″ We are still internalizing what happened. The descent was disastrous.

In a worst-case scenario, the Lourosa president expected to reach the promotion stage of Liga 3 and fail. The final extension is still being digested.

Born in Lorosa, Hugo Méndez, influenced from a young age by his father, Joaquim Méndez, followed Lusitania with special interest, reaching the presidency of the club still in the Aveiro region, five years ago, having improved the infrastructure and created the conditions for access to the professional tournaments.

Prior to the start of this season, the 39-year-old manager hired an experienced coach (Felipe Moreira), a squad defined by a tactical (3×5×2) system and some approach in the senior divisions, so he never expected relegation.

What is your assessment of this season from Lorosa, who came to walk the tallest areas and ended up splitting?
We are still understanding what happened. Until the last round we could have made it into the top four, which would have allowed us to fight for the climb. Then, in the maintenance phase, what we saw from the fairs was a disaster, and that drove the division away. It is unimaginable for this club, given the way it is organized, the associative mass it possesses, how it lives football and the average number of assists, which has led this tournament several times. The worst case scenario would always be to go to the bullseye and not achieve the goal, so it was disastrous. Now, we have to raise our heads, get up and say we’re in the Portuguese league, which is a very competitive tournament, and we want Lorosa to make it into Liga 3 and then into the professional leagues. This is the purpose of this directorate. We weren’t expecting to take that step back, but let’s think that then we’ll take two steps forward.

Before the start of the tournament, there was a possibility of going up. What failed?
– I’m the Responsible. I bet a very experienced technical team, who last season were very close to going to the promotion stage with Torreense and who knew the teams in this tournament very well. Players are set based on the tactical system [3x5x2], in which we have placed our full confidence, and submitted a project for two sports seasons. After a setback at Anadia, we reached an agreement to terminate. What was also missing was the presence of a group of enthusiastic men. Throughout the season, it was noted that the group was not up to the challenge of donning the Lorosa shirt. There was poor communication about the goal of this small town, which dreams of making it to the professional championship, in a club with 98 years of history. The key is not having that obligation…

Do you think the coach’s midfield change also affected, or did Helder Pereira give a good answer?
– The coach was not excited anymore and we looked at Helder as a correct alternative. He was a man of the house, he was a captain at Lourosa, he knew these people and we saw value in him. He did everything he could to honor a project he didn’t start. It didn’t go well, but I can’t point the finger at the technical team, tuning in to a team that’s no longer committed like that.

Will you continue to bet or are you looking for another coach?
We will start a business from scratch, with a new technical team, a renewed medical department, and strengthen management in terms of football support. More than 90 percent of the team will be renewed. We don’t have a new coach yet, but the profile is set. It should always be what this directorate’s ambition is: to lead a neighborhood club, feel a lot in the jersey, and race is the thing that sets this club apart. At the moment, we haven’t met any coach yet, and we’ll start that later this week.

Recently, there was a general assembly. What lessons did you take from it?
– There was a vote of confidence in this directorate, in what it did for five years. We are not only talking about sports results, but also in terms of infrastructure, training, sports and everything related to La Rosa, not just football. Previously, we were in the Aveiro region and now, in spite of everything, we are in the Portuguese championship, and this is a gratitude to the union bloc of this directorate.

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