After his successful management with "Las Leoncitas", Argentina's junior team, Agustín Corradini tells us how he manages "Las Leonas" major team day-to-day and his hopes for continental hockey.
2017 starts with many changes for Argentine hockey, especially for the women's senior team, “Las Leonas”. After the administrative election of the Argentine Hockey Confederation (CAH), it was decided to modify the technical direction leadership, transferring the responsibility that Gabriel Minadeo had to Agustín Corradini, who during 2016 coached Argentina’s Junior Women, World Champion in 2016 in Chile, and Champion of the Junior Pan American Championship in Trinidad and Tobago.
Agustín will be responsible of leading the team that won most continental level titles, and twice world champions.
If there is something that the Las Leonas coach is completely sure, is that having the support of as many players as possible is necessary in order to obtain better results. With the incorporation of great players from previous years to their technical team, and the motivation to achieve their group dreams, one thing we are sure, everyone wants to see Las Leonas in Tokyo 2020 Olympic podium and why not, get a new World Cup title, which will take place in London during 2018.The road is long, but not impossible. With more than an interesting international agenda, Las Leonas made their way with satisfactory results a few weeks ago during the England tour, prior to their participation in the World Hockey League Semi Final in Johannesburg, tournament that qualifies for the FIH World Cup.
After the loss of several players in the last years due to retirement or resignations, the structure of the team changed and different natural leaders within the team were arising, such as Delfina Merino, Belen Succi, among others, searching a way to reestablish the team with the motivation of being part of Argentina’s national team who gave us so many beautiful and remarkable moments in this sport.
This change, made Las Leonas include 14 players from the Junior squad, “Las Leoncitas” such as Bianca Donati, Barbara Dichiara, Priscila Jardel, Agustina Gorzelany, Magdalena Fernandez Ladra, Milagro Fernandez Ladra, Agostina Alonso, Azul Rosetti, and the rest that was already part of the team from previous years, such as the chosen Promising Star by FIH, Majo Granatto, Eugenia Trinchinetti, Luchi Von der Heyde, Poy Tocalino, Paula Ortiz and Julieta Jankunas, the youngest of team who became part of the senior team with only 16 years in 2015.
In our interview with Agustín Corradini, we asked several questions in order to understand more of his new management, now as technical leader of Las Leonas.
PAHF: How was your first day training Las Leonas?
Agustín Corradini: It was a very nice moment, returning to the CENARD after many months is always good. From the very first minute we started with all the training and focusing on players preparation for their integration to a new game system.
PAHF: We noticed that Las Leonas have a new team, but we see that you called two players that have international experience, as the case of Noe Barrionuevo (who was disaffected from the team in December 2016). What was the motivation that led you to make these calls and what were their reactions at the time of that meeting?
A: We believe that our team is very talented, but it still lacks international experience. Carla Rebechi’s retirement has modified the reality of the Argentina’s penalty corner, and we thought it was convenient for those 2 reasons. Noe is a great person and professional, and she is executing a double role (as an athlete and as well as a teacher for the rest of the team), of course she took the notice it with great joy.
Silvina "Piti" D'Elia, is another a great player who was called by Agustin, with 16 podiums with Las Leonas, she played her last international game in December 2014, same date as Luciana "La Maga "Aymar farewell. In Piti’s case, she did not join the England tour and stayed training with the rest of his team at the High Performance Center (CENARD) in Buenos Aires. She will revalue her participation in the team when Las Leonas return from the World League in South Africa in July.
PAHF: We understand that a tour like the one they in England playing against the Olympic Champions is always very important for the year's agenda considering next year World Cup is in London, and that you are within weeks of playing Semi Finals in South Africa in July. What are your goals as a coach on this tour and what did you ask the team to do? How do you prepare Argentina’s international agenda thinking of London 2018? Do you want to tell us some details of what things does a tour involves for those who do not know?
A: The main objective in the London tour was to work on the game system that we are going to implement in the future. First we must play world league’s semi-final in South Africa, then the Pan American Cup in the United States and then, if we qualify in South Africa, World Hockey League Finals in New Zealand.
PAHF: You always emphasize the effort that the organizations make for the sport diffusion of, but tell us, what are your dreams with hockey, how would you like to see Pan American hockey in the next years and what is being done from Argentina in order for this to happen? Beyond being a coach, what other things do you do for our sport?
A: My dream is to go beyond and someone goes beyond by leaving something that can be used by those who are in this organization after he is no longer there. I would like to see Pan American Hockey more developed, focusing on the quality of tournaments and facilitating the presence of fans in matches, reducing organizational costs to the minimum so that it is no longer a big cost to organize a tournament. Personally, when I was a player, I was very pleased to have participated in Cuba’s Pan-American and participated of hockey 5 training in Venezuela. From these two moments onwards I value much more Argentina facilities. Since that moment I admire the people of those countries, for the love and passion they put to the development of our sport.
I hope someday I can join some project to continue helping.