Who is Pol Garcia-Cascon?I’m just a normal guy who loves to play hockey. I also enjoy watching football or reading some biographies. I’m 30 years old and I work as an export manager for an Spanish company in the French market. I’m finally living again at my hometown Terrassa after 2 years in the Canary Islands and 4 years in Brussels. And the most important thing, I’m married with Cristina since two months ago.When did the love for hockey begin?At the beginning I combine it with football but there were a moment where it was not possible anymore. I have three older brothers who still play hockey who were a reference to me when I was a child. So I had no choice.
They’re all defenders but I knew it wasn’t for me, even If I accept that they’re really skillful. I’m a creative guy and I knew it was either a striker either a keeper. Despite so many people doesn’t think like this being a goalkeeper behaves creativity and cleverness.
I always explain that it was because of the physical training; I remember the first day when I start hockey and the trainers said that the players had to start running and the keepers to put the kit on. But it’s not hundred per cent true because I always loved the loneliness of the keeper, their special role in the team and being most of the time in the ground. I remember when I was a child I always look to Atlètic keepers Santi Grau and Albert Gomez and not the best players of the team like Xavi Escudé.
For me it has to be a mix of fearlessness and patience to take the good decision in the good moment. For sure you need to be technically good to become a good keeper, but the most important thing is to be focus on the ball, to be aware of your tasks and the ability to find out what it will happen few seconds before it happens.
Are there other goalkeepers do you look up?
When he was still on the pitch it has been always Guus Vogels my role model. He was the best, no discussion. Because of my height I always looked up to keepers that look like me even if I loved Simon Mason when I was a teenager.
I also used to follow the advices that Xavi Trenchs gave it to me when he played at Terrassa because he also made up himself with the support of nobody, just with abilities and became a keeper with a main role in the pitch. Nowadays the best keeper and the one who I look up is Vincent Vanash for his serenity and patience to wait the ball arrives and to not anticipate the movement. Besides that he’s really humble and one of the best guys that I’ve known in Belgium
Can you describe your career?
I grew up at Atlètic Terrassa, my hometown. I belonged to one of the best generations of the club and we used to win most of the competitions that we played. Maybe that’s also why I found so difficult the step to the senior hockey. I weighed 90 kilos and I was more focus on partying all time than focus on hockey. So I decided to quit the club to play in Taburiente in a professional way to take the lost time back. Those two seasons were the key of my career and where I became the keeper that I’ve been thenceforth. Then I came back to Terrassa for a couple of seasons where we became Spanish champions twice in a row. Looking for new challenges and experiences I decided to move abroad to a new promoted team in Belgium.
How was to play and being a key member of a Daring (Belgian Club) that had an impressive development in the last 2 years? Can you tell us about the team and the club philosophy?
It has been really special because I arrived 4 years ago to a club that only played once in the first division and I quit them in the EHL final four. We create during this period of 4 seasons a solid group of friends with Jof Cosyns, Alex Kersten, Dave Faveyts, James Dubuisson or Alex Van Lindhout. Then we add some incredible players like Sergi Enrique, Victor Wegnez, Manu Brunet and Tanguy Cosyns to lead us to do the last leap to the big teams.
Daring is a really familiar club with the best supporters in the world. The fact of becoming a big club is changing in some way the philosophy of the club and some of us are leaving the club. This is a new era to try to consolidate the team among the elite.
You and several other Spanish players are returning back home this season after playing in Netherlands and Belgium. Why is that?
There are some different reasons in each case. We all decided to play abroad three or four years ago because of the situation in our country but the things are going better. Some of us have found a job here and Roc Oliva is preparing the Olympic Games so it was the good moment for all of us to come back.
It’s also true that watch some of former teammates do the way back had encourage the others. We all had miss the atmosphere of the club being abroad although that we have been playing in the best leagues, but it’s never easy to take this kind of decisions.
Now I hope it’s going to be Sergi Enrique’s turn next season!
What are your expectations about returning to Terrassa and spanish competition?
I have been so many time in another country that I don’t actually know how the things has changed here. For what I know, Junior or Complutense has grown a lot of as a team so I guess it leads to greater equality in the competition. Anyway we have an extraordinary group with some young stars like Pol Parrilla that impressed me.
My personal expectation is to have fun again playing hockey and of course to help my club to achieve the goals such as winning Spanish championship and to go as far as possible in the EHL. It’s going to be fun!
Does Hockey need to improve as sport? If so, in which way?
Of course that we need some more people, especially in Spain. We need to bring hockey to schools to open the mentality, we used to do it in Canary Islands and it still works really fine.
The constant evolution of this sport it’s a double-edged sword for us: we need to adapt it to the new possibilities of the players but it’s a big problem for the people that don’t know really good this sport. This is really difficult for them to follow a game, but we need it to keep hockey growing.
Plans and ambitions for the future?
For the moment, just enjoy my honeymoon in Africa. I’ll follow my preparation over there to get back fit and ready to start training with my teammates.
I want to enjoy playing hockey with Atlètic until the day that my coach doesn’t need me anymore. We have no pressure but we’re really ambitious. We’re all of us grew up in Terrassa so we know each other for a long time, it’s impossible to have negative pressure in this group of friends.
What would you like to ask to yourself?
Which is the worst insult that I said to a defender?
Pol Garcia-Cascón Sala