Luc Ciotkowski – Coach

Albion FLA coach Luc CiotowskiWho is your favourite football player?

Manuel Neuer. I didn’t care very much about goalkeepers until injuries forced me to convert from an outfield player to a keeper two years ago. Of course, I still don’t watch football to see goalkeepers, I most love to watch box-to-box midfielders, but he is the best sweeper-keeper I have ever seen. I believe Manuel Neuer is the single most important individual in a larger revolution of what we think goalkeepers are supposed to be and do.

What is your favourite football team?

People don’t believe I can love football so much and not have a favourite club. But I don’t have one! I have many favourites and the list changes and generally gets longer. It’s only with international football, the Scotland national team and the Spain national team, that I really suffer if they don’t win. And Scotland certainly make me suffer more than Spain.

What is your favourite skill and who does it?

If we’re talking about game skills, awareness. It is seeing, hearing and feeling where you, the ball and other players are and what they are doing. In English grammar, we always say have awareness, but really I think it’s something that all great players do. The first player I think of when I think of superb awareness is Andrés Iniesta.

If we’re talking about tricks, I’ve always loved the ‘elastic’, or Rivelino/Ronaldinho elástico. It’s just a beautiful piece of skill when executed well and makes it so hard for a defender to keep balance. As the name suggests, it makes me think of Ronaldinho Gaúcho.

If you could give one piece of advice about learning football what would it be?

Focus on the next good thing you are going to do, and enjoy it. Your next mistake will come on its own, you don’t need to focus on it.

If you could give one piece of advice about learning English what would it be?

Learning a language is like doing physical exercise: you must accept that you can never stop doing it if you want to feel the benefits. As well as classes, find other things you like, do them in English and do them often.

What are your experiences in both coaching and teaching?

Having studied Interpreting and Translating at university, Luc moved from Scotland to France to become an English teacher in 2003 and arrived in Madrid in 2005. He combined English teaching with jobs in editing materials for learners of English and journalism.

Since 2014, Luc has been able to combine his passions for football coaching and language teaching professionally by working as a coach/teacher at football training camps with English language integrated learning for children between the ages of five and thirteen.

His two children are bilingual but he is pessimistic about the chances of them preferring Scotland over Spain in football.