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05.09.2007, 10:08
Portland President with high hopes for new season
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Portland president, José Ignacio San Miguel, gives exclusive interview to Eurohandball.com.
 

Portland President with high hopes for new season

Portland San Antonio president, José Ignacio San Miguel, faces a very different season. San Miguel and Equisoain worked together for San Antonio for more than twenty years, but this season “Zupo” is not on the bench any more. In addition, Rocas, Kasper and Lozano left and it was a blow for Portland. On the other hand, Matosevic arrived to Pamplona. This will be a special season for Portland San Antonio and Eurohandball.com asks Portland President, José Ignacio San Miguel, about his expectations.

Legendary coach, "Zupo" Equisoain left the bench to continue in the management Eurohandball.com: How does San Antonio face this new season?

José Ignacio San Miguel: I have great expectations from the new season. We hope that things can improve respect to last season. We finished the Asobal and Champions League with a bitter aftertaste. We were near to win a title, but could not make it at the end. It gave us a bitter feeling and we hope to make a step forward this year. We were leading the Spanish league table until three rounds from the end of the competition, but we finished only second. We lost the CL semi-finals as well. This is a difficult situation for a club. We could have won everything, but we had nothing at the end. We hope that this season will be different.

Eurohandball.com: It is the first season without Equisoain on the bench. What are your feelings about it?

José Ignacio San Miguel: It is very strange for me. We miss him from the bench everyday. It is true that he is working for the club in the functions of manager, but we will miss him every match. We have lived so many exciting games together. However, Javier Cabanas replaces him and we hope that he could repeat the successes that “Zupo” had.

Eurohandball.com: Javier Cabanas is in Pamplona for one month. What can you tell us about him?

Javier Cabanas has large shoes to fillJosé Ignacio San Miguel: Javier is different to Equisoain. I do not know if better or worse, but he is really different. Javier is quiet man, calmer than “Zupo”. He has a different way of managing a group, other rules… I’m sure that he is also keen on training Portland and he is able to motivate the players. I spoke with some handballers and they are happy with him. I was worried about this big change, but the players are satisfied with the new coach. Only time will tell if the decision was good or not.

Eurohandball.com: Some people think that Portland are not among the European clubs after Equisoain, Rocas and Kasper leaving. What do you think about this?

José Ignacio San Miguel: I have read and heard similar opinion. I’m not worried about it. I know that there are some teams who reinforced their squad very well, but I’m very proud of my team. I’m sure that we will fight till the end in every competition. It will be a very hard season, but it will be a beautiful year for us. Our fans have shown us great fidelity: one more season and we will try to win titles for them again.


TEXT: Fernando Urra Goñi
 
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