Spanish defender already loving life at the seaside

Joan Oriol
Joan Oriol
Share this article
Have your say

New boy Joan Oriol is loving life at Blackpool, even though he can’t understand a word anyone is saying at training.

Pool beat off interest from Reading to sign the 27-year-old after he watched last weekend’s friendly against Burnley.

The left back has only been in England a wekk and has been using fellow countryman Andrea Orlandi as a translator, but he’s already set himself a target.

“In one month I’ll be able to understand English,” he said.

“The club have put lessons on for me and Jose Miguel Cubero, we have our own teacher now.

“It’s really important I learn the language, I’ll be taking it step by step.

“Andrea has been hugely important for me.

“It’s tough to integrate myself into the team when I don’t speak English and to understand the drills in training.

“Without someone to translate I’d be a bit lost really.

“But in one month I hope to not need Andrea anymore, I’m a quick learner.”

The experienced defender has made over 60 appearances in La Liga with Villarreal and Osasuna.

He signed a three-year deal with northern Spain club Osasuna last summer, but after a difficult season saw them relegated became available and Pool manager Jose Riga was quick to snap him up.

And the Championship was a place he instantly wanted to be.

He said: “It was really attractive to come and play in a league like the Championship where people are really passionate about their football.

“In Spain the Premier League and the Championship is watched by everyone.

“Everyone knows what a good league this is.

“A good player in the Championship could easily play in La Liga.

“There’s a huge difference between the Championship and the second division in Spain, that’s why I was so keen to come and play here.

“This is a big chance for me to prove myself in England and put myself in the spotlight.

“I’d love to play in the Premier League one day, hopefully with Blackpool”

With Pool’s options so short, Oriol will be thrown straight into action as the Seasiders face Nottingham Forest tomorrow.

And the friendly Spaniard can’t wait.

He said: “I’m really looking forward to tomorrow, it will be fantastic.

“I’ll be doing my best to try and get a result for the club and the fans.”