Former Valencia, Lazio and Barcelona midfielder Gaizka Mendieta has been a guest coach at Maidstone United’s academy for the past couple of days.

The Spanish international, who ended his playing career with Middlesbrough, was at the Gallagher Stadium as part of his UEFA A Licence assessment.


He was joined by ‘Mr Spanish Football’ himself – Guillem Balague – a regular on Sky Sports’ coverage of La Liga and a columnist for newspapers here and abroad.

The pair put the academy players through their paces in a series of sessions on the Gallagher’s 3G pitch.

Jay Saunders said: “It was great for our academy lads to have Gaizka and Guillem come down and take some sessions.

“It’s not every day you get the opportunity to be coached by someone like Gaizka – the fella’s made more than 400 senior appearances and once went for a transfer fee of €48 million.

“We’ve had a few ex-professionals down for the A Licences. The assessors know we’ve got fantastic facilities here and a great bunch of lads who enjoy the experience that these guest coaches bring.”


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