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Our philosophy is to promote young players and give them chance to leave, reveals Oscar Garcia

Stade Reims head coach Oscar Garcia has outlined the club’s philosophy and admitted that he was shocked when they first explained to him but now believes that it’s a gift. Garcia also opened up about his coaching philosophy and how his time at Barcelona and Red Bull Salzburg affected that.

ew clubs have played more players under the age of 21 this season than Stade Reims with twelve players forming the core for the club. That’s far more than any Premier League club has managed and more than most Ligue 1 clubs but that’s the way the Les rouges et blancs have found their niche. While they do have history, having won the league title six times, the club are trying to find their way in the modern world.

And through young stars like Hugo Ekitike, they’re doing exactly that with young forward alongside a host of other youngsters hitting the spotlight. But while that has frustrated Oscar Garcia, the Stade Reims manager also admitted that it has been a gift to train and nuture all these young stars. Not only that, Garcia outlined Reims’ philosophy and revealed that they want to give the younger players a chance before letting them spread their wings.

“It is not normal that what a club explains to you before signing is true, but here it is true. We have young players, talented players. The philosophy of the club is to promote those young players, give them the chance to play in a good league before going to a bigger club in another country. I like so much to be working with these young players. For me, it is a gift. It is fantastic as a coach,” Garcia told Sky Sports.

A former Barcelona star himself, Garcia made his debut for the club at the age of 17 under legendary coach Johan Cruyff and has since managed at several clubs. That includes spells with Watford, Brighton and Hove Albion, RB Salzburg and Celta Vigo amongst others. But Garcia revealed that his spell at Barcelona and Salzburg have influenced his coaching style the most, and it’s why he went abroad for a managerial spell.

“The vision that I have is a clear philosophy. I grew up at Barcelona. I played for Barcelona for 18 years. Afterwards, I coached the U19 team there. With the ball, we continue to work a lot with the same philosophy and the same movements.

“But I also wanted to learn from other philosophies. That was the reason why I went abroad to coach. One of the best places was Salzburg because I learned what to do without the ball. They call it ‘against the ball’. I learnt the philosophy of the Red Bull organisation.

“I went there to improve myself because I don’t know everything. I learned a lot about the game without the ball. It was very clear in each part of the pitch, how to press, how to do the counter-pressing. I have tried to do this ever since,” he added.

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