ANGEL Martinez says he’s stunned at how the Fylde public have taken to him and wants to repay them with promotion.
The Spanish midfielder has become a hugely popular figure at Bloomfield Road since his move from Girona a year ago.
He took time to adjust to the English lifestyle and found himself out of the side before eventually starring in Pool’s play-off run-in.
But this season it’s a totally different story. He said: “When first arrived I didn’t understand anyone, didn’t speak the language and didn’t know anyone.
“I knew nothing about England or Blackpool. This summer I’ve come back relaxed, chilled-out, I know the people and the place, and it’s brilliant. I’m enjoying everything about playing for Blackpool and I can’t wait for the season to start.”
The 26-year-old spent the past year learning English to help him settle in the area.
And while other overseas players have often struggled to acclimatise, Angel says the public have made it easy for him.
“Thank you to the people of Blackpool for making me so welcome,” he said. “They are all really friendly with me and my family, and it’s brilliant. In Spain people always think English people are cold, but everyone here is so funny and friendly.
“I hope I can repay them with victories and good performances on the pitch. I don’t want more play-offs – I want to go up.”
The midfielder played in Sunday’s shock Capital One cup defeat by Morecambe.
Although he was quick to say well done to the League Two side, he believes the Championship campaign is all that really matters. He added: “The people have a strong mentality here and all we are thinking about is Millwall on Saturday. We have forgotten Sunday.
“I believe in this team and think we we start well. Going up is my aim. I want automatic promotion. “If we have to play in the play-offs, then we will go and win them, but ideally I don’t want to. “It will be magnificent if we can finish first or second.”
Having only managed 15 appearances in his first season, the Spaniard is now a huge part of Blackpool’s first-team squad.
And he is in no doubt about his highlight in a Pool shirt so far. “Wembley was amazing for me,” he revealed.
“The day before the final I was in the stadium and sent pictures home to all my friends.
“I told them how amazing it was and how impressive. But I remember the final and how well we played. We just needed a tiny bit of luck on the day. We want to start the season with a victory on Saturday.”
It’s not only his on-field displays which have made Angel such a fans’ favourite. His regular updates and pictures on Twitter have earned him a loyal following.
He revealed: “I love speaking to the fans on Twitter. It’s really helped me to learn English too. It’s amazing to speak to the fans, to people in Spain and all sorts of people.
“It brings everyone together. On Twitter we have the players and the fans – we are all one big family.
“People tweet me and ask me to say happy birthday to them. It makes them so happy. I love making people happy.”