first time, Loren said that he understood fans’ concerns but that “we must take things step-by-step”.
“My idea is to come to Malaga and stay here for ten years like I did at La Real,” said the 56-year-old, referencing his time as sporting director of Real Sociedad during which he oversaw the club's rise from Segunda to an established top-half La Liga outfit.
The key part of his plan to “turn the club on its head”, he said, is a strong belief in young players, making the most of the club’s academy and its ability to attract talent from the Costa del Sol.
Admitting he was unsure which members of the current playing squad would still be around next season (he confirmed just four players are under contract), Loren promised that supporters “a very Malaga-based project” with young players from the local area set to be at the heart of next season’s squad.
To achieve this, however, there may need to be changes to the academy set-up, he said. “Restructuring is under way in all areas and, as with all the coaches, we are waiting to make decisions.” This could mean that the position of former player and club legend Duda, currently the academy director, could be under threat.
Overall, Loren noted a lack of communication between the different parts of the club off the pitch and spoke of the need to rectify this going forward in order to have success on it.
Loren also highlighted the team’s “lack of identity in general” during the past campaign but praised the influence of head coach Sergio Pellicer in bringing some sort of order in recent weeks.
"My idea is that he will continue. He has a contract and I have told him that I want him to stay on. With what I know of him from previous seasons and what he has done this season, I think he has earned the right to continue at the club," Loren said.
He also cited Pellicer’s style of management and understanding of the new model the club wishes to put in place as key reasons for him to remain at the helm.
That said, despite his intention for Pellicer to continue, he is yet to receive a definitive yes from the man himself.
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