Whalley: “Zaragoza is my home and I suffer with the team, but I hope to beat them with Castellón”

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The Zaragoza goalkeeper is going through his best moment with Castellón and returns to La Romareda this Thursday six years later

Lat the end for the salvation of this Thursday between Real Zaragoza and Castellón will have a great protagonist in the figure of Oscar Whalley, which talks about the game for MARCA. The Zaragoza native returns to what was his home until 2015. The goal did not go as he would have liked but he has taken the opportunity to grow as a goalkeeper, especially abroad in the Danish Aarhus and Greek Crete. Now, in the Castellón team he has taken ownership and is going through the best moment of his career. He wants to save his team and is confident that the club of his love will also remain in the silver division. This year’s double suffering may still have a completely happy ending.

What a game to return to La Romareda … Do you see Zaragoza saved now?
Mathematically not yet and as the league is … but I don’t think I have no problem for salvation.
How much is the permanence?
We only think about La Romareda and achieving the three points. It would give us a lot of encouragement for the other two days.
It may be the circumstance that Zaragoza play already saved. Would it be a relief to your team?
Well, I don’t think they gave the game away. They would not come out with the same tension but they would not throw it away. No one likes to lose. It’s going to be a dog-face encounter.
He returns home six years later. Is it a special match?
Yes, very special. I go back to my house where I have grown as a player and have gone through all the lower categories until reaching the first team.
How do you think La Romareda would have received you with the public?
I don’t know, but I would have liked to know because it would mean that football is back to normal and people would be enjoying themselves in the stadiums.
Did you leave with a thorn nailed by what happened in the first leg of the playoffs against Girona?
They are things that happen. Then we did not get promoted, but more than my action I was left with the thorn for not having come up with Real Zaragoza.
Have you continued to suffer with Zaragoza from a distance?
Imagine … I am a handyman, I have grown up in the club and they have made me what I am now. I have followed him from everywhere I have been, on all my teams. If I am already suffering with Zaragoza every year, now with Castellón the suffering is double.
In his time at Zaragoza, he competed with Bono in goal. Have you been surprised by their high level?
The truth is that he was already a very good goalkeeper and he has shown it. I was not surprised.
What has Oscar Whalley changed in these six years?
A lot of. I have had many experiences from the role of second goalkeeper and knowing how to make a good group, to going abroad, getting to know myself as a person, gaining experience in other countries and competitions … Everything I have lived helps you to mature as a person and a player.
How was the experience abroad?
Well. I was in Denmark one year and in Greece another. In Denmark it was complicated by the very different culture they have compared to Spain and then in Greece we had a good year. We made the playoffs for the Europa League and the culture is more similar to the Spanish one, so I was more comfortable.
In Castellón you have won ownership and it is being one of the most outstanding. Do you think you are at your best?
Undoubtedly. At the beginning when he played for Zaragoza he had a very high level, but he was young and inexperienced. Now I have it and I know how to handle everything much better. Here I am very good. With the arrival of Garrido, he thought that with me in goal, the team would be better and I was able to respond.
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