This new stage of Quilmes basketball aims to identify itself with qualities related to order and prudence. For this reason, the brand new coach of the Argentine League, Luis Fernández, does not offer details on names and surnames, although terms such as structure and solidity appear repeatedly in this interview with LA CAPITAL:
-What are your feelings on being confirmed as the new professional basketball coach?
I have very nice feelings. I am very calm professionally, in my life and in my club. From that point of view, I am deeply flattered that this new leadership has come to look for me. It is true that there are members who have been in the club for many years, but there are also new ones who have joined. They presented their idea to me, asked me what mine was, and we agreed. It was quite similar what we wanted each other for the professional basketball of Quilmes. And also for training basketball, because it will be an integration. I will participate in both. I’m very happy.
-What is that shared idea?
-First, the idea is to provide the club with a structure consistent with professional competition. If we have professional basketball, we have to train in the right place, with the right clothes, travel right, eat right. Without any special pretension, but knowing that there are things that cannot be missing. A normal structure, such as the pennant or the Quilmes shield deserves. The leaders are also convinced and are working for it. In principle, to close last season, and then to outline the budget for the next one. From there, we’ll see what we can put together. The intention is to form something solid that allows a project to fall, but not the structure.
-It is a nice challenge in your club, which has always tried to be a protagonist. As the situation is, is it possible to put together a team to fight for important things?
– Thank God, this is sport. I have had to be surrounded by figures and lose. And maybe you don’t need to be full of figures, but to put together that solid structure so that the players are thinking about nothing more than training, traveling, playing, eating and resting well. With that, a good group, of good people and with good work from the coaching staff, out there you are surprised and you find yourself in a place that you didn’t even imagine at first. Obviously it’s safer to hire eight players from the hierarchy for the category, because it gives you a certain guarantee. Clearly we cannot do that. So let’s get really good at shaping the whole structure to boost performance. And then we’ll see. No one knows what will happen before the games start.
-As coordinator of the training basketball you will surely have a few names to be able to add to the professional team…
-Part of the idea is that. The club, due to a strategic decision, not a circumstantial one, has taken the position that those boys who have the physical and technical possibility will participate in the professional squad. In the last season Manu (Gelpi) met three players with Covid, another three broke and he put the youth. He was brave. I take my hat off for what he did.
-Can you think of that recruitment model that gave such good results at the time?
Yes, it’s in the folder. Maybe in a slightly different format. But there has to be the backing of the structure. Lung recruitment cannot be. Let’s make structure. If a boy has to go to a doctor, he has to be able to go to a club doctor, not a friend. That is going to come. The leadership is very well predisposed to do so. We aim at a specific recruitment, not massive. To find what we need and, at the same time, not cover up the boys we already have and they play well.
-Is the coaching staff going to settle for people who already work at the club?
-We think so. But under no point of view, neither the leaders nor I, want to destructure the training basketball, which is very good. Eduardo Dominé, the club manager, is doing a great job too. We have 100 balls, hoops everywhere, a room for players. Quality stuff. But if we start taking coaches from below to make up the coaching staff, probably the training basketball suffers.
-We will evaluate the movements as much as possible and see if it is necessary for a coach from outside the club, from the city or elsewhere, to join in to fulfill a specific function. We want to articulate training basketball with professional basketball, not remove its foundations.
-From last season, the only player with a current contract is Alex Negrete. You can follow?
-It is a question for the leaders. But I understand that it will continue. He has a contract, although we know that if some powerful team comes, he can put up the money and take it away. This is so.
Do you already have the beginning of the preseason planned?
-It will probably be early September. However, I am of the idea that the players of the club or those who have a contract, have to start training at the end of July.
-Are you interested in repeating any of the players from last season?
-They are all free players. We will see how the squad is put together according to the possibilities of the club and based on that, we will evaluate if any of those who were there can be and if the player/s are interested in continuing in Quilmes. The leaders gave me absolute freedom in the choice of players. But I tell them that they also have an opinion. For the economy and for the future of the club.
Foreigner yes or foreigner no?
-No. My idea is to play without foreigners. Somebody with a history in the National League or the Argentine League would have to appear that we know how it is beyond the games. How he trains, how he behaves, how he adapts to groups. And then, see if it is within the reach of the club’s budget. We are analyzing some juniors from other countries, but I see it as difficult.