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“There were some questions…” ::

“There were some questions…” ::

In the Zero zeroWe are fascinated by good stories. And for the benefit of every football fan who finds reasons to fall in love with the sport on a daily basis, the Portuguese championship is full of them. This took us to Guarda, specifically to Juvia, and we found a great protagonist in Evo Figueiredo. Giving 23 years – One of the youngest coaches in the history of the competition – They hide in the man who leads so many others.

Interested in strange data, the Zero zero He tried to learn more and dig deeper into the coach's story. Memories, difficulties, opportunities, goals: everything in detail he tells himself.

Between the desire to lead and experience in volleyball

“The taste for coaching was born at a very early stage. At the age of 8/9 he already said that he wanted to become a sports coach or teacher. From the beginning, I had a very strong idea that I wanted to lead working groups. That's always been one of my goals.”

Leadership was a weighty, important, non-negotiable goal. However, before taking command across the different seas – rocked by the fortunes of fate – there was a little adventure between them: the volleyball was tested, unexpectedly, at one point. On the beach or in the wings, Evo Figueiredo had a short but fruitful career as a volleyball player.

“My cousins ​​play volleyball, and one of them had already played for Benfica. I played with them and developed some potential. She entered the National Beach Volleyball Championship and I became a national hero. when did this happen, I received an invitation to join Benfica. I played there for two years, in the youth team.

Baby steps Towards a lifetime dream

If there is a dream, you have to fight for it. The first, and sometimes the hardest, step must be taken, and with all conviction, Ivo did it through the doors of women's football: “I have always really loved [do futebol feminino]. It was an opportunity. At an early stage, one of my teachers and motivators was the first team (and junior) coach at Seia FC. I had the opportunity to join his team and I did so happily, always open to learning every day.

Ivo Figueiredo leads the Seia women's team @Arquivo Pessoal

“Group management is completely different. I don't know if it's because I'm a man, but I feel like it's easier to lead a group of men. I also feel that women are more receptive to learning, have a much greater interest, and really want to know why strategies and techniques are adopted, unlike men, as athletes arrive at senior football with a different mindset. for this reason, Women's football is growing very quickly, fortunatelyHe noted after experiencing both contexts.

Women's work – like everything done well – has not gone unnoticed. It paid off, and Ivo, from a personal point of view, made the leap: he reached top football, as an assistant and analyst, by… Tozeh Marco At FC Oliveira do Hospital: “It was an excellent experience. The time I learned the most, probably. Because it was my first experience in the Portuguese Championship and because I learned a lot of things from highly qualified people. At an early stage, the goal was maintenance, and we ended up competing to qualify for the third league; With a lot of work, we were able to climb. I have gained a lot of technical and tactical football knowledge. I still have contacts – I talk every day – with the Tosi technical team [Marreco]; I wish them good luck. I continued on my path, and had to choose to leave at the end of the season to finish my studies.

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“When I left, I went back to Sia, but to coach the under-17 team, in the national championship. It was a time when I gained a lot of experience. We competed in the National Under-17 Division 1 and it was very difficult: In the first season, we scored zero points In the second, we won only one. However, I was having a lot of fun with the work. “I have seen tremendous growth in my players,” he adds.

CD Gouveia and a goal, unexpectedly, around the corner

Although it is short, Ivo Figueiredo's career is proof that no matter how big or seemingly endless the ups and downs are, the important thing is to keep going: “Last season, I spent half a season as women's football coach at SEA and As a training coordinator. In March, I left and joined Gouveia's technical team, where I worked with the technical director Marcio Silva. I made it to the final stage, and we were close to becoming regional champions. It took two months of learning and, above all, adapting to the context of CD Gouveia and the technical staff that was already structured. At the beginning of this season, I accepted the challenge again. In early October, Mr. Marcio Silva ended up leaving by mutual decision»

Ivo Figueiredo in a training session with CD Gouveia @Arquivo Pessoal

“With great pleasure, I received the information that I would take on this role temporarily, and then it was decided to stay until the end of the season. CD Gouveia has the dream and ambition to achieve stability in the national championship. It still has some loopholes and difficulties, unlike FC Oliveira, which is an organized club that is ready for these adventures. However, from October until now, business has been very positive. I did not expect this development to happen so quickly and so early, when I was 23 years old. Now, as I have throughout my career, it's about growing day by day.

It's not every day that someone so young takes charge of a large team. Evo's 23 years have had some Gouveia fans turning up their noses. However, as is the case with the vast majority of changes, At first you find it strange, then you understand it.

There were some questions and some concern on the part of the fans. Because they didn't know me well and because I was very young. Fortunately, things started to go well. In my first game, we were ahead at halftime, but ended up losing (1-5); Then I felt a jolt from the masses of fans. This is normal, it's growing pains. In the next match, we drew with the Azores against the leaders, and from then on we started playing different, more attractive football. This is my goal. We want the fans to come to the stadium; At first, this was difficult. After that, even though the results were not as positive as we wanted, we already had a large number of fans supporting us.

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If the masses of fans initially shuddered at Evo's promotion, it is natural that the decision was not easy for management. The young coach took us to October and told us about the talks with those responsible for CD Gouveia: «I have only positive aspects to mention. Although I think I'm prepared for this role, I didn't expect to take it. The club has full confidence in my skills and that makes me very happy and grateful. In October, during a conversation with management, I realized this: The club has trusted me to be the face and man at the helm of the club in a very complex and competitive tournament; Proof of this is the fact that the AF Guarda team was unable to maintain it for many years.

Present difficulties

It seemed fated. Ivo Figueiredo is the youngest coach to lead this edition of the Portuguese championship and leads… The second youngest team in the competition – Except for the B teams, which are always young by nature (in this case, Vitória SC B and Alverca B). With an average age of 21.79 years, youngster Ivo Figueiredo looks like a senior compared to some of his players. This is a characteristic, in his opinion, that does not affect the relationship between everyone, but without excuse, it may have cost him some points.

“It doesn't make much difference. I don't think it affects anything. At the moment, we have calico (the oldest player on the team) and The way to work with a 36-year-old athlete is the same as with an 18-year-old. Obviously, these are different understanding and perception abilities [Calico] You already know the shortcuts in this field, unlike others. Now, obviously I act the same way with everyone.

“Because the average age is low, I think we were affected at some points during the season, due to inexperience and some immaturity among the athletes. When many of them were competing in the Portuguese Championship for the first time, it was difficult for them, at an early stage, to understand and enter this context.Which is completely different from the first area. In January, we tried to increase the age group of the team a little and bring in experienced athletes, with experiences in this vein or higher.

@personal archive

“The truth is that we lost many matches by one goal. Anyone who watches the matches will find a completely different team than at the beginning of the season. At the moment, we see a team with attractive and attacking football. but, Our team, at certain times, gets cut off from the game and that can't happen. against fish tail, We were winning in the 90th minute and we ended up losing and, Against LusitaniaWe allowed a draw at 90+3. We are not experienced enough and we end up facilitating things when we can't and have already paid a heavy price. These are growing pains, but I believe that CD Gouveia, in the future, will be much stronger and ready for the Portuguese Championship.

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Overall, CD Gouveia's time was not easy. It is true that it is not over yet, but the main goal – maintenance – became impossible to achieve last weekend. a Defeat against Benfica de Castelo Branco It dictated what was scary, but practically inevitable: relegation to the district championship. But the recent past left mouths watering and allowed the light at the end of the tunnel to remain visible, and although the result was disastrous, it left a question in the air: “If the season still included more, say, six months, would it have been Could we see a happy ending for Gouveia?

Ivo answered with his feet on the ground:The goal will be the same: maintenance. We can't aspire to other things right now, Because CD Gouveia was unable to achieve this feat for a long time. We go up and down due to financial and employment difficulties. However, perhaps, if we had another two or three months of the season, we would see a different Gouveia CD. We lost a lot of points in the early stages of the tournament, and then we lost my technical team. Unfortunately, the season is coming to an end, but if we had more time, we would be better prepared.

What does the future hold?

Because of youth, the future will certainly be long – whether it is successful or not will depend on you – and looking at what is to come, as in all cases, there are references that inspire, educate and motivate. In this sense, Ivo took the opportunity to highlight four names: “Because I worked with him and how he is in a professional context: Tosé Marcheko. Then Abel Ferreira and Sergio Conceição; I'm trying to learn a little about each of them and their thoughts, especially these two, at this moment. I also have to mention Mourinho, because he opened doors for us and took us where any coach wants to go.”

Toze Marchico spent two seasons at FC Oliveira do Hospital

“I don't want to think too much about the future, because anything is possible in football,” he started by saying. When asked about his desire to become a head coach from now on or the possibility of returning to an assistant position, the young man said: “I see myself in both positions. Just because he's a head coach now doesn't mean he won't be an assistant again; Maybe I will come back next season. Football is an open world.”

In this sense, Ivo Figueiredo concluded the interview: “If the coach can win from Sunday to Sunday, life can change and we don’t know what could happen. I've grown a lot over the years and I don't want to set goals, but obviously one of my goals is to get to professional football. I don't know if it will be done now, in ten years. It's one game after another: Win or lose, everything will be decided on Sunday.»