Edu Pons will join the staff of FC Barcelona’s first team next season, taking the spot made free by the departure of fitness coach Lorenzo Buenaventura, who is leaving with Guardiola for personal reasons. Pons, who is currently responsible for the conditioning of the Juvenil A squad, knows firsthand about the philosophy of work at the blaugrana club and, in turn, has extensive experience in the First Division.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Edu Pons was one of two candidates to succeed Buenaventura. The other was an old acquaintance of FC Barcelona and of Tito Vilanova, José Antonio Pozanco. The ex-footballer, who played in the youth ranks of Barça and who had to retire prematurely as a player because of a heart condition, has spent the last few years working as Ernesto Valverde’s assistant, and rejected Zubizarreta’s proposal.
With Pozanco’s unavailability, and wishing to continue with the Club’s philosophy, Tito Vilanova has preferred to promote a specialist from within the Club. Pons has worked throughout the season at Òscar Garcia’s side, who left the club last week to begin a new phase of his career at Maccabi Tel Aviv.
It was Garcia’s intention to the take his fitness coach with him, however the club asked Pons to stay as they had other plans for him. In this manner, the trainer will join the first team on July 15th, when the pre-season will start for the blaugrana squad, and he will form a working team with Paco Seiru·lo, Francesc Cos, and Aureli Altimira in preparing the players. Until then, he will continue with Juvenil A, who yesterday won 0-2 against Real Sociedad in the first leg of the quarterfinals of the Juvenil Copa del Rey.
The Catalan trainer has worked at Lleida and Nàstic, although most of his career was spent at Almería. Pons signed for the Andalusian team in the 2005-06 season, with Paco Flores on the bench, where he spent six years, except for the 2006-07 season. At Almería he worked with coaches such as Juanma Lillo, José Luis Oltra, and Roberto Olabe. In fact, Pons took charge of the team for four days, between the dismissal of Lillo following Barça’s 0-8 win and the arrival of Oltra. At the beginning of the season that just finished, he was forced into a change of scene, after new coach Luis Zubeldía arrived at Almería with his own training team.
Pons won the respect and affection of the squad at Almería for his commitment and his method of working, characterized by giving the ball prominence in the physical exercises and taking maximum care of the nutrition of the athletes. Thanks to his work, both Almería and this year’s Juvenil A team have had very few muscular injuries.