Interview. Kancha spoke with Salvadoran Pablo Bunyde after the start of the league in Iceland and his dream year on the European stage.
National team Paul Bunnied It has already been a very busy year, those who still believe that Salvadoran They took ‘extended holidays’ in Iceland for not playing the league until April, but they still got it wrong.
In the European country of 2022, as is usual, regional tournaments such as the Reykjavik Cup, the League Cup and part of the Cup were played in the first months of the year. For Pablo, for example, there were almost no holidays in December. At this point, he already had nearly four full months on the job.
Bonneid was still unable to make his league debut this year for two reasons. He missed the first match due to suspension and the last match due to physical factors that he had to overcome little by little, and this is related to his left knee, in which he has felt uncomfortable in recent days.
Given this, Víkingur’s coach, Arnar Gunnlaugsson, along with the coaching staff decided that Punyed would take the corresponding exams in order to focus on his health and then be in tune, when everything became little by little more demanding and complex.
CANCHA had a one-on-one interview with Punyed to find out his feelings for a frenetic season, which he actually had the chance to try in two seasons and is now going for a third. Relive the previous phase of the UEFA Champions League and chase big dreams. Vikingur’s educational references are no longer located in Iceland and the team is looking abroad for ideas.
The year was charged after being a three-time champion last year
There is a lot of enthusiasm, and we are confident that we can pass the preliminary round of the Champions League and continue to add to the European competitions. We are all rowing to try to be the first team to play in UEFA Continental Championships. We dream of being in the group stage, whatever the competition.
Everything depends largely on the draws, for us it is simply, we are clear about what the goal is. We’ve drawn a lot of inspiration from the Norwegian Bodo/Glimt team that has gone so far in the Conference League, trying to incorporate elements of their playing style. They are a precursor to what we want to do, they have been very successful in the last year and we also want to achieve it.
Were there many departures in Vikingor?
Our two commanders, namely the central defenders, withdrew; They are very low. Then we sold our left back to a Danish team. We’ve missed three of our four starting players at the back, so that’s a bit of a puzzle for the coach.
On the other hand, we have added several important items, some young men from the quarry are very good; I see the group well. In the end, our goal is not only to shine in Iceland, but also abroad.
It was another gritty continental experience, something no Icelandic team had yet achieved, fighting on two fronts, at two European Championships.
They were rare moments, brave times for Covid-19. The UK was completely closed, and we traveled under completely special circumstances. We drove through empty airports, and played in Celtic Park without a single fan. Not many signings with the team happened because of the country-hopping policies, it was a very strange thing.
But they were experiences, then we went to Estonia and the same thing, something new for me in European competitions. The normal thing is to be in front of tens of thousands of people and enjoy the beautiful atmosphere. This did not happen. Now we want to come back and there are more options. Since this year there will be matches at home and away, when we played Celtic and Flora were singles matches, and on top of that they were away from our stadium after a draw.
It would have been different had the teams come to Iceland, the story might have been different. With Víkingur today we have a completely different structure, we know that with good possession and a strong defensive stage we can look forward to good things. If you don’t have minute details like this, it can quickly influence you in a match.
Wearing a mask is no longer mandatory here, how is the health situation there?
There are no longer any restrictions and no one cares about that. The country has already recovered and has no major concerns about that. Thank God, people have behaved well during the restrictions, now we can see the fruits, most of the population is healthy and this is the most important.
And they lifted restrictions completely at the beginning of February, without masks, without restrictions on capacity in stadiums and public places. At the club we always take the signs not to go to the crowds and avoid them as much as possible.
How is the weather these days to play football?
We’re fine, it’s too late now, we’re at 10°C. With the sun and no wind, the weather seems good to play, it has improved. “When the football season starts, the weather is really good,” says the saying here in Iceland, it’s a beauty these days.
How is an apprenticeship defined in Vikingor?
When I came to this club, the goal was to reach the European Championships within two years. That was crossed and now we’re thinking of something bigger. The intent was not to think of what other Icelandic clubs are, but other European clubs, more precisely Scandinavian clubs.
We know Bodo/Glimt took things from Manchester City, so we learned indirectly to do things that Blue Sky do, and the Norwegians also took things that Benfica did, with the club being able to sell two youngsters. this year. Benfica came to see how we work and there is a dialogue to see development issues.
The Scandinavian League cannot be played this year in Spain, but the preparation for the season has not stopped
It was a shame not to be able to play that tournament in Spain, and God knows why. It was a good way to measure ourselves to see where we are. But we have the national team coaches come to see us, we bring players into the main team and two small Icelandic teams. This means that there is also collaboration to strive to improve what we have.
There are always local bodies to develop the details and not focus too much on the details. Many guys are drawing for the first time, and we’ve refined the system we play with. We knew it was difficult to win the championship (the Icelandic League Cup) and we were able to reach the final, which we lost with so many young players who needed minutes to prepare.
Seeing development was even more important, because we didn’t care so much about the outcome, but rather that the kids had grown up. The match, the opportunity, they took advantage of it and that helped us a lot until they gained confidence in the Icelandic Super Cup, the match we won. Sometimes it is important to lose in order to win.
The development of the players for the whole club is vital, because we will need them later and we must all be on the same line.
Have you been able to revert to issuing coach licenses or is it suspended?
I graduated and got my UEFA B license last year. UEFA A and UEFA Pro licenses, the latter of which are the highest one can access, require a lot of time. For example, to go to Denmark for a week, do training in another club; Situations that have to wait because they require a lot. I like it because I see how football is developing from a different perspective.
It reminds me when I spoke with Professor Hugo Pérez, and thus I was able to understand where the football theories came from, what he wanted to get to, and also with Professor Gerson, and we talked about tactics. I felt in those moments talking to them more as a coach than as a player. Without taking anything away from them because they have more experience than me, the only thing I wanted to learn from them more and I think they saw me in a different role.
Although I didn’t have several minutes with Selecta, it was very productive trips for me because I learned from them to see how they work, from mistakes, which was successful and seeing that in first grade was a great opportunity.
With my UEFA B licence, I can be a technical assistant for the top-flight team here in Iceland, I also have the guarantee of being in all UEFA competitions, and it’s important for me to face them in the future, soon or not, you never know.
How is life outside of football?
I finished some projects, others don’t. I’m enjoying my time with family, I’m finishing my master’s degree so I can become an English teacher, different skills I want to have in my arsenal. Master’s degree in Reykjavik, mainly hypothetical due to the pandemic.
Being a coach is very closely related to being a teacher and vice versa, my master’s degree started when I got a UEFA B license to go with both things at the same time. It helped me a lot too. I’ve been assembling a summer house in the country, and I’m always looking for different things to learn.
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