Manuel Oliva, the anchor to which Manu García clings
Manu García has plenty of games on his card. He is a goalkeeping veteran who is no longer surprised by anything. He has seen them come in all colors and so he is not easily surprised.
Last summer he landed in Tarragona with the premise of once again making a difference in a new First RFEF that replaced the extinct Second Division B. Nàstic convinced him to abandon professional football in which he had been suffering and not enjoying for too many months. It is useless to be in the Second Division if you do not have minutes or the confidence of the coach.
For this reason, Pedraza's goalkeeper had already sought to land at the Nou Estadi in the previous winter market, but the operation was unfeasible because Ponferradina refused to do so. In summer, already with freedom under his arm, the paths ended up joining.
Manu García has always stood out for being a very demanding person. He is with himself and also with his teammates both in goal and on the field. If he has to give praise he does it, but when you have to show your face to scold him he is prepared for it. He does not shake his pulse and that is why his is considered one of the authorized voices of the Tarragona dressing room.
His highly competitive mentality first dazzled Manuel Oliva, Nàstic's goalkeeping coach. Theirs was an instant connection. Of those that are not forced, they arise without further ado. Both saw in the other everything that one wants to see with the person with whom, after all, they will share more hours of training. Manuel Oliva is a goalkeeping coach with a great national reputation. Goalkeepers of the stature of Manolo Reina, Tomeu Nadal, Bernabé Barragán and Stole Dimitrievski have passed through his hands, all of them in professional football. Asking any of them about his figure is immediately receiving a wave of praise. He is tough, demanding to the limit and has no mercy in training, but the improvements he provides behind the sticks are tangible. Every goalkeeper who passes under his tutelage ends up shooting his level. One can be chance, when the list is already so long, it does not admit doubts.
Manu García is no exception and if he was already a differential goalkeeper, his performance has been climbing steps over the months. It is the award for work and perseverance. His and Manuel Oliva's. Both see each training session as an opportunity to continue growing.
Last season was growing for a goalkeeper who would end up being decisive. Memorable was his match in Balaídos against Racing Ferrol that put Nàstic in the playoff final. Promotion was not achieved, but Manu García's season was simply brutal.
The Sevillian goalkeeper received this past Monday the prestigious Golsmedia award that made him the best goalkeeper in group II of the First RFEF in the 2021/2022 season. An individual distinction that rewarded his great course.
Pedraza's goalkeeper had words for the coaching staff and his squad on social networks, but he explicitly quoted his goalkeeping coach. "Mr. Manuel Oliva," he called him. They were not empty words because the Sevillian is aware that part of that award also belongs to a coach who has always supported him and has granted him that context of support and ideal demand for growth.
In a certain way, Manu García is still in Tarragona because of the figure of Manuel Oliva, among other aspects. A champion project and an economic offer at the height of his poster were the other pillars so that today he continues to make a difference at the Nou Estadi.
The award received last Monday in Las Rozas is just the confirmation that Nàstic has among its ranks one of the best goalkeepers in the category, but also one of the best goalkeeper coaches.