Jobs4football meets Jose Manuel Figueira

Jobs4football engaged with Spanish UEFA A Head Coach Jose Manuel Figueria for a quick fire Q+A, to discuss his career journey, key experiences and potential next steps of his football pathway.

Jose is very much a forward-thinking Head Coach who has already achieved so much in his career at a young age whilst gaining vast experience coaching in three continents and at both international and club level. Jobs4football delved into more detail about Jose can be found below in our Q+A format:

Q: You were born in England but have Spanish heritage, would you say that affected your coaching style and philosophy?

A: Who you are as a coach is reflected in who you are as a person and growing up in both countries has certainly played a factor in shaping me and my coaching journey. Growing up playing, training, coaching and observing football/teams in England and Spain gave me a great understanding around different styles and philosophies.

Q: Your current role is with Auckland United. Tell us more about current club and the role you perform?

A: Since moving to New Zealand in 2003 I have spent the last 6 years coaching in the country’s leading competition, the National League. At my current club Auckland United I have a dual role as Head Coach of the Men’s Premier Team and Director of the Academy. Outside of the day-to-day duties of the First Team role, I get to oversee and interact with the players and coaches working throughout our academy structure and player pathway.

Q: There is no doubt your a successful coach in New Zealand winning Coach of year numerous times and also league title 3 times. What has been the greatest success in your eyes?

A: Looking back over the years, clinching National Titles with multiple clubs has been very special, that along with being nominated by the football community as Coach of the Year was very memorable for me. The standout achievement for me so far was winning the Oceania Champions League for the first time and qualifying for the FIFA Club World Cup in 2018.

Q: It is a huge achievement within club football for any manager to manage in the FIFA World Club Cup. How was that experience on and off the pitch?

A: The experience of going to the FIFA Club World Cup is something that will stay with me, and also motivates me to return to that level again one day. Taking a club from New Zealand to rub shoulders with some of the world’s biggest clubs was a great experience. Being immersed in all that a FIFA event brings, living and breathing football day in day out while we prepared for the tournament and getting to test ourselves against top class players (and coaches) was fantastic.

Q: On International stage you managed NZ U17 side to a World Cup in Brazil. How did you find that process from qualification to final stage games?

A: The Oceania Football Region is rich in culture and very diverse across the pacific island region. Preparing and taking teams for tournaments in places like Fiji, Tahiti and Vanuatu is a real challenge and helping players through these new experiences away from home (some for the first time) is very rewarding. The FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil and playing the hosts in front of a full stadium made all the efforts of the long journey that much more special.

Q: In addition to coaching in New Zealand, you have also experienced coaching in USA and England, how do you feel those experiences added to your career?

A: Having lived and coached in different countries has added a lot of value for me both as a coach and a person. Being able to live in different cultures and countries gives you a great appreciation for people and for the football in that country. I think those experiences so far have helped me get to the place where I am today.

Q: How would you describe yourself as a coach and what is your preferred style of play?

A: I see myself as a coach who always puts the player (and the team) at the forefront of my mind. Playing a high energy, organised attacking style of football I get great satisfaction seeing the players express themselves, give their all and grow both as a player and person.

Q: What are career aspirations and next step of the journey for you ?

A: In the future I would relish the opportunity to test myself and my methods at the professional level. Working in the Oceania Football Region has given me some fantastic experiences around the world at pinnacle events, and to be in a position working at that level day in day out would be a great feeling.

Jose is a part of the Jobs4football mentoring programme. Our consultants work alongside his personal development on a weekly basis and have been extremely impressed with his football expertise on and off the pitch and in addition to that his personal drive, man management and career ambition.

He is certainly a Head Coach to keep your eye on in future years!

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