Spain: No Secret Recipe, Just Team Work

12 July 2010
Even at the U20 European Championship Men 2010 in Croatia you can almost hear the spectacular fiesta taking place at the Paseo de Recoletos right in the heart of Madrid as Spain added the football World Cup 2010 to their glittering list of recent sporting achievements.

Now officially confirmed as dominant in world football, it follows hot on the heels of their scorching success in basketball at pretty much every level - so what is the secret to their success?

Well, perhaps there is no secret. Investment in the infrastructure of the sport from grass roots right through to elite level, good management, and a healthy crop of talented players have all contributed - amongst other things.

One such player is highly rated point guard Josep Franch, who has had experience of the best league in Europe with DKV Joventut and forms an ACB back-court at this tournament with Jose Simeon of Valencia.
10. Josep Franch (Spain)
For Josep Franch team work is the key to success
Ask him why Spanish basketball is immersed deep in a golden ear and an ever present member of any podium rolled out at the climax of each tournament and the emphasis on flexibility and consistency shines through.

"I think Spain is successful because we have a good system for all of the players from a very young age," explained Simeon.

"I think we work hard with coaches on the understanding of how we can play in different positions on the court and how we can always help out team-mates and this is very important.

"Of course like all players, we always spend a lot of time to improve our individual skills of course but also our mentality is to how be sure we can be successful as a team on the court.

"We have a particular way of doing things and also a lot of good spirit, hard work and passion- this is great for everybody who plays with any Spain team."

That spirit and passion was certainly evident in the teams win against hosts Croatia. Also while having not exactly been favourites heading into the competition, it would now be foolish to write off the chances of this Spanish team - after all, Spain does seem to be a rather powerful magnet for sporting gold.

Franch himself meanwhile has already built himself a big reputation and is another young player to roll from the Spanish production line. It bodes well for the future of the senior National Team - although just don't expect him to follow in the same footsteps as a certain other point guard who also started life at DKV Joventut.

"Ricky (Rubio) is a great player and I think people will make comparisons because of our positions and because of Badalona.

"However, I want to be a player on my own and as myself - this is of course very important for me."

Like all of the other prodigious talents that pass through the doors of Badalona, Franch has been given a taste of the ACB as well as getting experience in European competition. However, he has been learning his trade in the third tier of the Spanish game with CB Prat Joventut - but is now expecting a re-call and is anticipating a big 2010-11.

"I played for some time in the Liga ACB but started last season in LEB Plata with the second team - I also finished the season with them.

"I was training with them every day and I am very happy with the season that I had because I got some good results for myself.

"Next season I will be back with the first team and playing in the ACB.

"We are a very young team and we don't have a lot of players yet. We are still working to sign more players and we will have to see what the team is like and what our expectations are of the new season."

For now though, Franch is simply focusing on ensuring Spain have one more reason to arrange a fiesta - the time and place? How about in the city of Zadar late on Sunday evening?


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