Las Tunas soccer team trains for the Apertura Tournament.

While the ball is rolling in the main football leagues of the Old Continent, catching the eyes of thousands of followers in Cuba, on the Island, with stealthy steps, like those who wish to remain anonymous, preparations are being made to start the 2023 Apertura Tournament.

With the ambition of adding three in each presentation, the Las Tunas team is perfecting the mechanisms on the field to face the competition in optimal shape. About the gestation of the team, 26 spoke with the assistant coach José Daniel Montero González.

"So far the preparation has been satisfactory; we started the first micro-cycle on July 26, and we have worked on the physical aspect. Today, we have the opportunity to have coach Éder Bood, who trains the national team and the U-20, which has allowed us to develop good physical work. And, also, in the technical-tactical edge, especially concerning offensive and defensive transitions, besides the hard work carried out in the goal area, under the tutelage of coach Rewar Ochoa Martínez. We are focusing on qualifying among the top three of the group, as well as doing the same for the Closure Tournament. We want to erase the image of last year, with the last place.

Las Tunas soccer team trains for the Apertura Tournament.

"We have paid special attention to the psychological and emotional aspects of the athletes since it is of no great value that they are prepared in the other aspects of the game, but not mentally. I think it is important that they are convinced that they can achieve the goal. There is great motivation. From the first minute, we insisted on creating a family, we don't do anything with many individuals if we don't work together. Everything is geared up and with the goal always in mind, victories will come."

According to Montero García, the team is made up of "a mixture of young players -some of whom were part of the team that won the bronze medal in the last World Youth Championship-, and experienced players, who know what it means to play at the highest level. Some of them have even played in national teams.

Las Tunas soccer team trains for the Apertura Tournament

"It is a team that knows how to touch the ball, with fast, strong, and intelligent players in attack. We also have the virtue of looking for balls with verticality and being effective in every action. In other words, we want to propose an attractive game, with the characteristic of being a true master of the ball throughout the game, and also use the counter-attack as a weapon, taking advantage of the speed and intensity of the transitions. We also want to be direct and exploit the spaces of the opponent's last line. The fans will like it," assured the assistant.

Las Tunas will share the qualifying key with Sancti Spíritus, Ciego de Ávila, Camagüey, Holguín, Granma, Santiago de Cuba, and Guantánamo; where they will measure forces in a double-round schedule. On September 23rd, the starting whistle will break the silence at La Pista, when the squad in green and white will make their debut against Camagüey, and the plans will be put into action.