Toni Prats: ‘I feel excited and a great sense of responsibility’
This week is Toni Prats’s first in his new job as co-ordinator of youth football for RCD Mallorca. The ex-Mallorca goalkeeper now has an office at the Ciutat Esportiva Antonio Asensio, but he is still settling in.
A call from Serra Ferrer led to the return to RCD Mallorca of one of the most significant figures in the recent history of the Club, and with Miquel Soler also returning to manage Mallorca B, along with the incorporation of Miquel Àngel Nadal a year ago, RCD Mallorca now has three ex-players as new coaches, with a great history and love for the Club behind them.
Prats had already swapped his gloves for a suit at the Club previously, but this new responsibility for the Club’s youth football given to him by Serra Ferrer excites him more.
The youth football co-ordinator gave his first impressions after returning to Son Bibiloni: “I’m very excited about coming back to work at RCD Mallorca. It’s both fortunate and an advantage to know so many of the people who work here, and that’s helping me a lot. I’m learning about a lot of things and I’mpicking up experience gradually in order to be able to do things right.”
How did he receive the call from Serra Ferrer? “We’d been talking and there was a chance to come back on board last season, but it didn’t work out for some important reasons. We’d been talking about football this year, which is what usually happens when you get two people from the world of football together, and then this chance came up, we worked on it and here we are.”
Prats feels “excited and a great sense of responsibility for RCD Mallorca’s youth area, which is all about educating people and supervising the boys as they grow as people and footballers.”
Regarding the switch from the playing field to the office, Prats says that “out on the pitch, you have to deal with certain thing and in the office the challenges are different, but we’re always talking about the same thing; there are obviously differences, but I’ve already been through a learning experience before, working with goalkeepers at a grassroots level, and that will stand me in good stead.”
It was Serra Ferrer who sought to bring former Mallorca players back to form part of the management structure of the Club, and this is something that Prats sees as “important, because the Club needs people who are passionate about the Club, who identify themselves with Mallorca, who have experience of the Club and yet who are also able to do the job. We have to come together as a team and move the Club forward.”
Regarding the objectives in his job, he highlighted the following: “supervising youth football, communicating the work we do to the management, making sure that people are happy in what they’re doing and are fully aware of what we’re trying to do, and trying to educate the boys as footballers and people, without neglecting the academic side.”
How can Son Bibiloni be improved as a production line for footballers? “Through a lot of hard work, together with knowledge and skills, but we have the coaching and fitness staff to do this. Every day we have to keep on putting another brick in the wall to make sure we produce the maximum number of players who can compete at a professional level.”