New Hearts Women coach Eva Olid reveals her ambitions - touched with Spanish flair
Eva Olid arrived in Scotland two weeks ago eager to reshape Hearts Women using her very specific philosophy.
The Spanish coach has studied Scottish football and worked in America. Now she intends to comine all three approaches working at Riccarton.
“I knew this league because Celtic have a Spanish coach and I came here to see how the football works here in the Scottish league,” she explained. “That was two years ago and I continued to follow but then last year because of COVID, they didn’t play much.
“But when I knew that Hearts needed a coach, I saw this as a good challenge for me. I like to coach abroad, and have a challenge away from my own country.
“I was working in the United States because by going abroad is a way I can improve so much as a coach. It lets me live new experiences and I think I can help with my philosophy and the style of play.
“I Iike to bring that together with the philosophy and styles of other countries. We can use the philosophy I have from Spain and together I think we can get a good performance from the team.
“We are a young team, we have to know that. Our goal is to blood this young talent and improve the performance.”
The physicality of America provided a stark contrast to the technical, sometimes pedestrian, style used in Spain. Olid is confident she can use the best of both for Hearts’ benefit.
“I like the challenge. In a America the football is so physical and when I arrived there they found it strange that my style of play was all with the ball. They wanted it to be more physical, more analytical and athletic,” she said.
“They wanted to run, run, run. I see that as old, maybe what was happening 20 years ago. Now football is more about possession and what you do with the ball, it is more technical. I think that here I can work as I would want more than I could in the United States.”
Her Spanish roots can’t be overlooked, even in Scotland. “There we have the philosophy of Barcelona, which is the possession game.
“The good thing is to combine this possession game with a vertical game, because Barcelona plays so much side-to-side and it’s a slow game. So keep the possession but also the players need to decide when to play vertical, because the main goal in a match is to score.
“When I can, I watch the [Barcelona] games on the TV. Now I watch more women’s team than men. The first tier in Spain is improving so much, the level of the teams, now they are professional.”
The Scottish Women’s Premier League is dominated by Glasgow City, champions every year since 2008. “There are always some clubs that have more money, they have professionals that others don’t have and that is a big difference,” said Olid.
“We have to work with our resources, so when we play the match, this big difference doesn’t exist, so that means we need to work hard.
“When you don’t have all the resources that you want, you need to work hard, motivate the players and just work, work and work. That is the only way.”