“To be a rider you don’t need to have been a horse“With that analogy Ariel Holan explains his presence in a world that he did not imagine a few years ago. And it is that the beginnings of the strategist of Lion have little to do with football, as he took his first steps as technical director of field hockey and the results she obtained were really successful: she directed the Uruguayan Women’s National Team and won the bronze medal of the Pan American Games 2003.
But although soccer and field hockey seem at first glance like two completely different disciplines, the truth is that they have several similarities: both are played 11 against 11, they consist of scoring in the rival goal and the positioning of the players does not vary too much. . Nature is quite similar and that is why certain knowledge of one sport is applied to the other. In fact, field hockey is played with 4-4-2, 4-3-3 or 3-4-3. Does any sound familiar to you?
This made Holan’s transition to football less marked. The Argentine began as a technical assistant for several teams in his country, such as Arsenal de Sarandí, Estudiantes La Plata, Independiente, Banfield or Argentinos Juniors. However, his first big challenge was on the bench River Plate, where he was next to Matías Almeyda to achieve the expected promotion to the First Division in the 2011-12 season and begin to aim for what would be his coaching career.
After his first experience in Defense and Justice, Holan came to Independent and immediately left his mark on the club’s history by conquering the South American Cup 2017. And a year later he was left with the Copa Suruga Bank 2018, adding an international double that validated the quality of the Argentine in soccer as well as in field hockey. Thus, the Argentine made the leap to Chile, where he made the Olympic lap with Catholic University at First Division Championship 2020.
Field hockey applied to soccer
Although with the passage of time he has logically introduced some variations to his model, the precepts that Holan has defended since his time in field hockey remain in force until now. The team builds the exit from the bottom, contemplating in some opportunities a line of three defenders and facilitating the appearance of a free receiver to avoid the pressure of the rival.
“In hockey I characterized my teams the elaboration of the game of position and the exit of the arc looking for numerical superiority to penetrate the rival field. From that, deploy attack with a permanent search for couplings and combinations to generate obvious scoring opportunities. This was a hallmark of our teams and it is what we tried to transfer to football, “explained Holan on the podcast. History of our History.
When your team doesn’t have the ball, it’s exactly the same as when you were training in field hockey: exerts a coordinated pressure that conditions the opponent’s decisions. The Argentine teams keep the center of the field populated and force the opponent’s exit to be by a band, precisely to anticipate the receiver who does not have a reading of the play so fast as to avoid the loss of the ball.
“It is played 11 against 11 with the purpose of putting a ball in a frame, with two times and with two changes, which in former times was football. Tactically and strategically there are applicable things, the dynamics of the game is based on the speed of passes in both sports. Hockey definitely brought me closer to soccer“adds Holan, who has been shown by evidence that he didn’t necessarily have to be a soccer man to succeed in the sport.
Present in León
As in Independiente and Universidad Católica, Holan’s success in Liga MX has been immediate. León has performed at an extraordinary level in the 2021 Apertura tournament and after being one of the most outstanding teams in the regular round, the Fiera showed tremendous personality in the Liguilla qualifying rounds and is currently in the championship’s grand final. , instance in which he will dispute the title against the surprising Atlas.
The rival on duty is Diego Cocca, an old acquaintance against whom he has a favorable record from his time in Argentine soccer. However, Holan downplays the background and sees this pledge against Atlas as something else. “The past in soccer prescribes. This is another storyWe are in another country and I am also very happy to play against Diego even though he defends one shirt and I defend another and they are totally different stories “.
After all, be it football or hockey, finals are won on the field.
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Ariel Holan, the former hockey coach who has León one step away from glory in the 2021 Apertura