Does fan favourite Inigo Calderon prefer to play or coach?

There are plenty of things to get excited for Brighton & Hove Albion supporters. They enjoyed a dream campaign last time around which saw them receive plenty of plaudits from pundits and former players across the globe for their style of football. Brighton not only played good football but also turned them into results to finish an unexpected sixth in the Premier League table. They have now started the new campaign the way they finished the last one.

Brighton have won their opening two Premier League matches to sit atop the table, something not many saw it coming. They have also made some noticeable additions in this window. One such move which has got the fans excited is the return of former player Inigo Calderon. However, Calderon, who spent six years with the Seagulls, now returns as head coach of the men’s under-18s. He is understandably happy to be back with the club.

“I’m so, so happy to be back in Brighton, I always said I wanted to come back and while I didn’t know how or when, it was always my aim and this feels like the right time. I went to Cyprus and then India, all while still doing some scouting for Brighton, so we have always stayed in contact. I loved my experiences around the world, they gave me another view of football, but this is my home in England. I loved my time here as a player, it was a special period in my career, and I’m really excited to start working with the boys and the staff,” the 41-year-old was quoted as saying by the club’s website.

Does Inigo Calderon prefer to play or coach?

Calderon then spoke about whether he prefers to be a player or a coach. “I prefer to coach than to play. I don’t think that too many people say that because they enjoy playing too much. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed playing, but I felt it was more about not making a mistake than actually really enjoying playing football,” he explained.

“Also, a coach’s role I feel is 24/7, whereas when you’re a player it’s just training and after that you have to rest. When you’re a coach, you have so many things going on. All the time you’re thinking about football, the next coaching session, the next game, and for me that’s why I love it. I get up so excited now; at 6am in the morning I am already awake. As a footballer you cannot do that, you have to just rest and train to maybe play or not, for two hours a day, but being a coach is full-on, 24/7.”

The men’s under-18s coach also felt that he still has a lot to learn despite his travels across the world and he feels Brighton is the right place for him to make it happen. “I am going to try and learn from everyone, that’s what I’m here to do. I will coach and help players but I’m also willing to learn. I will learn from Roberto [De Zerbi] and Shannon [Ruth, under-21s head coach] but also Melissa Phillips and coaches of the younger age groups. That’s what I always try to do,” Calderon stated.

He further added: “This is a special time for the club. The way it’s grown since I first arrived is amazing and the coaches here are fantastic – obviously Roberto is one of the best in the world. To learn from these people is exciting and I’m really looking forward to the season ahead. My love for Brighton has become even bigger and better so I couldn’t wait to get started again.”

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