Newtongrange Star Under 20s head coach Jesus Garcia Tena says he can’t wait to get started at the club and is excited by the new challenge.
The 28-year-old, who has been on the books of Juventus, Espanyol and Hamilton Accies is a big-name signing for the Midlothian club, joining on a voluntary basis to give himself some coaching experience.
The Spanish defender was released by Hamilton in the summer of 2017 and made a number of appearances for Edinburgh City last season but is testing himself in coaching and on the lookout for a new club.
Garcia Tena will coach the Under 20s two nights a week and admits he will learn as much from the experience as the youngsters he is coaching.
He told the Advertiser: “It’s going to be challenging. It’s my first job as a proper coach. I’m just going to have to learn quickly.
“I’m looking forward to just being involved from the other side and passing my knowledge on having played in Italy and Spain.
“You learn from everyone you meet in your career – good coaches and the bad. I learned about the physical stuff and also shape, that is something they work a lot on in Italy.
“I enjoy Guardiola’s style of coaching – but I’m a long, long way off from that!”
The head of the academy David Glodek says it was a massive boost to land such a high profile player in the game.
Garcia Tena said: “I’m honoured they see me like that. They’re trying to go the right way about it, to get players in to show kids how hard it is.
“There is not many that get to the highest level and you really need to work hard to get there. You never know what can happen in football, things happen so quickly even when you are at the top.
“You should always have a plan B and give everything you can to make it but make sure you have something to fall back on. When I was at Hamilton I had a bad knee injury.
“My advice is give it 100 per cent. You need to commit, there is a lot of stuff that you cannot or shouldn’t do. Friday or Saturday night when your friends want to go out drinking you need to commit 100 per cent.
“At this time of year, your friends go on holiday but you need to keep yourself fit for pre-season.
"You have to make sacrifices but, if you work hard and it goes right for you, then down the line it can be very rewarding.
“I’ve played with players that have had the talent but do not have the right mindset and they sit at second or third tier, then there are players who are not as talented but put the work in.
“That hard work goes along way and they play at a higher level as a result.”