AFTER finishing on top of the ladder, Geelong was knocked out of the premiership race by Richmond on Friday night. The loss has divided Cats fans, with many taking aim at Chris Scott for some of his questionable coaching decisions during the 2019 finals campaign. But is their frustration justified?
Pablo Sanchez: ‘I will return to Adelaide’
Spanish import Pablo Sanchez was the definition of ‘cult hero’ to Adelaide United fans. A FFA Cup winner and a premiership player, the striker will always call Adelaide his second home. He went One on One with Jack Hudson.
Jack Hudson: You were born in Cadiz, what do you remember about your childhood?
Pablo Sanchez: I remember have fun every time and always with a ball by my side.
JH: You started your playing days there, what as that like?
PS: I have always played football thinking only about having fun until the moment came when the possibility of being professional appeared.
JH: What do you remember about your debut?
PS: At the end of 2003, I made my debut with Cádiz CF in Second Division.
It was very special to get to have the opportunity to make my debut in the team of my city, in front of my family and friends.
JH: You made the move to Sevilla, what do you remember about your time there?
PS: Those were four magnificent years.
Three of them in Second B getting the promotion to Second Division.
The last year in that category gave me the possibility to continue enjoying my career in a high level.
JH: You won the Segunda Division B, how did that feel?
PS: In Spain, that is so difficult.
There are 80 teams and just four get the spot in Second Division.
So when you get that, the happiness is awesome.
JH: You then played for Las Palmas and Recreativo, what were those clubs like?
PS: Both teams are historic teams from Spanish football.
In Las Palmas, football means too much for the fans.
You are walking over the streets and can see the yellow from the team is everywhere – especially in their hearts.
Recreativo is the oldest team in Spain.
Imagine how important it is to arrive there and wear this shirt.
In my third year, I was the second captain. I’m so proud of that.
JH: You returned to Cadiz, what was it like to return home?
PS: I had high hopes in returning to the team of my life.
It wasn’t a good season.
Nothing was as I had imagined.
In Spain, it is difficult to play at home when things don’t go well.
JH: How did the move to Adelaide United come about?
PS: After Cadiz, I played one year with CD Lugo.
I had a good year with Quique Setién as coach.
This coach liked to have the ball playing similar style to Barcelona.
(Then Adelaide United manager) Josep Gombau sent me an offer and I had no doubt.
It was always a dream for me to play away and to visit Australia so… I had just got married and we started a new adventure.
JH: What was it like to move abroad?
PS: It was awesome.
We were lucky to arrive at a team with very good people, some spectacular Red fans and a wonderful city.
The adaptation was good and fast.
JH: What do you remember about the FFA Cup Final?
A final at Coopers… in front of our fans… we won the Cup and I think we deserved that.
The atmosphere was magical.
First year playing in Australia and I got a title so I can not ask for more.
JH: You scored the sealer in the grand final, what do you remember about that game?
PS: It was the best moment in my career.
Adelaide Oval full house.
We were winning 2-1 and I had a mission: to score.
Being on the bench I saw him there in the middle of the Red Army, the Red Wig was there as always.
No matter if is at home or away.
For to celebrate a win or for to cry after a game at Wellington in a very bad beginning of the season.
I say to myself “I’m going to score and will run to him to celebrate the goal.”
Just because he deserves it.
So when I had the chance to shoot I had no doubt the ball will be in the end of the net.
I felt all the power from 50,000 red fans supporting me.
JH: How hard was it to leave Adelaide?
PS: Very hard.
Five days after to we won the Championship I left my second home and I miss it very much.
I didn’t have the time enough for to taste the tittle with my Red fans.
Too much people I love are over there.
I keep in touch with a lot of them but I’m still so nostalgic.
I’m supporting my Adelaide United like a fan and one day I will come back, that’s for sure.
JH: How have you enjoyed your return to Spain?
PS: The only bad thing about Australia in that it is very far from Spain.
So returning to Spain was good for being close to the family.
I’m in love with Australia so it’s hard to not think about it.